I have heard and read MANY reports from this past Sunday morning and my heart absolutely LEAPS at how God spoke, how he touched hearts, and how Prairie Heighters responded. I was not in the upper level worship service as I was serving our children in Kidventure. I knew it was going to be a service not to be missed but I wanted to encourage our incredible Kidventure staff and let our kids know they are every bit as important as the adults at PHCC. I had several kids ask me “why are you here and not upstairs?” and it was fun to share with them how important they are to God and to me. During one service I had 2 children from homes with a single mom get up from where they were sitting and move so they could sit next to me on both sides. It really touched me and was a visual reminder of how we ALL are instruments of healing and hope when we make our lives, gifts, and resources available to the Giver of hope! We are ALL hand-crafted for significant service to God’s family and to those God brings into our lives. But, we have to set aside our agendas and move into the locations and attitudes that God has for us.
If you look up the word revival in the dictionary the 1st definition is RESTORATION to life, consciousness, vigor, or strength. The 4th definition is an AWAKENING in a church or community. What did we see at Prairie Heights this morning? A REVIVAL from God. Servilization a civilization of servants offering simple words and actions of love for people with no strings attached. It is seeing a need and moving into motion. It is not a program. It is not waiting for a “pastor” or a “church leader” to “do something”. In America we have made Christianity a “spectator sport”. We attend “church” like we are going to a movie, a concert, or a sporting event. We sit in a chair or a pew and we listen and we go home and leave “God” in the pew. I’m sorry but I do not believe this is what Jesus died for. He died so that individuals can be saved, grow, and go “all in” and be radically transformed from the inside out through the power of his Holy Spirit and then team up with other followers and elevate the cities they are located in.
A couple of Facebook posts and an email I received says it perfectly:
Tammy said, “I just got back from the 9:30a service this morning. I was crying all the way out today because I felt so good. So unexpected to just walk up and give up a coat I had just received for Christmas and know in my heart, that is why I received it- to give it to someone who needed it more than I did.”
Deb said, “Amazing service at church today! Our pastor said there were people who were getting out of jail that didn’t have coats, and proceeded to give the opportunity for people to donate the coats off their back, if God laid it on their hearts. Many tears flowed (I know mine sure did) as people streamed forward with coats…including prized leather Harley and Packers jackets! So amazing to see a call to service answered so profoundly. May God bless those who receive these gifts as well as those who gave. (later in the day she posted this) I’ve had all day to think about what happened this morning and I still can’t quite believe what I witnessed. 150 people gave the coats OFF THEIR BACKS! It was one of the most profoundly beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I’m so grateful for this church family that continually jumps at the chance to serve and I can’t wait to see what God will do next!”
Tammey said, “What a blessing today has been. During the sermon the pastor tells of people in our community without coats, hats or gloves. This is North Dakota! Those are necessities. He gives the congregation the opportunity to serve by giving the coats, hats and gloves on our backs to those we have never met and never will. I sat in stunned awe as people from all walks of life emptied their coat pockets and gave them away. Prized coats, favorite teams, expensive leather, brand new coats and so much more. Coats that for some can never be replaced. God moved through that room in a breathtaking, heart wrenching, beautiful way. Because of the amazing faith of the people that gave, there are people with warm coats tonight. To those that gave so selflessly, not needing recognition – just knowing they were being called to help another – I will never forget what it felt like to see so many take off their coat, hat and gloves and give them away. Right off their back. In winter. Way to go church.”
Thanks Prairie Heighters for understanding church is not a place, but people called to serve! What a great start to demonstrate what EXPONENTIAL really means!
Also, the new total for our Christmas offering: $43,301.30, Way to go Prairie Heights!