Today we walked to a 9:30am service at a megachurch called Planetshakers. I was sure to bring my ear plugs.
When we arrived there were many people at the front holding up white signs with black lettering and people moving them up and down. A sign with a smile is way more inviting than a static sign.
They were saying “Welcome” and “Buenos Dias.” The entrance was all glass lighting so you can see inside.
Once in the building, there was a ramp lined with young people pointing the way. It was like going through the goal at the start of a football game only the breakthrough paper was missing!!
They are still shaking hands, but I tried to give a friendly prayerful nod or happy hands. Most everyone is wearing a “How Can I Help” T-shirt.
Singing was loud as expected. They believe that they are bringing sounds into the church that the young people understand. Powerful music can lead them to an encounter with Jesus.
The message is: We can have fun in church by bringing words that the world uses. We want people to come to church to feel the power that is manifested in the Word.
Planetshakers have declared 2020 as the Year of Acceleration.
Offering i.e. Pass the Bucket
(This is a big COVID-19 no-no. Anything in your hands, keep in your hands.)
Faithfulness is thankfulness. Give because we are thankful for the past but also for the future.
They have an active university ministry. During O (orientation) weeks at the universities, they welcomed new students and invited them to a relationship with Jesus and to church. They spoke with over 15,000 students.
Here are some additional learning opportunities:
DNA – An introductory course
THE BLESSED LIFE
INTRO TO NEW TESTAMENT- 6-week Bible Study
PreMARRIAGE – course for those planning to get married
STORY – course for strengthening a marriage
PARENTING COURSE – course for couples with children
PLANETSHAKERS GLORY CONFERENCE 2020 – upcoming church-wide conference
PLANET BOOM – CD’s for sale from the worship band
PLANET UNI – hosting an event called CENTRA for University students
Connect Lounge – for visitors to speak with church members. We were given a visitor card.
Online Worship: They greeted all the people from all over the world joining for worship. All the countries were read. It must have been about 50. That was powerful. We are part of a worldwide movement!!
Acceleration: Sunday is the day to accelerate our spiritual growth, knowledge of the Lord, and leadership. Be impressed with Jesus again. Be enamored with Jesus again. Christ is King of everything. The pastor’s desire is for all of us to leave here thinking of nothing but Jesus.
Following in the example of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2
For I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
The pastor was very loud and very animated. Rob doesn’t like pastors that yell. The service kind of had the atmosphere of a pep rally. These cheers came to mind:
Jesus, Jesus, He’s our man! If He can’t do it, no one can!
2-4-6-8 Who do we appreciate? Jesus
There might be some theology in those cheers of yesterday.
Eliminate things that distract us. Let Christ be exalted and every thought be about Him. Bind our hearts to Christ. If you believe that, shout a proper Amen.
This church uses the English Standard Version (ESV). I use the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and publish verses on this blog in NASB. One often asks which is the best version. They all have their merit, and the best one is the one that you are reading.
The pastor was very excited about this powerful message and said that there is so much room in this message to shout Amen. Don’t be shy about it. Shout it out!!
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
God made things clear as can be perfectly seen in Jesus. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. The most powerful thing that we can do is have a perfect picture of God. Everything makes sense!
Here is a million dollar question: How does a virus in Asia start a toilet paper epidemic in Australia?
All creation is made through Him and for Him. Jesus is the main headline of everything in life. People can’t take Jesus out of Christmas because it is still all about Jesus Christ.
If it is all about Him, let’s make our lives all about Him. It is time to jump ship. Get off your own boat and get on His boat.
He is not outrun or surprised by anything in our lives and is victorious. He is the glue of our lives. Your mother is not the glue. Kids are not the center of your life. That is the pattern of the world. There is a higher priority than the priorities that we live every day.
Jesus is the head. He works through leaders that he has raised up. He is not stagnant. If the head says to act, the body moves. He is eminent, superior, dominant, main thing, incomparable. He is still number one.
At this point, the pastor said that we needed a praise break. We stood and shouted and the pastor turned his back to us, raised his hands, and walked around shouting words of praise.
“We don’t come to church to be entertained. We come to worship. “I should not have to get you excited if you know Jesus, said the pastor.”
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
He is first in everything. He should be consulted in everything that you do. How does this affect you, Lord? This decision is around You, Lord, not around me whether building families, careers, finances and lives.
Being first is the most difficult. This goes for everything – firstborn, first president, first women voter. Jesus is our first. We can follow the way. He made the right path. He broke through. He goes ahead of us. There is ease in that.
He is also the last. He has the final say. He shuts the door. He has the last word.
We don’t need to keep searching. He is everything. Game, Set, Match. He is the bookends of life.
This passage says by Him, our lives move forward. He is the key.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Earth becomes dim. But with Jesus, He gives everything clarity. He rearranges things so that they make sense and are simplified.
It’s not about me. It’s simple. It’s all about Jesus. Christ is King.
We bowed in prayer, and the pastor asked that anyone who would like to know Jesus personally to raise their hands. They were then invited to come forward. Always remember that there is likely someone who is hearing the good news for the first time.
As they lead them in prayer, we were all asked to say the sinners prayer. I think that this is powerful and should always be done because it remains as true today as it was when you first uttered this prayer. In addition, it allows that new believer to know that he is part of a movement, a family, surrounded by encouragers and not alone.
I have said the sinners prayer many times as I grew up since the devil made me question the grace of Jesus Christ. I thought that it couldn’t be that simple. Just confess your mess, believe in Him, follow Him and give Him control.
I don’t believe in vow renewal because I meant what I said the first time. The same goes for baptism and confirmation. No double dipping! However, attending a wedding allows you to reminisce, remember and reflect. Same for the prayer of a new believer.
After the Service
At the end of the service, we went to the front to ask for prayers for my father, Stewart. He has been digressing physically and mentally. Also, prayers to give us peace as we are far from the situation.
After the worship service was over, we went to Connect where we were served tea and given a mug.
They have a food bank that is accessed on Sundays. We asked to see how it works. Those in need come to church on Sunday with their shopping carts to get a slip of paper which allows them to shop at the store about one block away. The store didn’t open until 1:00pm. We chose not to wait but there was a line forming for those needing food.