It all began with us once again asking what breaks the heart of God? It is really not what, but whom? If people matter to God, they really should and do matter to us.
God provided an opportunity in our calendar to clearly make a special day for what we simply called "Invite Sunday." The vision was cast for this to be an across the board vision for all areas of our ministry - children, students, and adults (or “big” church as some like to call it :-)).
We started several weeks out as a part of our Vision 2020 for what we prioritize as important - life transformation, because people matter and should break our hearts like it breaks the heart of God. We simply asked our people to pray for people God laid on their hearts. We also asked them to write down those names, and we would join them in praying for these people, as well as, for their own boldness to make the ask and invite them to this “special” Sunday. We prayed along with our people as the list of names was long. We wept as we prayed for each of these that represented an individual, a soul, who is loved by Christ.
And then we helped our people with invite cards to hand out and encouraged them with ways to make the invite. We have all seen and heard of the numbers of people that would attend church if someone would just ask.
The Bridge Illustrated Sermon is a visual presentation, based somewhat on The 4 Spiritual Laws. We simply built a couple of platforms with a large cross and used these props throughout the sermon to walk through what God has done for us who choose to receive and “walk” across The Bridge from death to life. Click on link below if you would like to view one of our presentations.
On that Sunday in November we had 31 “Yes for Christ” commitments with two- thirds of those being adults. In every ministry that day we presented the gospel and invited people to pray to experience forgiveness and freedom in Christ. For our “big” church we offered an altar call where people literally walked forward and walked across The Bridge of the Cross. They walked from death to life as Jesus says in John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (emphasis mine). They walked from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom, from eternal separation from God into eternal relationship with God, from hell to heaven, and changed their eternal zip code. We like to say it sincerely was an eternal game- changing day for many. What a powerful picture of people literally walking across The Bridge and saying Yes to Christ!
I would challenge us as churches to ask the question, “What breaks the heart of God?” If we honestly seek this and ask does this break our heart as well, then I think we can do nothing else than provide an opportunity for us to help others step across The Bridge into an eternal game-changing invitation. It doesn’t need to be done this way. You can come up with much better ideas and opportunities I am sure, but what will you do? What, or for whom, does your church’s heart break? What are you going to do about it? We can manage ministry and church business, or we can “be” the church and serve people by offering the life- transforming power of Jesus Christ that we all truly believe is real and alive and available to all. #madenew #eternalgamechangingday
The River Church Team: Sacramento, CA