I keep telling myself I've just got to be patient. It's not an easy thing and I've never been very good at it. It's just one of those character traits that God is dealing with me about. I think He must say to me, regularly, "Ridley, be patient. It will happen whenever and wherever I choose. Until then, you just keep praying and watching and praying and working and, oh yes, praying."
It happened again this weekend. We've been praying hard for our church family to reach its potential and begin to explode with the energy and power that raised Jesus from the dead. On a regular basis, Lisa and I pray for the health of our people (physically, emotionally, and spiritually). In our church office, we are implementing a new practice--stopping everything we do at 9 a.m. to invite everyone to pray. Every day our children's minister and her volunteers are joining together from wherever they are at 10 a.m. to pray for our children and their families and our church. On Sunday mornings, our staff and their spouses gather around a table in the back hallway of the school where we meet. We join in prayer together...for our worship time, for the guests who will come, for the impact and influence we want to have on our city. We are praying all over the place... in our LIFE groups, in our meal times, in our personal quiet times. We are starting to develop the desire for prayer that I have longed for now for almost 3 years.
This week we are seeing the fruit of those prayers--mine and yours. Sunday we will be baptizing at least 4 people (possibly more). Two of these are brand new Christians. All are adults over the age of 30. Everyone of them come desiring to take that next step in their relationship with God.
This Sunday, we get to be part of the three most amazing events that God has ever given us the privilege to do: baptism (symbolic of the new life that has entered into each of these people), the Lord's supper (remembering the sacrifice that Christ made to give us that second chance) and worship (giving thanks to the amazing God who has given us every good thing).
I invite you, friend or family or complete stranger, if you are in Franklin this Sunday and want to be a part of one of the most amazing worship gatherings ever in the short history of our church, come and be a part of Ridgeview this Sunday. We will be celebrating God's greatness and His faithfulness. We will be rejoicing in the new life that has come to these four individuals. We will be praising God for the gift of His Son and His desire to "capture" us for Himself--no matter what the cost.
And I will be praying patiently...for the next big thing God has for us. I believe it will be soon if we continue to pray. I will be praying for victory. For an amazing church is that is about to explode--not because of a pastor or a worship leader or a great staff--but because we serve a powerful and risen God. One that wants us to dominate this city and influence it for the Kingdom. A God who desires that we not be content with 4 when there are 40,000 in our city and 4 billion in our world who need to know Him. A God who works brilliantly behind the scenes while we pray and wait and watch and work and pray patiently and passionately for His will to be done. I hope to see you Sunday (by the way, there's free lunch afterwards). And if you can't join us at Ridgeview, will you please pray for what God is doing in our church as we watch His plan unfold. To God be the glory!!