October 10th & 11th the Rock hosted “Big Top” weekend on our new property. Since the moment it concluded on a warm, sunny, Sunday afternoon I still find myself astounded at what happened. Now that the literal dust has finally settled, I wanted to take a moment and share a few thoughts:
THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD ANSWERING PRAYER
On Wednesday, Octobers 7th several of us gathered in the carnival area at 7pm and knelt down in the grass thanking God for His provision and asking Him for favor on the upcoming weekend. As the Saturday night festivities began, the temperature was perfect, there was virtually no wind, and the sunset sky looked like one of the Bob Ross paintings I used to watch on PBS every Saturday.
Then as people had packed into the big top tent on Sunday morning, I sat outside asking for God’s power to help me preach. When I was done praying and felt settled in my heart, I took a short walk around and the sun was warm on my face with a calm breeze barely moving the tent flaps. It was difficult to find adequate words of gratitude, so I simple whispered, “Thank you God. Thank you for this.” What a kind and awesome God we serve that so graciously showed such favor on us.
THE ENTHUSIASTIC SPIRIT OF THE ROCK CHURCH
I just love serving Jesus with all of you people! You are an incredible, enthusiastic, humble, selfless, tireless, bunch of faithful, God honoring servants of the Most High God! You guys just “get it”. You get what we were saved by the Lord to do. You get that this life isn’t about religion, customs, traditions, entertainment or gimmicks. It’s about proclaiming Jesus as Lord to the whole world, whenever and wherever He gives us opportunity. I could feel the “buzz” of gospel expectation in the tent that morning and I knew we were all unified in spirit, for one single cause: Lift Jesus up and call men to repent and be saved.
THE SIMPLE, OLD TIME GOSPEL
This observation impacted me perhaps more than anything else. We invited people in to sit on chairs on uneven ground. The floor was made up of donated wood chipper refuse from the city of Fenton. The restrooms were 6 slamming door porta potty units delivered on a truck. We had wires, extensions cords and various other obvious trip hazards running all over the ground. Obstructed view seats ala old Tiger Stadium, poor lighting, a faded projector image, limited sound system, the white noise of road traffic, barking dogs and flapping tent doors. Yet…we stood up together and with one spirit lifted our collective voices to give praise and honor to the King. I stood in the front row at times unable to sing the words due to being overcome by emotion. Then I walked over to the stage, hiked myself up onto the makeshift platform, opened the Word of God, read some verses and told people Jesus would forgive and save anyone who called on His name. Then we saw “that moment”. The moment when all limited efforts of man end and the complete power of the Holy Spirit takes over. Men and women young and old stood up out of their seats, some with tears, and walked forward to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and be saved from their sin for all time. Later, I would try to end the service 3 different times as yet another soul would walk forward in the cloths on their back…to declare Jesus as their savior and be baptized in a plastic tub where wood chips and dirt covered the surface of the water.
People ask me sometimes, “What’s the secret?” I will forever maintain, there is no secret, just that old time gospel.