Several years ago in a previous life, I led our congregation in Michigan through a 40 Days of Purpose campaign that I hoped would reconfigure the DNA of our church. It's effectiveness in doing that is best saved for another discussion, but, I will never forget the first Sunday of the 40 days. I was going to be introducing the concepts, talking about what was going to happen in the following six weeks. It was a big Sunday - we were launching small groups for the first time in the history of our 150 year old church. We had set up round tables and each group was going to sit together during the service, bonding and connecting and getting it all started right.
And then the power went out. Sunday morning, about 8 am, and we had no power. Do we cancel church? We can't postpone the kickoff of the 40 days. We went ahead with it in darkness, taking it as confirmation that we were on to something and that maybe we were facing some opposition. And ... some very big things happened during those 40 days.
So today, in this lifetime, at Vintage, we began Life Together, a 40 days of purpose spiritual growth campaign that we are using to launch our much-clamored-for small groups. It was a big day, with a large band with loud, upbeat music. Aaron and I were tag-team preaching, something that usually brings an extra energy to the day.
And then the theater manager didn't show up. It was bound to happen. The poor guy just slept in. But why did it have to be on this day of all days? So, we decided to move to the mall food court to have a short time of simply laying out the vision. But the mall (shocker, here) kicked us out. So, we decided to wait for everyone to get there and then go across the street to a pavillion at Lake Fayetteville park. And while we were waiting, the theater manager showed up - at 10:15, the moment the service was supposed to start.
We headed back in with no lights, no mics, no band, no sound board. We sang some songs. We prayed. We considered Colossians 1.9-14. And we started to live life together in a way none of us expected.
I am exhausted tonight, but I am also hopeful that some very big things are about to happen.