OUR CONNECTION MATTERS
And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere … for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us …
1 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (NLT)
Do you ever get excited about something?
Did you watch a college football game last Saturday? I know, I know. When I scream at the television, no one on the field can hear me. But I get so excited! What about a high school football game on Friday night? No, I don’t scream at the officials when I attend a high school game. That just wouldn’t be appropriate. But I find ways to express my excitement about being there! When was the last time you went to a concert? If you’re interested, I’ll share my favorite concert ever with you. Just email and ask. I’ve been three times with family over the last number of years. What a concert! Music, lights, lasers, flames! It’s so exciting! What else excites you?
In 2017, I had the privilege of traveling to Rwanda with a church in the Southwest District. There were many wonderful people to meet and beautiful places to see. There were acts of ministry in which we were invited to participate with the folks we were visiting. And there were worship services to attend. What an amazing experience! The worship was wonderful! At the first worship service on the first Sunday morning, we received an excited welcome. They saw our bus and left the church building to line the sides of the small lane and clap and sing as they welcomed us.
The worship was just as lively, with lots of singing and dancing and a good sermon. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t understand the language. We could feel the excitement! The second worship service on the first Sunday was much the same. As soon as they saw us coming, they lined the walkway between the lane and the church building, singing, clapping, and playing drums to welcome us. The welcome and the worship services were just as excited and exciting on the second Sunday.
Those worship experiences have stayed with me for nearly 16 months. “Why is that?” you might ask. “Because,” I would answer if you asked, “experiencing that kind of excitement before, during, and after a worship service is the kind of experience one remembers.”
I recently witnessed another exciting event. I watched more than 500 thrid through fifth grade students at Kidzquest. They were excited to be at Kidzquest. They were excited to worship together, and they expressed that excitement in very loud voices! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the entire group of kids was excited, and that was exciting to me! I left energized and ready to take on the world because of the excitement of the kids.
I’ve learned from the experiences mentioned above. I’ve learned that when people are excited about being involved in worship, they tell others. The excitement spreads and the word of the Lord rings out from church folk to people everywhere because the church folk are excited!
Next Sunday, look for reasons to be excited. Reasons like forgiveness and mercy and the love of God who practices both. If you are excited about being in church, someone else might catch your excitement and then, who knows how many might feel your excitement? Excitement is contagious! Let’s get excited about going to church and see how far that excitement goes!
Dr. Nita Crump serves as Director of Connectional Ministries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.