Every weekend the Kids Ministry at Church at the Bay hits a home-run. Our volunteers create environments that are over the top, kid friendly and Jesus focused. These volunteers serve behind the scenes and are an integral part to the mission and vision of CATB. Below is a slide-show from Easter. In every class they were taught the message of Resurrection and afterward they had a blast chasing a bunny and some Easter Eggs! Thank you CATB Kid’s Ministry- you make a huge difference in the lives of children. Here are some outside pics from the weekend:
Today my overall emotion is gratefulness to God. I am so proud and grateful to God for the people of Church at the Bay. This weekend was a great experience for so many because of the volunteers and staff who make the preparations every week. We are a portable church and that means every week it comes out of the box and then goes back again and that requires huge numbers of volunteers. I will try to give a shout out to all the people who engaged in the mission this week:
- Several nights we had people handing out water bottles and invite cards at the intersection in front of Sickles.
- Volunteers printed, folder and stuffed programs for the weekend.
- The set-up teams did set-up on Friday night (usually done on Sunday morning) to make sure everything was ready.
- Our parking lot crew had a plan and they worked it perfectly.
- The greeters on the way in were in place. It is impossible to enter CATB without being greeted!
- Ushers were ushing (is that a word?).
- The Tech team (about 15 people I think) nailed it
- Baptism volunteers did a great job making it smooth.
- The band slayed it
- And a big pat on my back- I was under 30 minutes!!!
At the end of the day- this is all possible and motivated by what God has done for us. CATB you make me proud the way you step up- every time!
I always get questions about numbers on big days. I don’t usually blog them out because, well, I don’t want to. But, this way a big day! Here are the best numbers we have right now (once we enter in the computer there are usually a few minor changes.
- We Baptized 14 people
- 12 people indicated they trusted Christ for the first time (Nearly 30 people picked up first time commitment to Christ packets- probably not everyone checked the “committed to Christ” box on the communication card).
- We had 99 first time guests that filled out cards
- We had 834 people attending 2 services
Tomorrow- I will tell you about a church launch in South Florida that CATB helped. I hope to get pics to post as well.
(13) That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. (14) As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. (15) As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. (16) But God kept them from recognizing him. (17) He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. (18) Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” (19) “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. (20) But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. (21) We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. (22) “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. (23) They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! (24) Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.” (25) Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. (26) Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” (27) Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (28) By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, (29) but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. (31) Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! (32) They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (33) And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, (34) who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.
I can’t really get my head around what these guys and many others must have been feeling at this point. Jesus had been killed and now people were saying He wasn’t dead. These guys were filled with questions Jesus and His death and about God’s plan. Have you been there? Maybe your questions were:
- God, why did I lose my job?
- Father, why did my wife leave me?
- God, I cannot seem to stay away from my addictions- why won’t you help?
- Jesus- people tell me you care- but right now I can’t feel it.
Or maybe your questions are around who Jesus is:
- Why did He die?
- What if the resurrection is just a “story” told by desperate people to hide their failed leader?
- Is it okay to question my faith?
Do you know we serve a God that is not diminished by or afraid of our questions? Bring all your questions to Christ and seek Him and I believe you will find Him and the answer you need. The Christian Faith is not a neat boxed up set of beliefs that focuses on rules, creeds and rites. The Christian Faith is about a relationship with the Father made possible because of the Resurrection. You and I will never have all the answers- let’s not allow that to keep us from the most vital relationship on earth. Besides, if you and I could understand everything about God- that would be a very small God.
Father, thank you for your RESURRECTION presence in my life, even when I don’t see you or feel you. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sin and the sin of the whole world. Thank you for proving you have power over sin and death through the resurrection. Father, I seek to worship and celebrate you today! In the name of the Resurrected Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Jesus is now considered officially dead. On Friday he was taken from the cross, killed and buried in a borrowed tomb. All four of The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are silent on this day. I wonder what was going on in the minds of the disciples. They had to be asking questions like:
- “So Peter, what do we do now?”
- “I wonder if they will come after us and kill us?”
- “My friends said it was just a fad”
- “I need to see if I can get my old job back.”
- “Wow- my family is really going to be angry.”
- Have you ever doubted or been unsure about the future? Maybe you are struggling right now. I don’t know what you struggle with but, I do know that Jesus cares. Sometimes in the midst of life’s pain and struggle I remember the sermon title from Tony Campolo- “It’s Friday but Sunday’s Comin”. In his message he talks about all the bad things that happened on Friday culminating in Jesus death and darkness over the whole earth. He compares that to all the struggles we have and the promise is Sunday (Resurrection Day) is coming- in other words Jesus is going to show up BIG in your life. Is it Friday in your experience, or even later, Saturday? Be encouraged Sunday is coming!
Father, I am grateful that no matter how bad things look- I can trust you. I am thankful that no matter what the doctor, lawyer, accountant or politician may say- you are in charge. By faith, I will go forward through this challenge knowing that you are with me and will only allow me to experience what you have equipped me for (1 Corinthians 10:13). I love you God and look forward to Resurrection Sunday! In the death defeating name of Jesus I pray- AMEN.