April 16, 2014
Are we ready for this coming Easter weekend?! We will focus on what Jesus did on Easter to radically change our ‘now’ into a ‘next.’ I started talking about this now vs. next concept last weekend, and from my email traffic, it sounds like it was timely for many. I got the following email from a member. (I removed names.)
Dear David: Just wanted to say “Thanks” for your wonderful message last Sunday. Little did I know how much I would totally need those words as the afternoon went forward. My husband and I got a telephone call from his older brother saying our nephew had taken his life. He was only 41 years old and left a wife behind. We will be leaving early tomorrow, to attend the funeral.
Only our Lord understands the loss of losing your only Son. Your words were and are so meaningful. Now and Next. Now is hard only until I realize we all have a Next in Him. All our family is Christian so that greatly helps this situation…but it is still hard. You never know how your words will be used. I needed to tell you those words were for our family this week.
Thank God that the truth we will be celebrating this weekend is TRUE! And it makes a difference in this life and the next! That’s why we serve, give, change, and work so hard.
Here are some final Easter encouragements:
1) The entire service will be simulcast in Room 182 with excellent video/audio. If you arrive and the Worship Center is full, one of our hosts will invite you to head there. (Another reason to attend Saturday at 3 pm or Sunday at 8 am or 1 pm!)
2) Leave yourself extra time to get here (hopefully it won’t snow this weekend!), get your kids checked in, and get a cup of coffee before you locate a seat.
3) Invite like crazy from now till then. Take that relational risk and invite. Tell them about NOW and NEXT. If fear of rejection is holding you back, it may surprise you to know polling indicates that 82% say they would say ‘yes’ to an Easter invite! Would you do me a favor right now? Would you call, text, Facebook-message, tweet or tell a friend to come with you this weekend? Maybe it’s somebody who used to have a connection to Whitewater and they haven’t been in awhile. Maybe it’s somebody who used to go to another church and for one reason they just stopped. Maybe it’s somebody who doesn’t go to any church (our real target!). One thing is for sure – we won’t know until we ask, will we?
4) We are anticipating hundreds of guests. Real people who are searching for answers in their now and we get to give them the good news of the next. Our simple goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment where they want to return. This experience starts in the parking lot and we want our guests to have the best possible spots, so please continue to follow our parking hosts’ directions. (It went much better in our lot last weekend, and will continue to improve as we learn!) Our continued goal/desire is to be the best at moving people on, around and off campus in a safe and efficient way. As I said last weekend, I know it is a change from where you might normally park, but with time it will become the new normal for you.
As with everything around Whitewater – remember – it’s not about you. The reason you like this church is because we embrace change when needed and necessary to fulfill our mission. Hundreds of folks changed before YOU got here, so you could be greeted/welcomed, and I bet you’re glad. Don’t forget the new complaint policy I announced last weekend at the services. If you have any complaints about any area of the ministry here, please write them on a $50 or $100 bill and place it in the offering any weekend. I promise to read every one!
5) Please select a time to pray this coming Good Friday, April 18, for God’s power, protection, and anointing for the entire Easter weekend.
6) Invite any friends and family to take the next step of returning the next weekend. We will be starting a brand new weekend teaching series from the book of Proverbs and will be learning what the WISE thing to do is, which will greatly assist all of us attain the happiness we have been seeking. (THE next step right after that for you and them would be Starting Point. The next one is Sunday, 4/27.)
7) Be nice. (Enough said!)
That’s the Now that will prepare us for Next weekend! Regardless of how it goes, I am so very proud of you, our staff, and our hundreds of dedicated servants who will be going the next mile this weekend as we help people find help and hope on the Westside.
Can’t wait to see you and see what God does next!
P.S. 2 events are coming up that will help you in the next season of your life. Quite a few have already signed up for the no cost seminar on Tuesday, April 29 (7 pm) on the benefits of a Will and Living Trust. It’s a great way to pass on your values, and not just your valuables. Please sign up today so we can prepare well. There are still Women of Faith tickets available, too, for the May 2/3 conference in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Deb Homer ASAP at 513.317.9588 for yours!