BRAGGING ON GOD AND NORTHRIDGE
Psalm 98:1a – “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.” This Psalm was part of my time in God’s Word this morning, and it motivated me to “blog for the Lord a new blog, for He has done marvelous things.” Corny, yes! But, come on. It is an acceptable and appropriate application of the principle. Right?
I want to brag on God and on the unbelievable people that make NorthRidge so amazing.
In a word, Easter this year at NorthRidge was REMARKABLE. We had over 23,000 attend. It’s hard to imagine that many people attending one church, and yet that’s how many people were at NorthRidge this past weekend. But, here’s the vital fact. It would have never happened if our people hadn’t reached out to invite so many people. Think about it. With a simple invitation, they introduced over 23,000 people to the love and hope of Jesus Christ. That’s unbelievable. And, as an answer to prayer, all of those people were wonderfully distributed between all nine services.
To date, we know of 188 first time decisions to follow Christ and 20 spiritual renewals. Of course, this only represents those who have already shared their decision with us. Imagine how many genuine spiritual decisions were made and how those decisions will change their lives, relationships, and families for generations to come. I like to call this the redemption ripple. Because of our people's willingness to invite others, the face of eternity was dramatically changed.
Of course, it’s always important to remember that each of these numbers represents a real person that Jesus loves and died for. As an example, I received the following note from one of those who made the decision to follow Christ.
“My praise is for such a powerful portrayal of Jesus. I’ve read and heard stories of Jesus, but until I saw “him” in your production, He was just a character in a story. He is now a person to me, and I am eager to know Him and experience His life. Thank you.”
Can you believe the power of those words? They make my heart melt. This is church as it ought to be. I think that Jesus’ words in Luke 15:7 puts this amazing weekend in perspective. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Think about it this way. NorthRidge sponsored a heavenly celebration this past weekend. It doesn’t get any better than that, and it couldn’t have happened without our people investing themselves in inviting and serving.
I can’t end this blog without giving a special thanks to those who volunteered over the weekend. To put it simply, they inspire me. Before, between, and after our 9 Easter services, I wandered around the NorthRidge campus both inside and out. Seeing so many serving so unselfishly made me emotional. Easter was so large that it seemed beyond reasonable to pull it off. And yet, because of the commitment of so many, we not only pulled it off but did so with both heart and excellence. Even as I write this, I am still in awe of their passion and commitment. Without them, it wouldn’t and couldn’t have happened. But, because of them, it did. Wow, did it.
I am so privileged to serve such a great God and to serve with such awesome people.
If you attended NorthRidge for Easter, I’d love to hear your thoughts or story. If you experienced Easter somewhere else that positively impacted you, I’d love to hear your story as well.