Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Celebration

Yesterday was a glorious day for God! It has to please God to see so many join heart and voice together in praise and worship of the risen Savior. The Super Bowl has nothing on Easter!

It was a great day at Charter Oak Church. Yesterday was the first time I haven't preached on Easter Sunday since I started into the ministry 13 years ago. I didn't need to preach. It was awesome to be here and watch God at work. Here are some of my observations:
  • Pastor Dave's message had something in it for everyone. It didn't matter if you have been a faithful follower of Jesus everyday of your life, if you are an occasional attendee, if you are a Christmas and Easter attendee, or if yesterday was your first time inside of a church - there was a message of truth, of love, and of salvation offered. Great job Dave!
  • Emails are coming in from people who prayed one of the prayers of re-dedication or of salvation and I know will continue to come in this week.
  • Our leadership rocks in so many ways.
  • I asked our leadership to park off campus yesterday. I was hoping to free up 50 more parking places for our guests. Because of a late day Friday issue with the off campus parking lot we were going to use, I had to ask our leaders to park even further away. Our leaders responded beyond anything I expected!
  • On Easter Sunday we had more people serving in the First Impression ministry than I have ever seen. They were here earlier and they stayed later than usual.
  • Our Sunday school teachers hit it out of the park with the large group experience and then in the small group setting. Those kids won't forget Easter 2007.
  • The band, the choir, the soloists - all of the music was stellar!
  • There were people who gave up going to worship so that they could be in the nursery - two rooms full of our smallest guests!

I have never been a part of a church that lives beyond themselves like the people of Charter Oak Church. Right now as I type this, there are a dozen people pulling food off of a truck, at our back door, in order to distribute later this week to families in Westmoreland County. The church is officially "closed" but we never really close.

Here's what I believe we said this weekend to the people of this region.

  1. You matter to God!
  2. The way to spend eternity with God is a relationship with Jesus.
  3. We will do whatever we can to make these first two as obvious as possible.

My wife had a conversation with a family after Sunday school that was a perfect representation of what we tried to do this weekend. They commented that there were parking places available and they couldn't believe it. Kelli shared with them that we asked the leadership to park off campus and they did so others could have a place to park. They were stunned.

Oh, by the way, the chair team set up every worship chair that we own so that everyone would have a seat.

Here's what we said to our guests, there is room here for you. There is a parking place, there is a seat, there are classrooms for your children, and caregivers for your babies. Our restrooms are very clean and smell great. There is absolutely no reason you shouldn't come back. We want to partner with you to help you find your way back to God and have a great relationship with him through Jesus. Over 1,100 people heard and saw that this weekend.

All praise and glory to God on high! He is risen, indeed!


Anonymous said...

It was an awesome day. A true blessing to see God working through everyone. Charter Oak Leadership rocks servant hearts are genuine.


Roda Zone said...

Chris...what a great day you had. I wish every day could be like Easter. You guys at Charter Oak had an opportunity and made the most of it for the kingdom. Great Job!