I’m very pleased with the way our What’s Your Story campaign has begun. The past two weeks we have had great services, great crowds, and great responses from many of you. Thank you for being willing to look past a worship center in the midst of a massive “face-lift” and focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing as He moves in us and among us.
This past week we talked about Nicodemus and the dangers of legalism. While researching that message I ran across the following story:
One afternoon a man named John, dressed in blue jeans, walked into a bank to finalize a business transaction. The teller told him that the officer he needed to see wasn’t in, and he would have to come back the next day. John said that would be fine and asked the teller to validate his parking ticket. The teller informed him that, according to bank policy, she couldn’t validate his parking ticket because he had not completed a financial transaction. John asked for an exception, since he had come to the bank intending to do business, but was unable to because the appropriate officer wasn’t in. The teller didn’t budge. She said, “I’m sorry, that’s our policy. Rules are rules.”
So John decided to make a business transaction. He decided to close his account. John’s last name was Akers. He was the chairman of IBM, and the account he closed had a balance of one-and-a-half million dollars. This qualified as a financial transaction, and the teller was required to validate the parking ticket.
One of the signs of legalism is when rules and regulations become more important than people. Now I’m not saying that there’s no place for rules and regulations because that would be foolish. But one of the things Jesus taught us with the example of his life is that people come first…people are a priority. My prayer is that we would always be a church that models the ministry strategy that people come first!
On another note, our new video venue has gotten off the ground. On Sunday, September 13, we began a new video simulcast service in the Student Ministries Center at 10:45am. Each week there is a Host Pastor, Worship Team, Greeters, and Guest Gathering folks to make you feel welcome and to help with the overall worship experience. The worship, special, and message, along with any special elements, are seen from a live feed to the Worship Center while the decision time as well as the communion and offering are handled live by the Host Pastor. During the service the SMC is set up with tables and chairs and those attending are able to enjoy some morning refreshments as they worship. Our hope and prayer for this service is two-fold. First, that we might reach some folks who would feel more comfortable in a setting like this. And, second, that this would help free up some space in the main service. If you’ve ever attended our 10:45 service, then you know that it can sometimes get pretty crowded.
So pray for this new service. Pray for God’s blessing on all of the technical details. And pray that God might use it to reach even more folks in our community and on the south side of Indianapolis. You might even want to give it a try. Who knows, you might like it.