I hope you enjoyed our special 4th of July weekend at ABC! I’m still thanking God for an amazing weekend of worship as we celebrated our nation’s freedom, and most importantly, our spiritual freedom in Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for Derek Tackett, our facilities team, and all of our volunteers who worked hard to make Freedom over Austin an overwhelming success. And I’m proud of Carlos Jordan for putting in many hours behind the scenes to create the video testimony from Beach Week that we showed in worship. But I’m especially proud of those 5 individuals who chose to stand up and raise their flags for Jesus Christ through believer’s baptism during our services last Sunday. It has been encouraging to see our “Let There Be Light” sign continue to light up, as Christ continues to light up more lives that walk through our church doors.
One gentleman who came forward last Sunday to be baptized was attending for only his second week. He was invited by a friend in our church to worship with him two weeks ago, and God began to speak to his heart through our worship services. When I offered the invitation, he came forward immediately to be baptized. As encouraging as that was, I was even more encouraged by what he shared with me afterwards. He told me that he had already brought swim trunks with him to church that morning because God had put baptism on his heart. So when the invitation to be baptized was offered, it was simple confirmation from the Lord that He was at work and calling him to make this important decision.
Last week I was also honored to sit down with a gentleman and got to pray with him as he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. He has been attending our church for some time, and after many years of consideration, he chose to invite Jesus Christ into his life. He was led to this moment in part by watching his own daughter make that same decision at our Kids Camp this summer. It’s amazing how God so often speaks into our hearts through the witness of others who are around us. So may I remind you, your personal witness matters every single day. You CAN make a difference in the lives of those around you. Your intentionality to invite others to church matters, and it also can make an eternal difference in someone’s life. God is doing a great work in our church, and each of us have an opportunity to join Him in that effort.
Starting this Sunday, we will begin our final sprint to Vacation Bible School. As we saw last weekend, next generation ministry does matter because “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). God’s Word does stand forever, and He has promised to pass on His plan of salvation to the next generation. Because of that, I’m praying that many children will come to know Jesus as Lord at VBS. Vacation Bible School is such an important event in the life of our church because it reaches so many families in our community who are unchurched. I’m praying that God will draw many young children to Himself, but then He will use their testimonies to draw their parents to Himself too. I’ve found it to be true so often in church that when you reach the kids, you then have a good chance to reach the parents.
I encourage you to help us extend this invitation out to your community this week. As you walk into our church this Sunday, you will see displays in our common areas with new ABC invite cards. Grab a couple cards and put them in your wallet or purse. As God crosses your path with folks in your own sphere of influence, look for opportunities to invite them into the life of our church. For some, perhaps VBS will be the best opportunity to draw them into our church for the first time. But don’t forget that every Sunday serves as a great opportunity to invite someone into our fellowship. So who can you extend the light to this week? As we saw last Sunday, one simple invite truly can change a life.
Have a great week, and I’ll look forward to worshipping with you Sunday.
Onward and upward,