Addendum: (talked to our staff today–Tuesday, 4/6/2010, so I added a few stories in the
below from them)… Note to you… Summit, this was the most evangelistically fruitful weekend
we’ve ever had–not just in terms of numbers, but in terms of the
significance of the decisions. I don’t get as excited about the
“numbers,” because you never know what they mean, i.e. how many are
simply Christians from other churches, how many people are making a
decision they really don’t understand, etc. But the stories coming out
of this weekend are truly overwhelming. So much real, genuine fruit…
the majority of baptisms seemed to me to be people who have come to
Jesus in the last few months from pretty incredible backgrounds and
experienced God’s grace in a powerful way….
@SummitRDU, we have a lot to be thankful for… 19 services… somewhere near 5300 in attendance. 182 baptisms. Praise God.
Some of my favorite moments from today:
- The father and mother of 1 of our college students who said in the baptismal, “Our kids invited us to come to church with them… we thought we were just coming to spend some time with them this weekend… I had no idea this was what God had planned for us.”
- Didn’t get the exact count, but sure looked to me like the dominant demographic in the people we baptized today was adult males.
- Someone holding a sign in the crowd that said, “Our small group baptized more people than your small group,” and then going berserk whenever one of their small group got baptized.
- Watching one of our pastors baptize his neighbors. I’m glad to serve with a pastoral team who not only preaches the mission, but lives it.
- Being told I looked like an older, dingier version of Ethan Welch.
- One of our pastors saying, as he prepared to baptize the umpteenth Carolina student, “Duke may be in the Final Four, but UNC is schooling Duke in number of people baptized today.” In fairness to them, a lot of them were in Indianapolis, where Carolina students would love to have been…
- The guy with what I am almost positive was a 20 oz. beer can in his hand who walked right past me as he came forward to be baptized.
- Seeing a guy who trusted Christ and got baptized this time last year counseling someone who had trusted Christ on Sunday and wanted to be baptized.
- Baptizing 2 of the wait staff at a Brier Creek restaurant that some of our members frequent after a weekly ministry meeting on Wednesday night. They call it “dinna afta.” One of the wait staff has started to deliberately schedule himself to work up until they get off and then joins them for a late dinner.
- Seeing one of our pastors finally get to baptize his brother, who for 6 years has been a resistant skeptic.
- Seeing the brother and sister of a teenager who 3 months ago was cutting herself baptized. She was saved and baptized last month. She also has brought her parents to church and her very skeptical aunt with her.
- Seeing a guy I led to Christ last year waiting outside the service for his dad (who was coming for the 1st time), and also seeing that guy’s brother-in-law get baptized today.
- Seeing one of our church planter-to-be’s roommate, who has been an agnostic and resisted repeated attempts to engage him with the message, come today, believe and be baptized.
- The Muslim girl in full burka who came AGAIN and sat on the 2nd row. She watched all of the baptisms after the 2nd BCAM service, and told me that I was her “Christian teacher,” and asked me to sign her copy of Breaking the Islam Code. The Southeast Asian lady who was with her who asked me to come to their house to teach her Muslim teenagers about Jesus.
- The fact that SO MANY of the people who got baptized gave such clear stories of how someone else in our church brought them to Christ. People rarely become disciples of Jesus just by hearing someone preach. Usually, it is because someone invested in them personally. One of my dreams for our church has been that the vast majority of people who get baptized I have no personal part of–meaning that someone else, and not me or one of the pastors, brought them to Christ. Today that dream came true.
- The UNC girl who said (in response to the question, “Why do you come to be baptized?”), “Because I have been bad; a child of wrath, but God has saved me and reconciled me to himself.” I thought, “Surely, using language like this, this is just a seminary student who has never been baptized.” However, she found me afterward and said something that floored me: “The 1st time I came to this church was when we were studying Ephesians 2. You opened showing us how Ephesians 2 says we are bad, ‘children of wrath’… as you talked, I thought “This is all my parents (who weren’t Christians) ever told me… how bad and how worthless I was. And now, this is what the Bible says, too? But then you got to 2:4 which says, ‘But God… (and here she got a little emotional)… and I’d never heard that before. God loved and cherished me anyway. That changed my life and I got baptized tonight showing that my life has been completely changed.
- The nearly comatose nap I slipped into when I got home. When I woke up, at first I wasn’t sure who I was or who the 4 midgets were running around my house.
- This video. Are you kidding me? Wow, God has been good to this guy…
OK, I’m tired. Off to bed… but with a grateful heart. And grateful for so many of you that worked so hard and believed so much to make today possible.