Its taken me a couple of days to process the events of our first Saturday Church. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I have to tell you that I’ve never quite felt so fulfilled as I gathered with other people of faith for three life changing hours.
It wasn’t polished, or fancy. Our “programming” was simple with a few insignificant hiccups. We really didn’t know what to expect our first night. We gathered for worship with an acoustic guitar, a cajon, and voices of all ages. We looked to Scripture to discuss the reality that lost people matter to God. If they matter to God then they should certainly matter to us, because we too, all of us, were at one time lost. Armed with this message of hope, we set out to the streets with bottles of water and invitations to join us at Cadence Coffee for a light meal. Instantly, we encountered people who needed to hear our message of hope, like a lady who’s boyfriend passed away that very morning. She had just walked to the park to clear her head when we met her and began to pray with her. We invited her to come back to the coffee shop for some food and companionship, she accepted and nearly an hour and a half later she left after being loved on, and comforted by people she had never met before.
That night as I tucked my girls into bed, and we said our bedtime prayers, my youngest daughter interrupted the prayer and asked, “Dad, can I pray for the man we met tonight with the five kids and no food?” I let her pray, and pray she did. They came alive as they handed him bag lunches that they had helped pack, in bags that they had decorated with Magic Marker Messages of hope and encouragement. I smiled as I lay down in bed that night remembering the energy that was in our little coffee shop, as people were living out their faith, planting and watering seeds of hope and love.
Almost five years ago, before ever stepping foot in Chattanooga, I wrote this in my journal. It was the vision that God gave me for RiverChurch, I wrote it down, and though its been delayed, I saw it come to life for our first Saturday Church:
RiverChurch is committed to taking church to the people. We’re not content to simply do church stuff but to BE the church. We want people to live out their faith not just on Sundays but everyday of the week. Our faith is lived out by acts of servanthood in our communities, our schools, our jobs, our neighborhoods. As we serve others, doors of opportunity are opened for us to share our faith in practical terms making the Great Commission – the call to make disciples, realistically possible.
I can hardly wait for another Saturday night to roll around again.
If you were there, share your experience in the comment section below.
If you weren’t and are in town, why don’t you join us this week. I promise you, you will be impacted.
“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it, it will surely come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2:2,3
This truly blesses my soul as I am able to see some 30 years later; God had a plan for this little boy long ago. He took him as we gave him back to God through dedication. He made an impact while he was in school by overcoming a huge roadblock. A Bible club was birthed at his high school because he had a vision of what God wanted and he didn’t let anyone or anything discourage his goal. God made it happen. Fast forward after college years and he’s in the homeland of Jesus (Israel) growing and ministering as God directs his path. God is still carving out his path in a different setting. God only needs a “willing vessel” and He will do the rest. I can’t wait to hear what God does next through this servant, his family and those who join them to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurting and troubled world!