Well it’s over! To me it’s official when we have that weekend service that follows the multiple Christmas Eve services & people are still saying “Merry Christmas.” You know you won’t here that for 11 months or so. Christmas Eve is a great memory, but I’m pretty sure the impact is going to reverberate for a long long time.
4 SERVICES – Wow, that was a lot. This year we added that Eve Eve service & I think opened up an opportunity for lots of people who are booked on the actual day or are leaving town. It was jammed. Actually all 4 were full, but there were a couple that were really packed.
I love meeting so many new people and so many people that Journey people bring. We have been praying diligently for something we have come to call “INVITE TEMP”. We’ve been praying that it would go up from it’s normal (which is pretty warm if I do say so myself) to a fever spike over this Kairos moment in which people are a little more open. God clearly answered! I’m so proud of all of you who are a part of Journey. You took risks & extended the invitation! THIS is the true spirit of Christmas!
I invited all the people in my life who are far from God – my surf buddies, my gym friends, my Starbucks regulars etc. The highlight was that a friend from the gym, whom I’ve invited at least the last 3 years, actually came. Someone spilled the beans right before the service & told him I was one of the pastors. He said, “MY GOD, what have I told him?” He loved the service. The music rocked him. For all of us, it is so important to have the “My church through the eyes of a visitor” experience every once in a while. It’s amazing what you will see.
EPIC MUSIC – our team was spectacular. They brought skill & they brought heart. It was so cool. The songs fit together & powerfully spoke our theme of HOPE. Since we don’t usually have a choir it’s really cool when we have one. They do so great & Chris O’Bryon does a great job of leading.
MESSAGE on Hope – it was clear that this was a Spirit-led word for us. The whole service had a sense of the presence of God. The video, the songs & the message told the gospel story really starting in Genesis & ending with the invitation of Jesus in Revelation.
IT TAKES A CREW TO RAISE A SERVICE – One of the images that is burned in my memory is the hundreds of people who gave so much energy & time to make this an awesome service. Our technical arts people really stepped up among so many others that you won’t see on the stage. I am hesitant to start listing teams for fear of leaving so many out, but here’s a couple of snap shots:
– On Wednesday night I was chatting with some visitors I saw our ushers literally working up sweat getting the worship center cleaned up for the next days services. Wow! (Thanks John)
– Coffee Cart people – some of them worked all 4 services when one of the team wasn’t able to be there. (Gina – you rock!)
– 1st Serves – lots & lots of people tried out new areas of serving. It was great to see how much fun they were having.
– People helping park cars in the cold – O.k. it wasn’t cold cold, but it got San Diego cold & a lot of you were out there for hours.
– Last one home is… appreciated. I took one last drive through the parking lot after the last service, I took one last run through the parking lot. Our facilities team was still there working away.
I love being a part of a church at this time of year. I love being a part of a church that is serious about reaching unchurched people.
You might want to read some of the blogs on Christmas Eve at Journey by some other Journey pastors – click on their names. Rod, Brian, Todd,