Connecting Point – March 21, 2024

Our Pastors and I have many wonderful stories and memories from past Easter weekends. We have stories about our People serving in incredible ways. We have stories of our People bringing lots of Friends and Family members with them to our Easter services. We have stories of meaningful moments during our Worship sets, when People apparently sensed the presence of the Lord in powerful ways. We have funny stories - stories of crazy things that happened during our Easter services. And we have stories of People making decisions for the Lord that impacted their family members in emotional, meaningful ways.

One of my best stories from a past Easter is that of a little 4-5-year-old boy who wanted to talk with me after one of our Easter services several years ago. He was visiting our Church with his mom and was in our Adult service rather than being in Kidztown. After the service, the mother brought him to see me. I could see that he was visibly upset because he was wiping tears from his eyes. The mother told me, "He wants to say something to you." The little boy then said through tears, "I don't want my Daddy to die without Jesus." The mother then briefly shared that the boy's father had some challenging issues in his life that had caused him to make bad decisions in his life. I quickly shared with the little boy that we didn't want his Daddy to die without Jesus either and then knelt beside him to pray with him for his Daddy. I prayed that the Lord would touch his Father's heart and transform his life in the coming days. Afterward, the boy seemed somewhat comforted.

I've thought about that encounter with that little boy several times over the years. I've thought about how when people don't know the Lord, that lack of Jesus' presence and power in their lives affects not only them but those around them. I've thought about how we all need to have the kind of burden for our loved ones that that little boy had for his father. And I've thought about how many Christians that I've met over the years who have shared with me that they came to faith in Jesus because someone close to them was really burdened for them and praying for them. And that encounter reminds me that the Lord still hears and responds to the prayers that come from passionate hearts - especially the hearts of little boys and girls. In the coming days, I pray that I and all of the people of Celebration Church will have a similar burden to the one that little boy had, for the people that we have around us in our lives.

INVITE A LOVED ONE TO EASTER

If you have a burden or concern for the people you know, pray for them as I prayed with the little boy - and then invite them to our Easter services. A personal invitation to an Easter service at Celebration may include something like this: "I really want you to come with me to an Easter Service at Celebration Church. I receive so much hope and help in my life when I attend, and I think attending will also encourage you. And after the service, we can go to lunch together, or set up a time to get together. And by the way, I wouldn't invite you to something I didn't think would be meaningful to you. So, are you willing to come with me?"

As I said last week, having that brief conversation with someone is risky, But the possibilities could be life-changing. So take some risks this Easter and go out of your way to personally invite some friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors to come to a Celebration Easter service with you. If the person or people you invite experience the healing, delivering, or transforming power of Jesus in some way in their lives, they will spend eternity thanking you for loving them enough to take the risk to personally invite them to come with you.

Here is our Church's schedule for Easter week and Easter weekend, which will help you as you encourage friends and family members to come with you to our Easter services:

  • All of our Campuses will have a special Good Friday service. At this service, we will reflect on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and what that means for us in our day. We will also participate in Communion in this service.
  • Some Campuses will have an Easter Saturday service. This service will benefit people who will be working or attending family events on Easter Sunday. And those Campuses will also have some sort of fun activity for children after the service.
  • All of our Celebration Campuses will have multiple Easter Sunday morning services. At these services, we will be singing great songs and learning from God's Word about the hope we have today because Jesus rose from the grave. We will also begin a new sermon series titled, MAKE LIFE COUNT.

Knowing when these services will take place will help you as you invite friends and family members to come with you to our Easter services. By the way, our Pastors and I are asking all Celebration Members to consider attending an earlier Easter Sunday morning service so there will be plenty of seats and parking for the later services.

Most of all, be praying for our Staff, Leaders, and Ministry Volunteers as we prepare for our Easter services. And be praying for our Easter services to be filled with God's presence as well as lots of people because we know that when the Lord "shows up," He "shows out," transforming people's lives, circumstances, and relationships with His power.

Pastor Dennis

Gratefully yours,

Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
dennis.watson.96

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