We just finished our annual summer retreat. Many members have told me that it was such a great experience. In fact, many things went really well. Some said the message spoke to them very strongly on a personal level, and others said group sharing was deep and meaningful. Personally, what impressed me was that all program ran so smoothly. Program team has really delegated the work well and it was very nice to see a good team work on display throughout the programs. For me, it was first time witnessing most of the programs started and ended on schedule. (This is miracle!) Moreover, on Sunday we came back to Church only 5 mintues off our expected arrival time. I really believe this is the result of many people praying for this retreat through fasting and faithfulness.
The greatest joy was that 5 VIPs came to the retreat and they all enjoyed the time. Not only they enjoyed the programs but it looked like they were really engaged during the service and prayer time. One VIP felt a “pleasantly” strange feeling during praise and sermon and one of our group leaders explained to her that it was presence of God.
However, what I’m most thankful is the fact that common response from all our VIPs was that our church is very welcoming and friendly. Normally, it is very difficult for outsiders to feel welcomed in regular church setting because church people can be very cliquey. I was very happy to hear this because this kind of culture is very hard to build in many churches but we are already making a big progress.
Unlike some Christians believe, It is not clever argument or logic that persuades non-Christians to follow Christ. It is “kindness” and “serving” that open up the heart for non-Christians to become open to the gospel and the idea of following Christ. Unless we “show” them how Jesus is like, they will be resistant to follow him.
So I would like to thank everyone who came and built such wonderful atmosphere not only for existing members but for our VIPS. Let’s continue to build the culture of welcoming new comers. Engaging with new comers sometimes make you feel like you are only serving them without filling your own needs. But remember, Jesus said our life is found in the process of “losing” it. When we lose it for the sake of him and his Kingdom, God will give it back and then some.