It’s been a good run as of late here at Captivate Church. Week after week we seem to get the front-row seat to God’s hand in our service and his voice speaking to His people. I always remind our people that He doesn’t have to do that among us and that we should never get comfortable with the miraculous. Each and every time God steps into the course of human history by prompting a man or woman to follow Him, a miracle has taken place. Here is a glimpse of how God demonstrated Himself this week at Captivate Church:
Bill and I met last week to talk about his decision to follow Christ. During our conversation Bill made a statement describing what it felt like when he received the gift of salvation in Christ. He said “It felt like I took a life-shower. Everything in my life before was gone.” Sound Familiar?
Bill is one of these guys like Paul or Peter who have the potential to attract tons of people to the message of Christ because he too was ‘there’ where many people are far from God. He knows the realities of life and He’s seen His Savior. I’m looking forward to seeing God use him to reach many for Christ’s name and fame.
At the end of every Captivate Church service we give an opportunity for people to respond to the prompting of God. This week when I made the invitation two women came forward. One by one they hugged me and our church cheered (loudly). The amazing thing is that these two women are Bill’s sisters. They received Christ today after seeing their brother’s faith commitment of Baptism and then hearing a message that resonated with them. The text was John 1:1-14
They too, like their brother, have many friendships and deep roots that could lead to many more people coming to know Jesus as King. I’m prayerfully looking forward to seeing God use these women to bring the gospel to their networks.
A Mom, A Church, & A Car
During the month of November I challenged the church to contribute to a 5 thousand dollar offering to meet a need for a family in our church. The key was that I didn’t tell them what it was for. Today I got to reveal the secret.
We have a family that comes to our location from West Baltimore via public transportation. They often use a few busses to get to our location outside of the Baltimore beltway. This mother and her children have been faithful in attending, serving and contributing to our church. A few months ago God prompted me to have our church respond with this act of generosity and love.
Today I brought to the front our dear friends and had the opportunity to say to them “This week, Captivate Church is buying you a car!”
Tears flowed, cheers errupted and God’s tangible love was made visible in the gifts of His people. We told this family that we’re going to take care of the purchase and first six months of insurance. A man in the crowd yelled out, “I’ll pay for month seven!” While I’m certain I could have auctioned off the rest of the year, I did not want people to get carried away by the moment. It was a beautiful moment and God was glorified at Captivate Church today!
Behind the Scenes of It All
Pastors (including myself) write about the highlights of the weekend church service and often miss acknowledging the people who really make it happen.
Behind every baptism there are people who had to rent a U-Haul trailer, attach it to their truck, bring the baptistry to the theater early in the morning, fill it with water and get it set up. There are people who handle towels, walk-throughs, phone calls and T-shirts.
Behind every salvation are counselors praying, sound technicians keeping mics working and video people displaying scripture.
Behind all of it there are layers of volunteers pushing carts, buying food, setting up tables and plugging in projectors.
Behind the adults who worship and serve are people caring for our babies and teaching our children and patrolling our hallways for safety. Every single man and woman who serves at Captivate has a hand in every salvation and every baptism and every act of generosity.
Behind the weekend services are small groups who pray together, meet needs together and point one another to Jesus on Facebook, emails and text-messages. They, using their gifts, are as equally vital to the outcome as any preacher or musician. Together we are the body of Christ and the representation of Him to the region of Baltimore.
I love these people. I love the mission. I love our God.