What a day we had, yesterday. The church was open to visitors from 2pm onwards, right through until the end of the evening service, and at 6.15pm (when we switched counters) we had had 547 people come through the church. There was a cafe (with home-made fair-trade baking), massage, bouncy castle (for kids), computer games, scalextric, quiet place, prayer room, necklace-making and live music throughout the day - and it was all free.
I spoke to a couple of families who were in complete amazement that we were also a 'fully functioning' church but who also thought that what we were doing was really great (especially considering that we are a 'fully functioning' church). It was also a great privilege for us to be able to pray with a number of people, one of whom had come into the church, had a hand massage, left, but then felt prompted to come back and ask for prayer. I am reliably informed that there were a number of people who came in throughout the course of the day and said that they would be back for services next week.
In the evening we had a service which was advertised on all our leaflets which were handed out throughout the day and which we hoped people might invite non-Christian family or friends to. In true St Silas fashion people were still arriving after 6.30pm and so we started a little late as the first half of the service was all performance (poetry and music). It was excellent: a great testimony to the incredibly creative and gifted people that we are blessed with.
After that I spoke, making the theme for the (short) talk 'bridge building'. I used this picture (a must buy for preachers/teachers). I think it is incredibly symbolic of the way in which we try to build bridges - with God, with people, or in situations - but also of how, although they may work for a while, a new storm will always come along rendering them somewhat useless. We looked at three great truths from the bible in relation to bridge building:
- Jesus builds a bridge for us to God.
- Jesus builds a bridge for us to fullness of life.
- God expends the energy in the bridge building process.
We then ended with a time of sung worship, culminating in an a cappella version of Amazing Grace. A fitting way to end an amazing day.