Hi everyone. Dub Everitt here hijacking Steve’s blog again …
Wow!! What a Launch we enjoyed on Sunday!! It was an absolutely brilliant Sunday morning with hundreds at the 9am meeting and even more at the 11am meeting.
Our band led worship brilliantly, Mike’s Welcome Story stirred emotions across the room and Steve’s talk on the Prodigal Son, encapsulated by the video of Derek Redmond being supported around the track by his Dad, powerfully revealed the incredible heart of God to rush towards us.
And what amazing words we heard from our Architect Paul Ginever, who has been hugely impacted by working with Welcome Church on this project, as well as our Mayor Beryl Hunwicks and our MP Jonathan Lord speaking brilliantly on the impact Welcome Church is making. And then a presentation from Compassion topped it off so well, showing the impact we’re making on mothers and babies in Togo as well.
Oh, did I nearly forget … we were joined by hundreds and hundreds of guests across the morning in the adults meeting, as well as Kids Work and Creche also buzzing with guest kids having a great morning.
The numbers …
At HG Wells recently we have tended to have roughly 560 to 600 people per week on a Sunday across both meetings, including kids and creche.
Our Launch Sunday saw 1,256 people filling the new building, more than doubling our usual numbers!!! And across the board, all of our guests LOVED IT!!!
The question now is this: we’ve launched (BRILLIANTLY!) so what now?
That Launch Sunday has come, and the Launch Sunday has now gone. We’ve done all we can to invite and bring guests. Hundreds came, hundreds went away upbeat and impacted.
And three days later, our big Launch moment is now in the past. So, what next for us individually and as a church? Back to “business as usual”, whatever that may mean to us?
I believe that what we’ve seen is something God wants to inspire us with. We CAN bring guests to church. They WILL love it. God WILL impact them. This can happen EVERY WEEK. Remember, this is about God changing people’s lives.
We’ve had a taste of what being an inviting church feels like, and the impact it has on those we bring. And God has a big encouragement for us:
“Do it again!”
So, as we look back on our Launch, and also look forward to “Welcome Stories week 2” this coming Sunday and the rest of this 6-week series, there are two encouragements I have for ALL OF US…
1. If you brought guests last Sunday, invite them again this Sunday!
This is an invite we can all make with confidence. We know they’re positive, and they now know what to expect.
But the reality is, only the boldest of our friends will contact us to say, “Please can I come next week?” Many, however, if they were re-invited, may well say “Yes!” So let’s re-invite them. And if they can’t make it this Sunday, see if the following Sunday works.
This doesn’t mean being pushy. But it does mean recognising it will take another invite for our friends to come, so it’s up to us to make the invite.
2. If you didn’t bring guests last Sunday, the invite door hasn’t closed until our next Building Launch in another 40 years!!!
You may’ve invited people to the Launch and they couldn’t make it. Me and Tanya had 5 families who couldn’t come last Sunday but said, “We’d like to come another time.” We now need to follow up to say, “The Launch was amazing, a shame you couldn’t make it. What Sunday suits you? How about next Sunday?”
You may’ve not got round to inviting, or didn’t feel brave enough to invite. Well, after witnessing how brilliant Sunday was, and experiencing the incredible buzz of hundreds of new people thinking, “Wow! I wasn’t expecting church to be like that!” – I know you’ve now gained the confidence to think, “I can invite, because it’s brilliant!”
A second wave
Our Launch Sunday was a new ‘high water mark’ for us. In our Prayer Meeting on Tuesday morning, Tony Lynch brought a prophetic word about a 2nd wave, specifically of those who DIDN’T come to the Launch, but who we can invite again over the coming weeks and who will say yes!
I believe this is a word from God to nudge us and build our faith to go again.
You and I now know: if my friends come, they’ll really enjoy it. And God will impact them. So let’s make those invites.
God is at work
He’s working through you and me to reach out to our friends, and as they come to church with us over these Sundays He’s at work through His church as well.
I felt God remind me recently that a key role He has for us is to be door-openers – for us to open the door to introduce people to Jesus. From there, Jesus will do what He does – save and transform people! And that’s something we are all called to be a part of: leading people to Jesus, seeing lives changed, seeing Jesus get the glory.
Our invitations to church over these coming Sunday’s are us looking to open that door. So let me encourage you: let’s all make those return invites and those first-time invites, let’s pray and let’s see what God does!