Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Comes After Friday

Last night was our last Friday night group.  It was also are last time to meet as a house church. We had 39 people there, our largest group yet.  We did spiritual gifts tests and talked about how we are all part of the body of Christ.  Paul said it best, if we were all eyes, how could we hear.We all have a part to play in this new church plant!  

This coming Saturday we are starting to meet at a charter school just west of town.  I feel really good about the location.  It's on a busy street and there are many neighborhoods within walking distance.  I'm trying to figure out how to serve these neighborhoods.  I don't just want to advertise, I want to serve them. Maybe we'll just make hundreds of cookies and take them around to the neighbors. Maybe.

I want to mention a couple of major praises.  #1.  We've been really blessed to have a couple of great musicians join us at such an early stage in the game. Finding worship leaders can be tricky.  I feel like we're getting an unfair head start.  Thanks Lord.

Secondly, one of our major prayers from day one has been that the Lord would bring us Leaders. We were asking for leaders even before we moved out here.  When we took our gifts test last night, 75-80% of our people had the gifts of administration or leadership.  So amazing!  

Keep praying for us as we move into this next phase.  We are still a ways from launching, but I feel like things are moving right along!  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hot Dogs And Dew

Yesterday we tailgated the BSU game and planned on giving away free food to the other fans. I got there at 2:30 in the afternoon to set up our grill and stake claim to our territory. They don't actually let you park in the parking lot, unless you have a prestigious yellow pass. And, judging by the motor homes that had them, I'll probably never own one. There were tents and RV's EVERYWHERE! These fans are very dedicated. We found a great location on a corner just outside the parking lot and next to a major sidewalk.

I sat there for about an hour by myself. I know some people like to be alone for extended periods of time, but I'm not that guy. It feels awkward just sitting there while people walk by you. I began to doubt if this was going to work. I was talking with a pastor friend of mine yesterday and he said they tried it one time at a park and gave away six hotdogs. Six! I had 120 to give away. I seriously considered getting the van and going home. I'm usually the optimist in the group, but all I could think about was getting stuck with ten dozen hotdogs. I'd be eating leftover franks for a month.

At 4:00 I fired up the grill. The game started at 6 and more and more people were starting to walk by. I opened my first pack and put 15 or so pink dogs on the grill. Then I sat back down on my lonely chair. I rotated them a few minutes later and put the buns and condiments out on my table. "Please let this work!" With the first batch looking well roasted it was time to see if anyone wanted a hotdog. Three college guys were walking by, "Free hot dogs . . . yours is getting burned." I used that line alot. "Really? Free dogs? Cool." They each ate two. I had already given away 6 hotdogs! 1 more and I would break the record. Another group of guys coming by, "Free dogs!" They replied, "I'm starving, didn't have time to eat dinner" Once they were around the grill, dog in hand, I'd hit em with the surprise twist, "There's mountain dew in the cooler behind you, help yourself." If you were judging solely by there reaction, you would have thought they won some sort of prize.

It's so funny to me that a 30¢ (option + 4 on a mac) hotdog can make someone's day. Over and over again I heard people say, "I can't believe you're just giving away hotdogs. That's so nice." One student actually said, "This is the highlight of my day. Free hotdogs, that's the spirit!" A few people did push until I told them why I was giving away food. I let them know we were a church plant and this was a great way to serve our neighbors. We really want to bless our community, even if it's only with a hotdog and cold drink.

About half way through the grilling, some more Connections people showed up. We finished the last half faster than the first. We talked with people about their majors, the point spread of the game, and one person brought up the Fiesta bowl from 2 years ago (2 years people, get over it). All in all we gave away 116 hotdogs (1 accidently got left in the box and I fumbled some during the hand offs). It took about an hour and a half total. We were done before the game started.

In all a VERY successful outing. It cost us 37 bucks for the dogs and another 25 or so for drinks (we got the real stuff, no one really likes Mountain Thunder). This was a huge win for us. The next game is against Hawaii. It's the biggest conference game of the year. I'm guessing I'm going to have to be there a little earlier to get my corner lot again. And, I think I'll double the order.