Sunday the 24th we finished the “Life’s Healing Choices” series at our church. LHC was produced by Rick Warren and the Purpose-Driven crew, based around the book by John Baker. The series takes you through eight choices that, when put in place, help us find “freedom from hurts, hang-ups and habits.”
I heard about LHC through Rick Warren’s regular e-newsletter. It wasn’t long after first hearing about it that I felt we needed to bring LHC to our church. As assistant pastor I often recommend ideas to the senior pastor, and I put this one to him as soon as I felt confident of the need. A day later I received an email from him stating that he had seen something about it and was already considering LHC for the fall. With my email it became plain that God was leading us in this direction. We did have one hurdle to LHC. We were in the middle of a home group program we devised that was supposed to relaunch that fall. It was not a light decision to forego that program for LHC.
As we prepared to launch LHC, we announced it every Sunday, made 11 x 17 posters, hung a banner on the front wall of the sanctuary, put it on the website, and made special bulletins. We went all out. We announced that God was leading the leadership of the church to this program to help with some of the major issues in our local body. We announced that it was so important that other programs we were dedicated to would take a back seat to what God had led us to for the fall.
I received a call from the pastor just the other day. He mentioned an email he received this week from a member of our church. As the sermon closed on Sunday, this person realized that LHC was over, and they had missed the opportunity to really listen and respond because they had attended with no expectation. Now they were in a place where they wished they had listened and participated. Thankfully we have a plan to revisit LHC in the near future, and we keep recent sermons available to listen to online and on iTunes. But for this person the first crack at LHC had blown by without impact.
Sunday is right in front of us. What attitude will you bring to the table? What are you prepared to hear? Are you prepared at all for what is coming as you enter God’s house?
Do not let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass you by. For the hour or two that you will spend inside those doors, the music, the sermon, the altar call will only fit together in this way this one time. God will bring something new next week. But for this Sunday, He has put together a particular message for your heart. Will you be attentive? Will you heed what is placed before you? Or will you walk out unchanged, missing the point, only to find out later that you needed what was given that day? The choice is before you. Hopefully you get this warning in time.