I hope we see more people anchor their lives and hope in Jesus this fall! More than 80 percent of the people in our city will not be in church this Sunday or any Sunday on a regular basis. This means they will not sing praise with a congregation of saints, hear the preaching of the Bible in a Spirit-filled room with Spirit-filled saints, serve the needs of a church in the power of the Spirit, or be equipped by Spirit-gifted teachers who can train them in the faith, hope, and love of Jesus.

Worse than not being in worship, they will not experience the blessings that come from being a child of God living in a family of God for the glory of God. Their lives will be focused on their wants and desires. They will teach their children that God and church and faith are not as important as sports, entertainment, work, and leisure. Their marriages will not be protected with loving accountability from people who love and care about them. All in all, they will be sheep without a Shepherd. In a fallen world with a fallen nature, they will easily fall prey to the enemy who seeks to devour them like a hungry lion.

The best thing any of us can do for ourselves, for the people in our lives and world, and for the Kingdom of God is live hopeful, be helpful, and make disciples. During August, we are going to return to our year-long study of “What’s Next” and dig into Matthew 24. This chapter contains the teaching of Jesus on the end times and what His disciples need to know about it. It will inspire us to realize that the days are short and evil and we have a big job to do in a tough place. We must be intentional about how we live and do all we can to help other people have eternal hope in Christ.

Please please please invite friends and family to attend worship with you. These messages will be informative and inspiring. They will cause us all to take a look at our lives from an eternal perspective and choose to make decisions that honor God and bless us and those we love. Also, please be in prayer for our worship gatherings and as you come to worship each Sunday, look for people you do not know and make them feel welcome.

And speaking of making people feel welcome, please follow these important steps when inviting guests to attend worship with you. It is not always possible to drive them ourselves. Many of us will be busy coming from the place where we serve or from getting our children in their classes when we make our way to worship. So here’s what we need to tell our guests who we invite to worship:

  1. Tell them to park in “Guest Parking” either in front of the Worship Center or, if they have children, in front of the Children’s Building. Both areas are marked with large orange signs, and all of the directional signs in the parking lot point to them. Parking there will ensure that our guests are helped every step of the way during their visit by our friendly Welcome Team.
  2. Once they park, your guest will need to visit Guest Connect or, if they have children, the Children’s Welcome Center. Both are just inside the respective entrances. At both places, friendly volunteers will greet them and get them to where they need to go. They will also receive a nice gift simply for turning in their contact information so we can follow up with them that week.

Be sure you meet them in the lobby of the Worship Center at a designated time. Introduce them to people you know and, if at all possible, please bring them to meet me at the end of the service. I’m usually down front talking with folks, and I’d love to meet your guests so that I can introduce myself personally.

That afternoon or evening, give them a call and see how God was at work in their life. Help them by answering any questions they may have and encourage them to come again the following week.