I wasn’t sure what was going to happen last Wednesday night.
I had prayed a lot and I knew our leaders were praying too.
I had challenged all of our students to bring one friend. “Plus 1” we were calling it.
I tried my best to show from Scripture that following Christ necessitates inviting others to follow Him as well.
I promised that the gospel would be shared and their friends would have a chance to respond.
Our office had sent out reminder emails, Facebook posts, text updates and gathered supplies. (My administrative assistant is amazing!)
We were offering lots of FREE food and exploding watermelons with rubber bands. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!
We also gave incentives for meeting certain attendance goals. Pies in the face. Getting slimed. And the thing no sane adult looks forward to–a Lock-In.
I’m not sure what else we could have done.
I was confident it would be a good night, but there’s always that doubt. There’s always that question of “What if nobody shows up?”
I mean, I’ve certainly been a part of events that didn’t go as planned and I’m sure I’ll be a part of more in the future. Haven’t you? You pray, work hard, get commitments from people who say they’re going to come, and then they don’t show up, a projector breaks and it rains. Total bummer.
And in this case, it’s middle school. We’re depending on parents. So if we have a student who is iffy about coming, a parent can say “get in the car, you’re going. You’ll have a great time!” Or, we could have a student who really wants to come, but a parent gets off work too late to get them there, doesn’t feel like bringing them, or makes the student stay home to get homework done (I’m not against doing homework, by the way). There are lots of factors.
All to say, in faith, I was believing it would be a great night!
So what happened?
We had a Wednesday night attendance record and 5 students prayed to receive Christ! Amazing!! And for breaking 1 goal and coming within 1 person of another (We had 139 in attendance and the second goal was for 140. I showed some grace.) I and 3 other leaders got a pie in the face. And gladly, I might add.
It was a FUN night. Lots of laughing. Lots of celebration. And we will be doing another night like this in the near future.
Some might criticize and say, “Oh that’s gimmicky. You should want kids there who want to be there. Kids who have the right heart. And just preach the Word. Stop all the shenanigans.”
I hear ya.
But often times it takes doing something you don’t want to do, or even doing something for the wrong reason, to be exposed to a message that changes your heart.
So if playing a crazy game and getting pied in the face brings a student out who wouldn’t have come otherwise, we’ll keep doing it. At least 5 students are glad they came. Their eternity has been altered.
Also, we do this kind of night once every couple months. It’s not an every week thing.
And don’t forget, Jesus didn’t just walk around preaching. He performed miracles, hung out with people and gave away a lot of FREE food.
Bottom line: We need to have a more “whatever it takes” approach to life and ministry instead of doing the “same old thing” and expecting different results.
What could you do differently for your next event to see extraordinary results? What do you need to change in your life personally to see some change? Have you truly exhausted every opportunity and option to do your part, or are you being stubborn or lazy and just praying that God will do something miraculous?
What happened last Wednesday night was an “Only God” moment. God was the one who brought the students, changed hearts and made the night a success. He gets all the glory. But at the same time, there was an incredible team of people that He used to accomplish the night. Those people get all the credit.
So, thank you volunteer leaders! It’s a honor to serve with you each and every week.
Thank you Parents! It’s a privilege to partner with you to reach and grow your students for Christ.
Thank you students! I pray you continue to catch the vision that life isn’t about you, but is about serving others and inviting others to follow Jesus. Keep it up!
Let’s continue to pray for God to do incredible things in our lives and ministries and work hard to see them happen. Let’s do whatever it takes.