Easter at Shades was memorable, but we've got more excitement coming next week with Global Impact Celebration. Take a look at this week's update from Pastor Danny!
What a great day it was on Sunday as we celebrated Easter together! It was great seeing so many of you who were back on campus for the first time in a long time AND there were also lots of first-time guests—online and in-person, folks who were invited by one of you or who just felt drawn to Shades and who heard a message of life-changing hope in a savior who is alive! I just want to challenge you this week to follow up with someone in your circle … maybe they worshipped with us on Sunday, maybe they declined this time, or maybe you’re still building that relationship … check in with them, keep investing in them with purpose. Easter is just one day of the year, but the power of the resurrection is a message worth sharing EVERY day!
GIC! Friends, our 20th Global Impact Celebration is almost here! A week from now, 37 missions partners and church planters will be on campus, worshipping with us, joining us in Sunday School, talking to our students and children, and encouraging us with updates on their work around the country and around the world. And we want to be an encouragement and refreshment to them as well. When you see them, speak to them, call them by name, tell them you have prayed for them, remind them that you’re grateful for what they do. Until they arrive, though, and you see them in person, there are things you can be doing:
• PRAY! Tonight at 6:30 there is a virtual prayer gathering. Go to shades.org/news for the link, and you can join in from wherever you are for a time of worship and prayer. You can even join a small group of three-to-four to pray. Also, beginning today through Sunday the 11th, the campus is open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. for you to come and prayer walk around and in the Worship Center. On the table outside the Worship Center entrance on the fourth floor, you can pick up a prayer guide with prompts for each missionary and their needs. Make time to come by this week and help us cover the campus in prayer as we get ready to prepare for GIC. That’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday—but not Saturday because the campus will be closed.
• GIVE! One way we show our support to our missions partners is by helping with specific needs that they let us know about. Outside the Worship Center on the third and fourth floors are displays where you can find cards with some of the things they have asked for. It would be great if we could take care of ALL of them, wouldn’t it? When you are here during the week to pray or for worship this Sunday, be sure to grab one and then return it to the church by next Wednesday, the 14th.
• SHOW UP! From the kick-off next Wednesday to the Stories and Songs service Sunday evening, there are several opportunities for you to connect with our missionaries. Check out the full, detailed schedule at shades.org/gic. Whether you have been a part of every GIC or you’re new to Shades and this is your first GIC, you don’t want to miss this special event. Gregg Matte from First Baptist Church in Houston will help us get things started on Wednesday, and Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of Lifeway will preach on Sunday morning. Come and be inspired by these powerful speakers.
Friends, from start to finish GIC is going to be a great week—a time to REFOCUS for everyone. For some of us, we will be changing our focus from ourselves to those around us; others will be refocusing on God, and some will be refocusing on the Lord’s call on their lives. I can’t wait to see all the ways God will be moving among our people!
Whether it’s the Easter season, GIC, or just a regular day of the week, let’s all work to make every relationship meaningful, every encounter purposeful, and every conversation a gospel conversation. I’m so grateful to be your pastor and to serve alongside you as we work to reach our world for Christ. This Sunday, I will be finishing up our Refocus sermon series and our time in the book of Acts. I look forward to seeing you—either in-person or online.