I received the following great email from Pastor Bruce Fosdick at The Rock Southwest in Littleton, Colorado which made me reflect on Jesus words, "In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 19:10)
I wanted to send you an encouragement.
Every Easter at The Rock of Southwest we would have 100s of new people for Easter, but when it came to decisions for Christ, our numbers were very low. An example was last year we had 6 people receive Christ within a day that had over 1200 adults in church service. We're an outreach church and see 100s come to the Lord throughout the year, but Easter always seems to be low numbers, especially considering the amount of new people who attend that day.
At the church planter's and coaches training in Arizona last August, you handed out the "The Spiritual Journey Guide" pamphlet. I read through it and then I wrote myself a note that said: "This may answer our Easter Sunday conversion issue. Order 2000 and go through it step by step during the service". So, this year we decided to do exactly that as part of the sermon. I told the congregation 3 weeks earlier to pray for me that I could give a very clear call and that people would respond. They invited the people and I delivered the message.
We had 1400 people and we gave a pamphlet to every person. In the last 10 minutes of the sermon I read
through all 7 types of people from "Searchers" to "Followers". I challenged everyone to to pick which one was closest to their relationship with God. I added some fun stories but still had them go through the "Moving Forward" and Faith Commitment. It ended up being a great challenge and people responded very well.
Though we don't have a perfect system of knowing exactly how many people actually receive Christ, we had 110 people lift their hands to receive our "New Believers" bags at the end of the service. To have us go from 6 converts to 100 is very amazing to us. In fact a few Elders actually said this, and I quote: "The decision to go through that pamphlet step by step was probably the wisest sermon decision you've ever made"
I know such stories are good to hear. So, I wanted to pass on to you.
Thanks for the encouragement,
The Rock of Southwest
You can download Bruce's Easter Sermon
Find out more about The Spiritual Journey Guide