Have you ever been surprised by God? Have you ever been knocked-off-your-feet shocked by God? This is how I felt on Sunday afternoon, March 31st.
I. God’s Blessings
This past Easter we had another record breaking day at Southern Hills! An amazing team effort from the staff and our dedicated lay leaders was obviously blessed by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit!
3 Service Times: 8:00am, 9:45am & 11:30am!
905 Individuals: Record Breaking Attendance
12 Salvations: Confirmed by filling out Decision Card
II. Our Surprise
For a person of faith, the moving of God should never be a surprise! We should be expecting great things from God. However, I was honestly shocked at the amount of people that came and were saved. Our church is only 8 years old, and I am just a young, inexperienced pastor who often opens his mouth before thinking. To see this kind of blessing is truly amazing. I should not be surprised when I look at the dream team God has assembled with Fred & Kelly leading our Children’s Ministry and administrative duties, Jason & Kimberly leading our Worship and Steve and Becky leading our Teens. I shouldn’t be surprised when I remember the intricate assimilation system that Melanie and Cindy, our secretaries, religiously follow. I shouldn’t be surprised when I think of my deacons, lay shepherds, small group leaders, teachers and entire ministry team who sacrificially chose to serve on Easter, but also came out the day before for an Evangelism Outreach where we distributed thousands of invitations. One of our newest leaders, Chad, went out with his wife and handed out over 100, then dropped his family off at home and went out 2 more times! This kind of dedication is amazing but is not what made our Easter a success (II Corinthians 10:3-4). The truth is… this was a work of God! Zechariah 4:6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
III. The Future
The Sunday after Easter is always low in attendance. Those who are unable to come every week often choose Resurrection Sunday to come. However, we saw great retention in the weeks following. The Sunday after Easter we had 600 in attendance, and the Sunday after that we saw 630 in attendance. This is incredible when you understand that we were averaging 525 for the four months previous. We are looking forward to breaking more growth barriers as we attempt, through the Spirit’s power, to reach Las Vegas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
IV. Not Alone
One of the greatest encouragements to me over the past few weeks, was hearing from many of my pastor friends across the country. I came to find out that we were not alone in God’s outpouring of blessing. Almost every pastor I spoke with reported record crowds, many salvations, and sustained growth! I believe the LORD is currently moving in our midst, and I am excited to see what the future holds. Personally, I believe we are on the cusp. We are seeing the very beginning signs of a great revival in our land as never before. It’s an awesome time to be a follower of Christ!
What about you? Did you see God move in your life and church this past Easter? Do you see the future as optimistically as I do? How have you seen God working lately? If you have not, why do you think that is?
Lita BonsignoriApril 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Not alone! I too was taking note of the many churches who were experiencing great Easter sundays! I got goosebumps reading that last paragraph, thinking about what God has in store! I also attending the West Coast Baptist College Youth Conference and while there had many people say to me they had heard about our blessed in numbers Easter Service! That was so encouraging, because it made me aware many are praying for us! Praise the Lord 🙂
Joshua TeisApril 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm
Yep. Down at Lancaster they had a great sunday! Over at Liberty Baptist with dad they had over 1500 in attendance. Amazing. I could go on all day! The greatest thing that happened on easter was that each and everyone of those folks who came to our church and others heard of the great hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! He is STILL Risen!
KennethApril 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm
I was thinking yesterday about the kids, like J. Graves, Tyler, Chris etc. How grown up they’ve become and were they are headed…we are pray that our son would one day follow in those same steps. I.also admired the recent members how they have voulenteer their time to serve the church, though some great friends have gone elsewhere to serve, we’ve gained many more great ppl. I am so impressed, by SHBC, Almost every week I hear someone telling me “man you Pastor is good” I tell how hilarious you can be..So whatever you and the staff are doing seems to be working ou t just fine…God Bless…
Joshua TeisApril 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm
I share you burden for our children. The teenagers of SHBC (under the leadership of Steve & Becky) are giving a great example for our children to follow.
Aaron CarpenterApril 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm
Awesome stuff! Praise the Lord! I pray for you and your church frequently, and I am thrilled at what God is doing out there!
We don’t keep records quite as carefully as you all do, but Easter Sunday may very well have been a record attendance for us. It had to have been close, anyway; we were putting out extra chairs. I’ve been a little disappointed that we haven’t retained much of that, but there are plenty of reasons for it, mainly having to do with the church culture of this area. But the important thing was the Christ was exalted, and I believe that no one could have doubted that the Lord met with us in a very special way.
So, the future is bright. Ever since the beginning of this year, the Lord has laid a burden for revival on my heart. It will undoubtedly look different in Dixons Mills than in Las Vegas, but I agree with you that God is up to something. My only concern is that we see true heart transformation that lasts and not just a period of religious fervor.
Joshua TeisApril 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm
Well stated my friend! Different areas will respond differently. It’s funny that you mention your recent burden for revival for I too would have stated in years past that I was burdened for America’s reviving, however, in recent months I have been overwhelmed by the idea. I’m not sure what’s coming but I am praying that I / we will be ready for it. God is Good! He is calling His own unto himself!
Alan LaddApril 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm
God is good.
Joshua TeisApril 18, 2013 at 11:36 am
Brian McLaughlinApril 18, 2013 at 11:07 am
I love that word “cusp.” I’ve been using it for 2 years now and I still believe with all my heart that we are seeing God do even “…greater works than these…” (John 14:12). God is the “All-Sufficient One” (“He is…”) and He is truly the rewarder of them that diligently (without giving up) seek Him! To God be the Glory! 🙂
Joshua TeisApril 18, 2013 at 11:30 am
Love your spirit Brian! I agree!
Brian McLaughlinApril 18, 2013 at 11:13 am
In answer to your question about “why we don’t see God work” at times… I think it is because of our unbelief. (Mark 6:1-6; Matt. 13:54-58). I stand amazed at how so many of God’s people are just waiting to throw a “wet blanket” on the fires of revival. Alas, God is greater, and the sad reality is that some will reject the moving of God’s Spirit and they will miss out on the works that He could have done. If only we believed Him more… 😀
Joshua TeisApril 18, 2013 at 11:35 am
Yep. I’ve seen it too. At times the pessimistic attitude toward revival can be frustrating. However, when you have so many friends experiencing God’s working and so many new Christians growing in the faith, becoming rooted in the Scripture and walking in the Spirit – it’s impossible to not be optimistic!
JameeApril 20, 2013 at 10:06 am
Easter Sunday was awesome!!! It was so neat to look around and see all the new faces and the nurseries were full! It was really great to be able to serve at the early service and then attend the next one with my family. It still amazes me that this is the same church we started attending 4 years ago. Amazes me because we came from a dying church that needed the revival that Southern Hills is seeing. God has been so good to us allowing us to grow personally and as a family and to see the great works and growth He is doing in Vegas. Four years ago we were nervous coming to a place like Sin City I mean really how could we find a good church there and how could God be in a city like that, But He is everywhere and I am so glad!
Sorry for rambling LOL
Joshua TeisApril 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Loved your Comment Jamee! You and your husband have been key to our growth. I’m thankful the Lord has brought you here!
Steven MillerApril 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm
It’s amazing what God is doing at Southern Hills. So blessed to be apart of it!
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