As we rolled into the Hilton Garden Inn for our last preview service, I was reminded that church is not a building or a place, but it is made up of people – God’s people. This was the beauty of the early church. Due to the persecution, they were scattered all over the known world at that time. They could not meet in big cathedrals or “churches”; therefore they met in their homes, various places in the marketplace, and “unlikely” places in order to worship. In our generation, the call for being the “church beyond the walls” is being declared once again.
I couldn’t help but sense the excitement and anticipation as we began our praise and worship. We had about 40 people gathered together for our last preview service. The room was filled with some of the students that we were reaching out to during last semester. We also had some new students from Northwestern as well as from University of Illinois-Chicago. The single adults and married couples made up the rest of the congregation.
I preached on “The Greatness of the Gospel.” The challenge for the church was to be “consecrated to the Gospel” and to be “committed to the Gospel.” Evanston and the greater Chicago area is a tremendous mission field. The words of Jesus are true – “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” We spent some time in response to God through prayer and worship.
As we were fellowshipping together after the celebration, I was blessed to see so many people connecting and building relationships with one another. It is my prayer that whenever people step into our new church, they will experience God in a special way. We got a glimpse of this when I heard from one of the members that someone walked into the celebration because of our sign that she saw in the hotel lobby. We found out that the person was from Wisconsin, but she would come to the Northwestern hospital every 3 months or so. She was also looking for a church but couldn’t find anything. But on Sunday, she “happened” to see the sign – can someone say, “divine appointment!”
We are less than a week away from the official inaugural service. We are humbled by His greatness and His grace… hope to see you there to celebrate with us. Blessings.
Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston
Sunday, September 24th at 5:05PM