–>How do you boil the launch of a church down to one thing that is most important?
I thought about what to tell you the most important thing was this weekend. Candidates for the one thing included: that I could preach a crazily good message. That the music would kick. That we would be authentic and real, and everyone would feel they could be themselves. That the service would flow smoothly from a technical perspective. That we got the "churchiness" out of our system so that people could walk in and have a fresh encounter with God and each other (I like that one). That we treat people as they want to be treated: respecting anonymity among those who join us and want to be anonymous, and yet also reach out with an open heart to those who are ready to be greeted and welcomes.
More candidates: that the friends we invited would actually come. That the kids love it so much they drag their parents back next week, and the parents love it so much they drag their kids back.
But none of these really are the most important thing. As much as I hope all of the stuff above happens, and we’ll be doing all we can to ensure it does, I think the most important thing is this: for us to pray for God to move in everyone’s heart. That’s it.
See, we can create amazing environments, but if God doesn’t move — they’re not worth the wood, fabric, paper and sweat they’re made of. The music can rock and the preacher can be engaging, entertaining and eloquent, but if God doesn’t move, you might as well just bring an iPod and read the phone book.
When God moves in people’s hearts, history gets made. Cynics become freed. Sadness gets trumped by hope. Environments become irresistible because God is there.
When God moves in people’s hearts — everyone’s heart (yours and mine too) — movements are born. People change. Communities change. Nations change.
So pray. Pray that God would move. That’s it. Because from that, every other good thing (and there are so many great things) gains its meaning and purpose.