Thursday, October 1, 2009

What a night!

What an evening we had at our Alpha Celebration last night! Thirty-eight people attended--twenty-seven adults and eleven youth & children. This turnout of people far exceeded my expectations. I really wasn’t sure how many people would attend, but I sure wasn’t expecting that many. I have a huge smile on my face today.

The Alpha Celebration dinner went very well. Gloria Ivers & Paulette Zvorak along with Gloria’s daughter Karen (and Gloria and Paulette’s husbands) did a fabulous job of preparing and serving the food along with decorating the room. Their hospitality turned a hotel room into a sacred space.

I received many compliments on the talk I gave. Give God for the credit for that. And give my wife, Amy, credit for encouraging (well encouraging might be a bit kind) me not to come across as the energizer bunny in the talk. Or to put it another way—tone it down a bit! Because of her words of wisdom I intended to share my talk in a measured tone. I think it worked.

I was also very heartened at the success many people had in inviting their friends and family members. Five families from Chain of Lakes successfully brought people to the Alpha Celebration Dinner. Many of these new people are not currently connected to a church. I have led “inviting” events for a very long time, and I know from personal experience the challenges of inviting and bringing people to events. I can’t remember a time when I’ve participated in an event where we had such success in inviting.

Which leads me to a final thought—that is, praising God. Over the last seven months of my work at Chain of Lakes I have become convinced that this New Church Development will not take off unless God wants it to take off. Over the last week I have passionately prayed (and asked other people praying for Chain of Lakes) that God would work through this Alpha Celebration Dinner. That prayer was answered. I also prayed that I would meet people at this event whom I had never met before. That prayer was answered too—in a way that surpassed my expectations. Again—Praise God!

We had a group who worked very hard at designing and implementing this Alpha Celebration Dinner. But hard work among a dedicated group working well together doesn’t make an event surpass expectations. Ultimately that is God’s work. So today I am humbled by the work of the Spirit—and thankful for everyone who is praying for Chain of Lakes.


knittinjen said...

So did the mechanic's wife come?

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I've been reading your blog for awhile now. My daughter, Lisha, applied for (well, maybe she didn't, but she considered it) the office position you had (I actually discouraged her from applying, because I don't think the job was what she wanted or that she was what you guys needed) but anyway, since checking you and your church out for her, I have been reading your blog on my google reader - because you totally inspire me! I'm a church secretary in White Bear Lake, and just wanted to let you know that you have a ... well, fan would not be the right word ... that you are inspiring even people that you don't know and have no real connection to whatsoever, except the shared love of God and his mission! Thanks for the inspiration - and seriously, how about the mechanic's wife?

Duane said...

Fantastic, Paul. I'm so happy for you and Chain of Lakes. God's good at providing surprises.

Chainoflakesncd said...

Wow! I didn't even know these comments were here.
Thanks for the kind comments, Jennifer. The gas station attendant's wife didn't come. I guess the timing isn't right. God isn't done with his chase of them! Keep praying!!

Feel free to keep comments in the future.