My Saturday started early. 8am. Child Dedications at Central are an event all their own. We host a brunch as families are surrounded by their faith community praying blessings over their little ones. There is a short message, but the real heart of the morning is to be praying for those little ones and their mamas and daddies. This was my second dedication in my new role, and for some reason, it was much more powerful for me than the first. The parents were so real and vulnerable as they shared about their kids and the reasons why they wanted to dedicate their kids. The prayers moved me to tears almost immediately as one dad was literally praying the exact thing I had prayed for the night before. Family, Friends and Life Groups surrounded all these little people and covered their lives in prayers to the Lord. Wow. what a service....and then we did it again a couple of hours later! And, the second service didn't disappoint!
Sunday morning, we had a special guest visiting us from David C Cook. Of course we wanted to morning to go smooth, but we had no idea what we were in store for. Tommy wrote an email trying to explain the awesome, and i'm just going to quote him
I just wanted to take a minute to highlight an amazing weekend at RH. We have great weekends and then we have unexplainably great weekends and that's what just took place.I just had to share...telling stories is so important, and this week marked something big for our ministries...can't wait for next weekend!
Stories started pouring in from all age groups pretty quickly into each service and I honestly felt/feel so encouraged and moved by what the Holy Spirit was doing in the lives of our RH kids/students that I felt it necessary to share.
Initially, I started hearing stories out of small group time in Preschool. How one little 4 year old shared how she loves "feeling the heartbeat inside her that God created" - as if to say it's how she feels close to him! Then, stories started pouring out of Elementary: one was from a volunteer who leads the 5th grade classroom. She shared how these 5th graders began sharing and suddenly the whole direction shifted by one side comment one of the kids made: "I bet that would be a lot harder for kids who lived in another country...like, say, India" From there, the kids (without the prompting from a leader) decided to stop their conversation and immediately pray for kids in India.
At the 11am, I headed over to Middle School and saw 60 kids on their feet worshiping in a way that I haven't seen in a while and being bold enough to leave their seats and head to the back of the room to be prayed over by peers and leaders. Again, something that in our own strength as staff/leaders is just impossible - to even attempt to force something like that would be a massive failure on our part but to see it happen so naturally can only be explained by the Spirit moving in new ways for our youth.
Lastly, I spent the last half of the service in High School and came in as Connor was heading into leading response. It was just Connor w/his keyboard and a background singer. That's it. Nothing else. No other band support. And again, something incredible happened. Kids and leaders began worshipping in ways that have been absent from that ministry for a while and I found myself starting to get choked up by what I was witnessing. Bachman had set the table for Connor in giving a message (in a nutshell) that focused on bad things happening to good people and there was Ben Robinson - standing to his feet with his arm around one of his leaders - praising God in the middle of "his bad." And a kid that just 2 years ago was so broken and "thrown away" - standing in the back, arms extended, singing at the top of his lungs. It was honestly a beautiful scene.
In these moments I am overwhelmed by what God is doing at RH. I think that I was just struck this weekend with an obvious reality that God is leading this church and that when we simply set the table, the Holy Spirit moves and changes people even at the youngest of ages.