Sep 17, 2008

Ten Years Ago

There is a sign that hangs in my daughters bedroom that simply says, “Dream Big, Dream Often!”

I believe if the church could wrap its mind around that concept that we would see God continue to do Ephesians 3:20 things right before our very eyes!

For example…

Ten years ago a significant event took place in my life that forever changed the way I viewed God…and eventually His church.

A student on the campus of Anderson College (now Anderson University) came to me and asked me if I would be willing to lead a Bible study in my apartment on Wednesday nights for students.  (I was serving as a dorm supervisor and lived on campus.)

I agreed to do it…but told him that the ONLY time I could commit to was 11pm!  I was serving a local church at the time and the earliest I could get back and get settled in was 11.

He said he thought that was a good idea; however, others called me crazy.  I was told that college students would NEVER come to a Bible study at 11pm because they were sleeping!!!  (Isn’t it funny how the “experts” usually don’t know jack!!!)  I knew they would because, well, I actually lived among them…I knew they slept during the day!!!

So…in the fall of 1998 I had my first Bible study which had eight students there.  AND…I LOVED IT!  It was an absolute blast!!!  Everyone seemed to have a good time & I challenged them to invite people back the next week.

THEY DID!  The next week we had 22 people in my living room (which comfortably held seven!!!)  We were squeezed in and met for about an hour.  We decided to move it the next week because we thought that more people might show up.

Guess what…THEY DID!  We had 45 people…the next week 65…within a few weeks we were at 150…and my mind was BLOWN!

Folks…when I say it was a Bible study—I mean it was a Bible study!  No music, no announcements…it was simply, “I am glad you are here…open your Bible and let’s get started.”

I had no idea what God was doing…but through that group of crazy college students who were willing to come out at 11 on a Wednesday night God began to show me that people were HUNGRY…and that people who were willing to dream big and try new things could make an impact.

This past Sunday we went over 10,000 people here at NewSpring…the first time in our history that has happened on a “normal” weekend.

I had NO IDEA back in 1998 that God was going to allow me to be a part of something like this.  All I knew was that people needed Jesus, the Bible is true…and that by pointing people to Jesus through His Word a difference could be made.

Ephesians 3:20 is REAL!  We serve a God who is able to do SO MUCH MORE than all we could ever ask or imagine.

I recently shared with our staff that it is our goal as a church to see over 100,000 people come to Christ in the next 15-20 years.  How is that going to happen?  I don’t know…but I didn’t know 10 years ago that where we are today as a church was even possible!!!

With God the possibilities are endless!  So…dream big, dream often, take risks, work hard, pray like crazy, don’t fall victim to the “experts,” and…give God the glory for it all!

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