We are only 8 weeks into 2014 and still 8 weeks away from Easter and already we have seen 43 people receive Christ at CCA in our Sunday services. It’s beyond amazing and we are blown away by God’s faithfulness and all that He is doing in our church.
I recently had a conversation with another Pastor who asked a really good question. “How are so many people coming to Christ at CCA every week?”
After my honest and initial response of “I’m not sure” he continued to press. What he really wanted to know was this, “Are there certain contributing factors that set the environment for God to do His work in people’s lives?”
The answer is “Yes” and here’s my simple stab at describing those environments.
1. We’ve determined to be faithful with Jesus whether people come to him every week or not.
I think it starts right here. We are in a season of harvest right now and we know it. It doesn’t always happen like this. Generally, there are long, difficult seasons of planting and plowing before harvest ever happens.
Trust me, we have done our share and are ready to do more.
We are excited and thankful for this season but we determined a long time ago that we will remain faithful with the gospel even when we aren’t seeing lots of fruit.
2. We teach our church to prepare for the lost
We have invested enormous amounts of energy helping our people understand that if we pray, invite and create relationally intentional environments for those who do not know Christ, that THEY WILL COME…and they do.
When they do, we must be ready. The people of CCA understand that every first time guest we meet is A MIRACLE DISGUISED AS A NEED. We treat them that way and the walls start coming down.
3. We preach like they are there
I used to be so religious. Please know that I’ve dropped my rocks a long time ago, so I’m not judging any other church or group of people, this is only my personal observation. I was raised in a denomination that produced awesome preachers. The problem was, much of that preaching was designed to engage and ignite other preachers and people already familiar with deep theological understanding.
People who were really lost, unchurched and broken found very little to be excited about and had difficulty grasping what the true message was.
Some people from my past think I’m not as good of a preacher as I used to be, but God has changed my heart and approach and because of it, I’ve seen four times as many souls come to Christ.
It’s a no brainer trade for me.
4. We ALWAYS give people an opportunity to meet Jesus
I don’t care what happens, we give them a chance.
Three weeks ago we had vision Sunday where I spent 50 minutes detailing our plans to launch a second campus in the heart of Gainesville. It was a strategic unveiling with lots of details. I think I quoted 2 verses of scripture in all 50 minutes.
I still gave an opportunity and 10 people ran to Jesus.
I couldn’t help but laugh. It was almost like God said “Yeah, I love you but I don’t need you…just get out of the way and watch me work.”
People will never come to a savior they don’t know is ready to receive them.
5. We completely depend on the Holy Spirit
Ultimately, it’s never been powerful preaching, amazing music, talented musicians or an over the top stage presentation that has ever drawn a broken soul or convicted a stone cold heart. That work is reserved and produced by the Holy Spirit. He and He alone convicts and reveals a hopeless hearts need for Jesus.
I have no idea what will happen the rest of this year or even this next Sunday for that matter but what I do know is this. Christ will be preached, love will be shared and opportunities will be given….the rest is up to the Holy Spirit.