Since the fall of last year, our congregation has been planning for three evangelistic services that we called Stories of Hope. We gave this event this title for three basic reasons: 1) the messages came from the three parables that Jesus told in Luke 15; 2) we had a testimony shared by a member of the church that tied into the theme of the evening; and 3) we believe every person’s life is a God-given story in which the hope of the gospel is to be offered.
These meetings took place over the past three Sunday evenings and just concluded last night. To give God glory for what we have seen Him do in our midst and to offer encouragement to others, I thought I would share the following.
To prepare the congregation for this time, our pastors organized what they called “Mission Briefings” over the eight or nine months leading up to Stories of Hope. They took time once a month in an evening service to encourage the church in such areas as praying specifically for friends, practicing hospitality, and asking kingdom-oriented questions. This training, along with regular exhortations through emails, announcements, and especially sermon references, stirred the congregation to be intentional […]