Last Sunday at Whitewater it was more about the SON than the sun! While the world was watching the heavens, the heavens were watching us.
In case you haven’t heard, we had a total of 134 last Sunday who went All-In with their faith in baptism. Every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story matters to God. I can’t wait to share some of these powerful stories in the coming days. It was one of those ‘God days’ we will remember forever; a great reminder that in spite of all the geo-political chatter and angst that we see going on in our country right now, there is something holy and happy going on here.
I received numerous emails about the day. Here is one from Gabbi that captures the spirit of all 134 who went All-In.
My name is Gabbi Gehner, and I was the first girl you baptized at the 9:30 All-In service! I wanted to thank you so much for baptizing me today, and for giving many other people the chance to make the next step in their faith journey. Over the past few months I have grown a lot in my relationship with God, and was thinking about baptism. I was nervous, and was not sure if I was ready or not. I had been praying for a while about being more bold in my faith, and putting my full trust in God. Then last Sunday you mentioned the All-In service and I knew then that God was telling me to take the next step in my faith journey. When I got home that Sunday it was on my mind and heart all day, and I decided to make the decision to go All-In! I think it is so awesome that you do this kind of church service, and I will never forget today. My life has changed so much the past few months as I have come to fully understand how much God truly does love us, and that if I put my full trust in Him, He will show me the way. That has had such a big impact on my life, and I hope that I can be God’s light to others that may or may not know Him so that one day they can go All-In. Again, thank you so much! I am so excited to say that I have now been baptized! You do such a great job preaching, and I really appreciate all that you do for the church. Have a wonderful day!
We don’t want to lose a single one of our precious All-In brothers and sisters. Let’s welcome these folks into our small groups and our serving teams.Now our challenge as a church family is to surround, love, pray for, and protect every single one of those who went All-In. Our staff are intentionally following up, but please jump in to help if it was your friend or family member who went All-In. We know that a lot of us have challenges at home as we enter our new walk of faith. I heard about a little boy named Johnny. After the baptism of his older brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him what was wrong. The boy replied, “That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys.”
For those who went All-In: Way to go! We are so proud of you and your step of faith! Watch for additional info this week for your next step. For any of you who still need to go All-In – maybe you weren’t here or you watched those 134 go All-In and didn’t come (even though you wanted to) – I will be lingering near the baptistry this Sunday after each service in case you want to come. I’ll be watching and waiting for you! Come on. All-In may not be All-Over!
We had 13 children who went All-In last Sunday. There is a special Harbortown Kids All-In class this coming Sunday (August 27) at 11:15am in room 416 for anyone who wants more All-In info for kids. Anita Ridener is also doing a Student All-In class at 9:30am and all are welcome.
By now you should have received a letter from me about the next step in our church mission to provide help and hope in Jesus – Ripple. Ripple will transform mortgage payments into ministry dollars that will make waves locally, regionally, and globally to solve the seven largest problems of our world. We believe the best strategy to do this is to totally eliminate our mortgage debt in 3-5 years. The sooner we eliminate the debt, the sooner we can translate debt into difference making. There is a role for every member to play with Ripple – so if someone from the Ripple Campaign team calls and asks for your help, please say ‘yes!’
We have had an awesome amount of people who recently signed up for recurring giving. Way to go – you’re our heroes! You make it possible for All-In days to happen and people to get to heaven. Remember – taking an offering isn’t a strategy designed by the church, it’s God’s strategy! I recently talked about money and giving on our REV radio show. Catch it any Sunday night at 7pm on Eagle Country.
Last thing – many have asked, and I am pleased to report that after weeks of working with insurance and sign companies, we are ready to install a brand new electronic sign in front of our building. Watch for that soon! Can’t wait to communicate how great Jesus is and the difference He makes when we go All-In!
See you Sunday. I’m still fired up!