September 21, 2007

The following is a devotional I wrote for our ministry department at church….I thought I might as well throw it on the blog.



Back in school, I remember the adventure of entering a room where I was starting a new class.   Do you remember that feeling?  Back to school.  A new year.  New clothes (for me that meant four or five new $10 tee shirts from Mervyns, and a new jacket that I couldn’t wear till October because once again it was still 80 in September).  A new year with new possibilities.   

There were many things that determined my experience..either positively or negatively.  Seldom did I judge a class primarily on content….more often than not it had much more to do with…people, and how they treated me.  Did they care I was there?  Did the teacher care I was there?  Were people nice?  Or mean? 

Imagine for a moment…that you don’t know Jesus.  You may be reading this and thinking “I don’t”.    That’s o.k.   You don’t have to imagine that,  but if you do know Him…work with me here.   Imagine that somehow…someway….you decide to brave your way into a church.  You’ve heard about “Christians” on the news.  You wonder if they really are all crazy people who are judgmental or think they are better than everyone else or never have any fun.  Something though, either an invite or curiosity or something else has brought you to church.   And you are about to step…into a room where you know there will be lots of “them”.

What do you think will be one of the number one factors on your experience in this place?  Certainly you may like or dislike the music.  Maybe the plainness or complexity of the building will impact you on some level.   The extreme modern atmosphere or the tradition you find there may cause you to wonder if you fit in.  But…most of all..you will remember..how you were treated.  Did people care you were there?  Were you treated with warmth or indifference?

I believe there is power in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I believe that when people are exposed to it, that truth, God can change a heart upon the hearing of that truth.  But I also believe with all my heart…that we can “live out the gospel”, by how we treat people.  And that message also has power and can draw people to want to know more about Christ.

This year the motto in the Worship and Creative Arts department is “So they will know Him”.  If you serve in Worship at Sunset….I want you to see yourself as an agent of friendly.   You are not just running power point or singing or showing people to their seats…you have the ability to by your smile…your greeting…your care…to make Sunset a friendly place..a place that reaches out to guests.   Why?  So they will know Him!  So that people that come will leave having not just been exposed to truth spoken or sung..but exposed to the love of Christ in the actions of..people.  We can be that kind of church.  God has blessed us with a broad base of people who serve in this ministry.  Let’s mobilize those numbers and blow people away that find themselves somehow at our doors…..wondering what Christians are like…and ultimately wondering…what is Christ like?



  1. Did you just call me an agent of friendly? That sounds special! I always wanted to be a special agent! Whoohoo!

  2. you’re a good man, Jay. I love when you share from your heart. I’m so happy to be married to you. Hey..did you know I was voted most friendly in 8th grade? Can I be an usher?

  3. This sounds so good. I hope I can make this a habit no matter where I’m at. Miss ya Brother.

  4. Jay, one thing I’ve been struggling with… when I invite people to church I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable. When folks put their hands in the air it is an expression of their love for Jesus and the words in the song they’re singing. But it can seem intimidating to new folks. I would like to put my hands in the air like that during worship, but I can’t help thinking that I’ll be scaring away new people if I do that. What are your thought on this?

  5. Brian,
    Awesome question. I think bottom line for me is authenticity rules. If you have a friend there…and you are authentically moved to raise your hands…than go for it. There’s enough else to intimidate someone…a building, singing…talking about a dead guy, etc etc…but God reached through all that with you and I and revealed Himself to us…cuz He’s real…he can do it with others.

  6. hey I never herard of u before but the i saw ur concert on a movie and u rok!!! ILY JM
    lol don’t mind me…….. add me!

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