Wow. I don’t know what else to say about the Vista 180 Weekend…except, wow. Could our Missional efforts have been any stronger? Could the Progam have gone any smoother? Could we have squeezed anymore content into 90 minutes? Could we have fit more than the 3000 that came into the TWHS auditorium? Would you have ever imagined collecting over 1500 very serious and even heart-wrenching prayer requests? Maybe so, but wow, God. Wow!
This coming Sunday morning we will spend time “telling of the mighty deeds of the Lord,”(Ps 78) during services, so come prepared with your stories of encouragement to share. (You can also add to the growing number of stories here: Web, Facebook, Twitter.) And more importantly, we will remember the challenge we face as a church to embrace the real work that began as soon as the caravan of trucks circled in salute on their way out of the TWHS parking lot at 9:45pm Sunday night.
It is critical that we put equal energy into the follow-up and search for those who need others in the journey they began or are continuing as a result of God’s move in their heart this weekend. We need each other, there is no doubt, and some folks really have nobody…but us/you.
Like the excitment and fun of the day the new puppy dog arrives, the next day begins the real work. It would be flat wrong to play with the puppy, but never feed her; to teach the puppy tricks, but never clean up after her; to run with the puppy, but never provide a place to rest.
Last weekend we enjoyed the loving-kindnesses and favor of God. He trusted us with his greatest love…his creation…precious people. He trusted us to share about him clearly and unashamedly. He trusted us to be honest and vulnerable (like Jesus) to our guests. He trusted us to express the joy and the purpose found only in him. He trusted us to serve and love those who are lost, lonely and hurting.
We did all those things as best we could, and God graciously brought an audience to receive, to be refreshed, to be honored, and to participate in the celebration of Jesus. It is amazing that he would do that, but he did. And what a joy it was! Like 180 new puppies to a child…it was an overwhelming joy!
And now Jesus’ challenge to us shifts…to the work we so often and too often forget or avoid…loving, serving, building, restoring, comforting, praying for those whose hearts have been touched, whose wounds have been re-opened, whose needs seem overwhelming…
But this time is crucial, more crucial than any segment of the Program, and it doesn’t simply include those whom you invited that came. What about the ones who didn’t come? Are we only interested in them as a potential attendee? Or did we, in either case, open a dialogue…carve a path…for building a relationship? We did!
What’s your next step with each person you reached out to? Make it normal; make it relational; make it simple. But for heaven’s sake take it!