Last night, we made a witness to our community with our Freedom Celebration. Perhaps 1,500 to 2,000 people joined us for children’s games, face painting, bounce houses, free hot dogs, BINGO, visiting and fellowship, prayer, worship music, and FIREWORKS (which were spectacular!).
Volunteer servants from our congregation provided amazing hospitality as the hands and feet of Christ. We had tables receiving prayer requests, providing information about our youth ministry, about our upcoming Vacation Bible School, about the Great Banquet and about the Isaiah 117 house.
Without communicating beforehand, our Executive Pastor, Ryan, and I both showed up with patriotic hats! It was a great evening of fun and celebration.
We prayed for our nation. We lifted up our gratitude for freedom in the USA to worship without persecution, and for our greater freedom in Christ. We invited anyone without a church home to make Gathering Point Church their home. And did I mention the fireworks display was spectacular? (Thanks, Keith Love and your crew!)
Our intention at Gathering Point Church (our new name, beginning July 1) is to gather to Go Witness. Our intention is to get outside the walls of the church and show Jesus to the world. We take Christ with us to our homes, our schools, our workplaces and our community as we live lives that honor Him, pray with others who need what only God can give, align our lives with the truth of the Scriptures and follow Jesus’ greatest commandments: to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
In addition to the Freedom Celebration, we will offer our community’s children Jerusalem Marketplace VBS on July 5-8 (6:00 to 8:30 pm each evening). We have two teams making international short-term mission trips in July – to Impact Ministries in Guatemala and to Ghana, West Africa. This fall we will restart a mentoring program in our local Dayton Elementary School, with adults spending an hour a week, one-on-one with a child who simply needs affirmation and encouragement from a caring adult.
Jesus is just too good to keep to ourselves! His love is unconditional. His sacrifice on the Cross is the sufficient payment for all our sins. His Presence transforms. Growing to become more and more Christlike sanctifies our lives. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly and witness boldly. Our vision is that we and others Know Christ, Grow Faith & Go Witness.
Some Christian leaders have become uncomfortable with any signs of patriotism, pitting nationalism against the Kingdom of God. While I understand that some folks have more faith in patriotism and politics than they do in Jesus, I also understand that I am rightly a citizen of two kingdoms – the nation where I live my life, and the greater Kingdom of God that transcends all nations and peoples. Under the greater loyalty of my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I also celebrate the things that are right and good about America. I do not believe patriotism and faith are either/or opposites. I choose to celebrate both/and – with King Jesus as my highest loyalty.
To all who joined us last evening for our Freedom Celebration: I hope you had a great time. I thank God for you, and we at Gathering Point Church wish blessing from God for you and your family. I invite you to join us in seeking to Know Christ, Grow Faith and Go Witness.