Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Welcome Back

By far the most exciting thing in life is watching someone come to faith in Christ and be baptized. But a close second for me is watching someone re-connect with the church. Probably because we are in the heart of the Bible belt, many of the people we minister to in our community were raised in the church or at least were exposed to the good news of Jesus. But for whatever reason have checked out on His church.

I love to see them come back.

Example: Emrie and I had dinner last night with a new family that has recently started attending Antioch. The father had grown up in the church but was far from a memorable experience. After watching that same church split and demoralize his family he checked out on the church altogether. That was years ago. He is now married with a family and is being drawn to come back. Upon the invitation of a neighbor they visited Antioch two weeks ago and loved it. He sat across the table from me last night and with a huge smile on his face he said, "I'm actually excited about coming to church for the first time in a long time."

That my friends, is what it's all about! I'm of the mindset that Christ's church should be irresistible.

I don't know what God is doing at Antioch but I sense that people are excited about what God is doing in their life and they are drawn to a community of believers where God is worshiped and people are loved. I'm seeing lost people come back week after week. I'm seeing the de-churched get re-connected. I'm seeing long time Christians find another gear. I'm seeing God do some amazing things and I'm just honored to be a part of it.


Candie said...

WOW! I felt EXACTLY the same way after a few visits at Antioch. I was and still am so excited about coming to church and when I miss...I really FEEL like I missed something. I can't say that I'm just what God wants me to be 24/7 but I do try...and with the help of a church family like the one at Antioch...it makes me so excited about finding different and exciting ways to further God's Kingdom. I think we are all blessed to be a part of something so wonderful...God has blessed Antioch and continues to bless!

Jen said...

I LOVE the idea of making "Christ's church IRRESISTABLE!!"

ernieb said...

Just catching up with Chad and his blog. I am a life long member at AMCC. For the time being my job requires me to be away two weeks at a time and one of the things I miss the most is my church and church family. Being away has its ups and downs, but one of the neat things I enjoy when I am in, is seeing the excitment and joy in peoples eyes that being apart of God's family brings. One of my regrets is far to often, it is a face I don't recognize (this is a good thing). I should be at home on a regular bases in the near future and I hope to put faces with names.

Chad's Dad said...

As Chad's parents, and former members of Antioch, we are amazed, when we come back for a visit, at the number of new faces we see each visit. Like Ernie said, this is a good thing. During our most recent visit we witnessed 2 adult baptisms...Praise the Lord! We can see and feel the excitement when we visit. The Holy Spirit is alive and working at AMCC. May God continue to bless you.


Keith said...

As a member at Antioch for the past few years I have a confession to make.

I did not anticipate how happy it would make me when I see all the new faces. At first, it was a little disconcerting not knowing everyone. But as it continued, I began to love not knowing everyone and trying to get to know them. That meant our witnessing and outreaching was working and the Holy Spirit was working overtime in our communities.

I pray that we continue to have the problem of new faces in the crowd.

Also, as a teacher, the joy I feel when I see the face of a former student of mine in the pews is indescribable.

Sandi said...

When I attended Amy's celebration of life, I found Antioch to be one of the most rewarding experience in a church. My whole family, brothers, children, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, all found this church family very loving, full of the spirit, and a love for the Lord.

When I first became a Christian, the people that came up to me, who didn't even know me, meant so much to me; just to welcome me, and make me feel like I was someone special was totally foreign to me. I was so afraid of being judged, rather than be accepted.

This is great news to anyone being Christian, and foreign to those who are beginning to experience God's love and the Holy Spirit....Keep up the Spirit and Love for the new babes of Christ. The Holy Spirit is so real at your church.