My dear friends in Christ! The apostle Paul once wrote "Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers" (Ephesians 1:15-16).
So with that thought on this otherwise cloudy Monday morning I want to thank you and bring a little sunshine into your world.
Yesterday at worship we had 140 people in attendance. This is awesome!
Yesterday also my Mission Counselor, Pastor Ed Schuppe, visited our church and worshiped with us for the first time at Showtime Cinema. Ed is a consultant and a mentor to me. He oversees dozens of newly planted churches, travels extensively, and devotes all his time to reading and studying and helping new churches.
When he visits churches he always comes as a "secret shopper" of sorts. He writes very detailed reports on everything from signage to friendliness of people to the music, the sermon, etc.
Ed is a man I highly respect and whose opinion I know I am always wise to seek. And with that said I want to thank God for all of you in the spirit of the apostle Paul and encourage you all to keep up the good work!
Ed wrote me a comprehensive 3 page report on his experience at VotL which he concluded by saying "Thanks for the great worship experience!"
In three pages of his report, nearly every comment was praise and encouragement. It was in every respect a glowing report and that is to your credit. Thank you! As a church committed to loving and reaching the unchurched with the gospel it is so important to do the little things to welcome people…and you’re doing them. Continue to look beyond yourselves to others and do these things more and more!
Here’s just a small sample of his comments to give you an idea of the things Ed from experience knows are vital to a church’s health in being able to reach others:
Before the service: Greeter outside at the door was very welcoming and conversant. Great job!
People were very friendly, even the teens. They often initiated the greeting and were willing to talk.
Very welcoming atmosphere before the service. Ushers were also welcoming and conversant.
The bulletin: Very nicely laid out, informative, and easy to follow. I especially appreciated the back of the bulletin. Nice format and very well worded. Nice use of VICTORY.
The service: Great welcome and greeting. I appreciate the energy and enthusiasm you project. Your people did a great job with the greeting time.
Great music! The Apostles’ Creed song – Great! Great use of video clip in the sermon.
— Like I said, these are just a sample of Ed’s comments. Ed also has been a great help to me in evaluating my own attitudes, preaching, leadership, vision, etc. I appreciate this very much.
So…I pray that y’all have a great week in the Lord. I’ll be at a pastor’s conference in Two Rivers Tuesday – Wednesday but I will be back for our Adult Bible Fellowship Group on Wednesday evening. I hope to see you there and I look forward to worshiping our Savior with you again this Sunday.
Remember that if you happen to miss a Sunday or two you can go to our website www.victoryofthelamb.com and get the sermon. We’re also more frequently updating our music as well. Yesterday’s sermon should be posted by this evening.
God bless! Pastor Ben