“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:1-2).
My wife and I were recently asking each other: What kind of image do we want new people to have of our church and of us, as God’s people? While we were thinking about this, Psalm 100 came to mind. We want people who visit us for the first time to experience happiness and joy and to see Jesus reflected through us. The world is full of problems and bad news but our hope is that when people arrive at church, their dreams will be restored, they will learn to hope again and they will find peace.
When you arrive at a party that has been prepared especially for you, you feel special, loved and valued. With this in mind, each of the meetings we hold every Sunday in our church in Bogota decided to organize a party. Each meeting set a day to celebrate salvation and to welcome new people.
From the moment somebody new came into the meeting, they experienced a party atmosphere, full of celebration. We even noticed that there was an atmosphere of joy, hope and faith in the parking lot and at the entrances to the church. Through our pastors Cesar and Claudia, God has been speaking to us about this being a time to see miracles and to pray for the sick, with the assurance that they will be healed. Just as God promised, we have seen amazing miracles. To give just one example, in our 9:00am meeting, a boy who had not been able to walk or even move his legs started running, with tears in his eyes. The only thing we could say was, “Thank you Jesus.”
It was a wonderful surprise at the end of the meeting when over 1000 people made the decision to follow Jesus. After the meeting, there were various games and activities organized in marquees, just outside the church building.
As people left, we used these games and activities to make sure each and every person knew they were important to us and that this party was for them.
We need to constantly look for different ways to bring the message of Jesus to people and to make our meetings more innovative so that we can reach our goal of winning the world for Jesus.