Well Sunday was "the day." The day I've been waiting for for three weeks (since I last preached), for nearly three months (since I first made the decision to work with Spring Meadows) , for six years (since I first heard of the exciting plans for SM), in a way for all my life. In a very real way it seems that all I've experienced; every blessing, every challenge, every influence, has been moving to this point, to this opportunity. It was a great day. The summer heat relented for a couple of days and yet the sun was shining brightly.
First of all, I was nervous. I was going to worship and to work with a people I had never met. What would the service be like, the singing, the "feel" of things? Going from a place of extreme organization to a place that has only been meeting for a few months - would it be to casual? Would I experience culture shock? How would MY style be taken by these people? This is the smallest church I've preached for full time as the regular guy - how would it feel? After the last two decades of preaching in BIG buildings with high-powered sound systems and large crowds - just what would it be like? And, and - would they like my preaching (I know, I know, if you preach the Word it will be received, but YOU KNOW there are some folks you'd rather hear than others)? Melanie was wonderful in helping keep me "sane" (or at least my definition of sane).
Now for the report: It was special in every way. The people, the place, the purpose. The people were gracious and kind and energetic. I can't remember when I've seen so many young children - what a canvas! I met some really great people (now I just hope I can remember their names :)). The place is lovely. Small, cramped (which is neat) and lovely! They've done such a great job converting this barber shop into a house of worship. It is bright and airy (and the temp was wonderful!). We overflowed into the satellite room. I was told the count for the day was 125 and that that was a new record for them. How exciting! When the auditorium is full and the overflow is full we can seat right at 140, so we have a little - very little - room. I kinda hate leaving that place and moving on, but I love growth and we have to move to have room to grow. So, a lease has been signed on the building in back of the building we are in. It actually fronts onto US31 - wonderful. It'll be fun to see what we do there. The 90 who returned Sunday PM also represented a new record.
I praise God and thank Him - to God be the glory for great things He has done and the great things we trust He will do. I am humbled and excited. But I should not be surprised that first day went do well, with so many praying for us, how could we have failed?
I feel blessed. A Family in Hamilton, at Granny White and, a new Family at Spring Meadows. I feel like the most blessed preacher alive.
Now, the next few weeks will be more wild than the last few as we marry off a son and gain a daughter (that's Saturday), Andrew completes a great summer internship and begins his second year of college, we send a special nephew off to college (mid-August), I make a trip to Africa (Monday the 31 of July) and get our house on the market (hopefully before the market crashes :)). We will continue to covet your prayers. You mean so much to us. Thank you.
This Sunday the plan is to preach:
AM - After the Honeymoon is Over
PM - My Dream for this Church
Come on and bring a car load!
I really am -
In His Care,