What an amazing day at The Grove! Today was our 6 month anniversary of the official launch and we could not have believed that God would do what he has in just 6 short months! I love seeing God in action in real people’s lives – both the lives of already-Grovers and in brand-new-Grovers!
And – just so all the Grovers know – I love serving as your pastor. God has decided to really let us walk through the fire with some stuff in the last 6 months – but we’ve only become refined (not burnt lol) and even more useful for God and His grand mission!
Here’s some random thoughts:
- Setting up Saturday night was a hoot. Good job by everyone there – being in the gym provided us with some new problems and people did a great job of taking initiative and making things work.
- We had to rent a stage – but someone built the backdrop and someone else built a great big cross and a couple people set up the projector screen and the banners. It looked really really good to me.
- One of the things I learned as a new senior pastor is that it is impossible to sleep on the night before Easter. No joke, I was so amped up I didn’t get to bed until 3am because I was so enamored with the message. I mean, how can the resurrection not get your heart beating and keep you up at night! Then, once I went to bed I laid awake for an hour! Brutal – but I’m more excited for Easter than even Christmas!
- This video got me a little worked up too!
- Sunday morning, me and the kids always pray for The Grove once we get into the car to do. Today LJ prayed that God would have 100 people come to church. It was great. Then God answered his prayer big time as almost 500 people joined together to worship Jesus!
- Even better than the presence of great people was the sense of God’s presence this morning. There was just something urgent I felt in the worship and while I was preaching too – I had high expectations on Jesus!
- The Grove had it’s first real live drama sketch today too. They did a great job – thanks to everyone involved – it added to the service in a unique way!
- The GroveKids staff did an excellent job of adjusting to the increase of kids and the new spots to do ministry. They did a great job of communicating with parents and creating an environment that was fun, safe and clean!
- The teaching this morning was on Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus went out of his way to restore and reinstate Peter the Apostle. John chapter 21 gives me so much hope in life, I was worked up to share it with the family.
- Quite possibly the neat-o moment came when people exited the gym and they were handed some salmon in a little cup. In the teaching I emphasized the smell of fish (you can listen at Albany Grove) and this made the whole hallway smell like fish. Mad props to Brad and Jill who set it all up on Saturday night. The best was when I heard someone in the hall complain to their friends that it stinks like fish and their friends said, yeah it’s just like when Peter was called by Jesus and she was like amazed. It was such a novel way to make the end of the service experiential and it worked!
Alright – time to sleep – I fell asleep playing wii with Khobi today – in the middle of the game, so I know I’m worn out!