Easter 2017 has come and gone! What an amazing three days of celebration, ministry and people just being down right awesome. The most important thing that happened was people came to know Christ…still exciting to see. Many were baptized after each of the services on the Van Dyke campus and that is humbling.
There is so much that happens that people don’t see. I decided to write a random list of things from this Easter.
- Thousands of containers of free food prepped and ready for the two services on Good Friday. (Hundreds of hours of prep time by volunteers who love to cook and serve food.)
- Seeing the Baptism team (lots of volunteers) pray over the baptisms before service ended, even at the seventh service.
- My friend who needed a septic pen because he cut himself shaving – and we had one!
- Still getting coached on how to do announcements, even though I have been doing them for twenty-three years.
- Then, forgetting to receive the offering at the sunrise service…even though I have been doing this for twenty-three years.
- Watching a “kid” you’ve known forever preach “The Timeout Chair” absolutely nail it…and so many kids accept Christ.
- Listen through a door way as one of our preschool teachers asks “Who wants to march around the room and celebrate that Jesus is risen?” All our preschool teachers give so much of their hearts to the kids – Way to go!
- Seeing my good friend whose father passed away after Friday night service – death is never easy no matter how prepared we are.
- Standing on the front row of the first service and Tater is singing “What a Beautiful Name it Is.” Wasn’t ready for the emotion of seeing her lead…had to pull it together.
- To walk up before sunrise to see 1500 chairs on the courtyard that weren’t there the night before (and volunteers/ staff wiping them down with towels so people would sit on a dry seat.) Amazing people.
- Maintenance team on the go the whole time – clean ups, chairs, garbage, even one security check…your teams were spot on.
- Seeing traffic flow knowing there were people who were directing, parking and manning crosswalks. You might have been seen by thousands coming and going but it meant so much to this guy.
- Seeing a man (son) that is my age put his arm around his father during the service…special moment.
- Watching all the families get their pictures at the photo-op spot -Thank you Sharon Distefano for creating those – great environment.
- Watching three days of different musicians, singers, tech, video, sound flow throw various service scenarios – wow! You rock!
- Same for Blue Shirts – The GFC Connection Team! So many people serving others when many came to be served. Humbling to watch conversations, smiles and genuine actions to show God’s love to people. You never cease to amaze me. (Especially when one comes up and says last service and I realize that she had been there for all three on Sunday…yes, I noticed and it blew me away.)
- Hearing from the GFC Campus pastors about their sunrise services – these men are leaders at the top-level! Way to go, boys!
- Walking out of the green room, looked back and seeing P. Craig looking through his notes…one more time. He had already preached it six times before, spent countless hours crafting, praying, practicing and perfecting his message. One more time…he prepared. What a role model.
- To hear: “My friends wrote my name on the wall. I came and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I got baptized after service.” The power of reaching the one.
Easter is over. I face a tired staff, campus and group of volunteers who poured themselves out for the love of God and others. Tired, yes. Weary, yes. Ready for a day away from it all, yes. Tired, dejected or down — NO! There is a smile and a glimmer in their eye – we brought a message of hope this Easter. Let’s do it again next week!