Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Extra God-Power

I am convinced the Lord makes extra God-power available on Easter!

This Easter weekend was awesome!

Coastal hosted 1,122 people in Easter services (5 Venues, 2 Campuses, 2 Internet Services)
We launched a new Saturday Night Venue that hosted 149!
We baptized family of five in the ocean. The 18 year old daughter said she was so cold she almost threw up!

One mom emailed me that her 11 year old daughter and a friend went out to 34 homes in their neighborhood to pass out the granola bars and invitations to Coastal as part of our “10,000 Touches For Christ” Challenge. Only 4 were interested and accepted the invitation. The next day they went out to do it again anyway.

When we took our annual Easter survey:
27 said they were “Believing Today”
17 said they were “Considering Making a Decision for Christ”
1 said he “Didn’t Ever Plan to Make this Decision”

Thanks for all your prayers, invites and service to help make this possible! Let’s pray for our “B’s” “C’s” and the one “D”.

I am convinced the Lord makes extra God-power available on Easter!

Pastor Hank

Friday, March 26, 2010

A note from a friend

A friend emailed me the following note recently, and I thought it was worth printing here:

“It’s terrible to say, but I forget to share my faith. I go to work. I get busy and the day slips away. I come home, take care of the kids and another day has passed without me sharing the gospel with my unsaved coworkers.

The New Testament is painfully clear. “Let your light shine in such a way. . . .” “Be ready to make a defense.” “Do not be ashamed of the gospel.” “And you shall be my witnesses. . . .”

And I also know the gospel message. All of us have sinned. The wages of sin is death. But the Lord caused the iniquities of us all to fall on Him. Salvation is a free gift. We just have to repent and ask.

It’s not that I don’t know I should share the gospel. And it’s not that I don’t know how to explain the gospel. I just don’t do it.

I did invite someone to church a few weeks ago. And they said yes! But something came up at the last minute and they couldn’t make it. Of course, I haven’t called back.

At the first of every year, I always make a list of New Year’s resolutions—or goals for the year. I have found that when I have a big goal, breaking it up into smaller, attainable steps usually helps.

So this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to add to my list of goals this year, four goals. First, I am going to pray for several of my coworkers and for the courage to approach them. Second, I am going to strike up a conversation about spiritual things with someone at work. Third, I am going to invite them to go to church with me. Fourth, I am going to share the gospel with them—either at lunch after church or at a lunch during the following week.

I love to check things off my list of goals. And I think these four steps are doable for me. Most importantly, it will keep me from forgetting to do it. It will help keep the idea of sharing my faith at the forefront of my mind. Hopefully, I can add a fifth goal: Repeat steps 1-4.”

Thanks for your honesty and good advice “Ed” (not his real name… or maybe it is!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Be Contagious!

“Then Peter preached a long sermon, telling about Jesus and strongly urging all his listeners to save themselves from the evils of their nation. And those who believed Peter were baptized--about three thousand in all! They joined with the other believers in regular attendance at the apostles' teaching sessions and at the Communion services and prayer meetings… The whole city was favorable to them, and each day God added to them all who were being saved.” Acts 2:40-47 (Living)

This may be my favorite scripture! Not just because Peter preached a LONG sermon (which is obviously more effective because of its length), but because it chronicles how contagious the Christian Movement was back then. The last line says “the whole city was favorable to them” and “each day God added to them all who were being saved.”

This group was attracting people to Christ. Their brand of Christianity was CONTAGIOUS! I can’t tell you how much I long to see that kind of movement in our day. That’s why I’m making this challenge:

“10,000 Touches for Christ” by Easter!

Between now and Easter (April 4th), I’m challenging every person who calls Coastal their church to be on alert for opportunities to touch friends, family and co-workers for Christ. Breaking the 10,000 mark is our goal, but every prayer that’s offered, every kindness shown in Jesus’ name, every invitation to Coastal given, will point people towards the Lord!
  • Some will help pass out Light Bulbs Saturday, March 6th, in the Glenwood area
  • Some will give out “invite cards” for our Post-Easter series: “40 Days of Family”
  • Others will work with our “Neighborhood Project” – volunteers to partner with the City of Virginia Beach to help build a house in our community for the Boatwright family
  • But all of us will be looking for daily chances to express Jesus’ love to those around us.