Sunday, April 12, 2009

Today was a very good day



I know many have been praying for our launch, so I wanted to begin by expressing how very grateful we are for your prayers. When we got into our "prayer huddle" this morning, we prayed specifically for Jason's church and I silently prayed for so many of my amazing friends that I have met through this medium.

Launching on Easter Sunday was an almost overwhelmingly emotional experience for me. It was probably good timing. It really drove home why we're doing what we're doing in the first place.

Here's an interesting statistic that Jeff sited several weeks ago: Eighty-two percent of people that get a personal invitation to visit a church from a friend, neighbor or co-worker will respond positively to that invitation. I mentioned in an earlier post that C3 has decided not to pursue advertising right now. We're not against advertising, we just feel that the money put towards getting our name out would be better spent in outreach and missions. The best, most effective advertising (for us, anyway) is someone who is genuinely excited about how God is moving in the life of our church; someone who cares enough about a friend, neighbor or co-worker to want to share that experience with them.

Did our launch day exceed our expectations? That's an impossible question to answer because we had absolutely no idea what to expect. But I will share a personal example of inviting a friend to church.

Before Ron and I were married, he introduced me to a couple that were his closest friends, who quickly became my closest friends as well. We did everything with them. It was rare that a week passed without getting together with them for dinner or just to hang out. This relationship continued after we were married. After the birth of our first child, we found a church home and became very involved in several ministries there. It was a wonderful experience that I don't regret, but because there were so many meetings and events centered around the church, we never seemed to have a free weekend to spend with our dear friends. We were so involved in ministry that we neglected to minister to our friends.

Our friends were at our first Sunday today, along with their daughter and one of her friends. We're getting together with them in a couple of weeks. I don't know if they will become members of our church, but I do know how much it meant to Ron and me that they were there on such a special day, and I want to honor their friendship by making time to share our lives with them.

Last Sunday, one of our core members invited a little girl from her neighborhood to church. She was so excited about being in church. She was asking, "Do you guys meet every week? Do you meet in the summertime?" If that wasn't blessing enough, this week she showed up with her mom and seven other kids ranging in age from 4 to 14. We had an Easter egg hunt right after church today. It was pouring down raining outside, so we held it in the school cafeteria. (Having a core group member that happens to be the principal of the school you're meeting in definitely has it advantages!) Anyway, I was looking at the group picture of all the kids with their bags full of eggs, and it occurred to me that a) 5 of our kids were missing (divorced parents - not their weekend) and b) of the 14 kids in that picture, only 5 of them belonged to members of the church. That was such a cool "ah-ha" moment for me.

We had several visitors today. I don't know if they will be back. What I do know is that every single visitor we had was there because someone extended a personal invitation. We're certainly not going to make any of the megachurches in the area nervous anytime soon, but that's okay with us. It was a very good day.

I was thinking about my blogger pal Koffijah's post, The Jesus Program this morning. Check it out. It's really good. And if you're reading this Koffijah, you're still off my Christmas card list.

Thanks again for all your prayers, I felt so connected to the Church (big "C") this morning.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a Deadliest Catch marathon calling my name. Incidentally, if you happen to have my phone number, don't even think about calling me on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. central time. It's the season premiere, and Ron and I are gonna be all up in that!

16 comments:

JML said...

I'm glad that you had a good service today! I don't know jack about your plant, but I feel that with people like you there, it should grow. Obviously God is the primary reason to go, but the community that develops around a church is important as well, and frankly, you guys are going to invite (just like your statistic said) so many of those who are going to show up. Anyways, be blessed and have fun in your rain. it was 65 here today, which was nice because the weather was butt all week.

Wendy said...

How cool is that? Yup, it's awesome! And how neat to have that little girl so excited! Congrats on getting your church's doors open!

By the way, can I send my husband over to your house to watch Deadliest Catch? He's driving my daughter and me crazy with it around here...

sherri said...

So happy it went well for all of you and extra special that your old friends came along.

Causes my mind to think of the early church:

"Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts2:47

BeckeyZ said...

Honestly girl...the more of your posts I read, the more I really like you.

My husband (Ronnie) and I L♥VE "the Deadliest Catch" as well. When we first got our high-def tv, I liked to have a big glass of water while we watched and I'd flick water on him (just to make it feel more REAL)LOL! I don't think he appreciated it much.

Thanks for being your awesome self!

Billy Coffey said...

So happy to hear this. You and C3 have been in my prayers, and you'll continue to be.

And Deadliest Catch? Best. Show. Ever.

texasshawn said...

I'm so glad it went well! Keep feeding those sheep, and you'll do just fine.

Helen said...

I am glad that everything went well. Happy Easter.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Your service today was on my heart and in my prayers as I drifted off last night. I thought of you again today at dinner when my daughter (yes, THAT one!) was talking about her church where we attended, how it started 15 years ago with 13 people and the pastor from rural Iowa. This weekend, over 5,000 people attended the services. God was working overtime, and I know He will bless your church as well. He is so recklessly invitational, isn't He?

Nick the Geek said...

If Houston is anything like where we live you should never make another church nervous. We could fill every church in our area to capacity and still not reach the entire community.

There are enough lost out there that we should all be working together instead of worrying about our little piece of the pie.

Anyways, thanks for the update. I was hoping for some good news.

Beth said...

I'm telling ya...we far underestimate the impact a church can make in a child's life. That's exciting about all the kids!!!

And as I said after our first service, "Well, that's one service down, and infinity to go!" I don't think my pastor saw the humor in it, but I thought it was hilarious.

jasonS said...

I actually got to read this last night, but I was so exhausted yesterday I'm just getting a chance to respond! God is good- thank you for the prayers and we were praying for you as well and are excited to see how this all impacts your city and ours.

That was my prayer yesterday- that the big and little things that had been done and worked for would create an eternal impact. That's what it's all about! Blessings to you again and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and prayers so much.

Koffijah said...

Glad you had a great Easter. I pray God blesses all you do for him.

I like Nick the Geek's comment--even if we fill every church to capacity on Sunday it is still a very small percentage of the total population. So, there's lots for you guys to do.

About the Christmas card deal... You know what? NO ONE sends me Christmas cards. Not real people anyway. Seriously--the only Christmas cards I get are from organizations where it is obvious that the card was generated from a clientel list of people they send automated cards to. So, you're not really punishing me.

If you did send me a card, I would probably just fold it up for a roasted fruit bat wrap when we're out of buffalo instestine tortillas.

Marni said...

Okay Kat, now you're just freaking me out. My hubs and are ALL OVER Deadliest Catch. The resurrected Jesus celebration and the DC marathon made for one sweet weekend for us. We are bummed the premier is on Tuesday because Tuesday is when we watch Biggest Loser. Now we'll have to TiVO one and watch the other live. We can't decide. So all of you not calling Kat, don't call me either. I'll be in TV nirvana that night ;)

I thought and prayed about your launch all weekend. I'm glad God gave you the joy and the a-ha moments that He did. That's just awesome!!

Marni said...

Oh yeah, and don't worry about making other churches nervous. Just be so impactful, you make stan nervous...

Stacey said...

That's great, Katdish! So glad you had a great launch service and Easter Sunday. Did I ever tell you that Huck and I were at the launch of our current church 7 years ago -- in a school cafeteria? Although we had nothing to do with the planting of the church itself, we consider ourselves "charter members." We both have a great appreciation for those who take on such challenges. I've always felt that churches like ours have a certain appeal for those who maybe don't feel like they fit in at more traditional churches.

I pray that God will continue to bless and use this ministry! Maybe one day Huck and I will pop in for a visit. I'll mention it to him -- he'll be all up in that!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

That sounds like it was a very good day. Our family too had a great day Easter Sunday, though it was just the three of us in our home. So many time people view the number of visitors, or members, or whatnot as to how successfull and 'popular' they are, when really all we should be doing is reaching out to the lost.

Sometimes in fact, some people are drawn to the smaller, more intimate groups rather than ones that are huge and mega churches because they don't feel the intimacy and connection that they might bond with at a smaller church setting.

I think that's great that you viewed it as a good day regardless of if 3 people showed up or 150. God is in control of it all and plants his seeds accordingly.

Deadliest Catch? I was hooked on for a season...(I think I've viewed to many of their shows) but now it's 'House' I'm addicted too. Who knows what it will be next....