We planned and prayed for one year and this past Sunday our church celebrated "One Great Day." It has been almost four years since we entered our newest building and the space has been a blessing as we have been able to expand ministries and add worship services. This new space came at a price and because of the faithfulness of our people, we are quickly paying off our debt. But the reality of debt is a part of our budget. A year ago our pastor put the challenge out to our congregation for a "One Great Day," a day when each family is asked to bring an additional offering of at least 1 week's salary. There was no monetary goal given just the challenge for as many families as possible to participate. Ninety percent of the offering would go toward paying down extra on our debt and 10% in our mission fund.
Although the challenge was for an extra offering it really is about having funds to support ministry because paying down debt allows us to put more funds into ministry. We began to look at the day not as a "One Great Day" offering but giving our church the resources to help others have the greatest day of their life.
What was the greatest day of your life?
For me it was the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and asked Him to be Lord of my life.
On Sunday evening we gathered back, not to just hear about an offering, but to celebrate what God has done for us through the Greatest Day in history and how that allows us to have our own personal One Great Day.
Here is the outline of our One Great Day evening worship celebration. I have included the readings, scriptures and links to the songs.
Song: Awesome in This Place
WL: Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
Worshipers: Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us and we are His - His people, the sheep of His pasture.
WL: For while we were helpless...at the appointed time, Christ died for us...the ungodly.
Worshipers: God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us and conquered death and the grave by rising again.
WL: Through that selfless sacrifice, the shedding of His blood we have been declared righteous...we have been saved.
Worshipers: We are saved through faith in Christ, the Son of God.
WL: That is why we are here tonight...with adoration, humility and gratitude lift up the name of our God. There is no-one like Him.
Worshipers: Praise be to God Almighty, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit our sustainer.
Song: Sing to the King
Opening Welcome: from our Pastor
This is a historical day in the life of ClearView...we are here to remember God's faithfulness, provision and call on our church to be on mission for Christ.
We are here to remember The One Great Day where the story of God became a possibility for us when...
Christ conquered death and the grave...that was the greatest one day ever.
And because of that One Great Day, we as believers can claim another One Great Day...
The day when Christ's love and grace became a reality for us...the day we said yes to Jesus Christ.
That is the reason we are here tonight...Your Love, Your Grace...causes us to sing.
Let's stand and celebrate together...proclaiming our faith and our hope in Jesus Christ alone.
Song: There Is One Reason
Song: Our God
Then they came to Bethesaida. They brought a blind man to Him and begged Him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see people they look to me like trees walking." Again Jesus placed His hands on the man's eyes, and he saw distinctly. He was cured and could see everything.
For that man...that was One Great Day.
In 1 Kings we see this story....
...the people of God had been suffering through an epic drought...no rain...for a long time. Here's the end of the story.
1 Kings 18:41-
Elijah said to Ahab: "Go up eat and drink, for there is the sound of a rainstorm" So he went up, looked and said, "There's nothing." Seven times Elijah said: "Go back"
On the seventh time, he reported, "There's a cloud as small as a man's hand coming from the sea"
In a little while, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there was a downpour.
For those people...that was a great day.
In Luke 8 we find this story...
While He (Jesus) was going, the crowds were nearly crushing Him. A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years...approached from behind and touched the tassel of His robe.
Who touched me? Jesus asked. Somebody did touch Me." said Jesus, I know that power has gone out from Me.
She declared the reason she had touched Him...
Daughter he said to her, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.
For that woman...that was a great day.
After the Sabbath...Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. ...the angel told the women, "Don't be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said.
For us...that was a great day.
Testimony: (here we had three people come and give a 20-40 second testimony about when they accepted Christ. They were prompted and rehearsed to start or end the testimony with the statement...my "One Great Day.")
Song: The Same Love
Testimony: (three more people gave their "One Great Day" testimony.)
During the chorus of this song choir members begin to raise 18"x9" signs indicating the day they accepted Christ. As the song progressed they moved from the choir risers to cover the whole stage and area of the floor in front of the stage. This song and their sign was their testimony...this was a powerful moment. At the conclusion of the song the choir placed their signs in 'plate stands' that had been positioned all across the stage. The signs stayed throughout the rest of the service, it was a great visual.
Pastor came to stage to introduce communion.
Song: The Wonderful Cross
Take the Bread.
Take the Cup
What a great thing to remember...as Christ instructed...the greatest event in history...It is finished...Death has been defeated....
Now what are we going to do with this?
God sent Christ to earth with a purpose, for a purpose...to Glorify the Father through the conquering of death and the grave.
God pursues us with purpose for a purpose...to Glorify Him with all that we are.
God has placed ClearView here, on this property, for a purpose to Glorify God by making Him known to the ends of the earth.
Before we even open the envelope and see how God has blessed us so that we can contribute to this...we need to pray.
We want to pray and offer ourselves that we can glorify God for His purpose.
We need to pray that as a faith family we can follow God's will for our church, that will a blatant witness for His glory.
Prayer: two persons from different generations came forward to pray for our church and its mission
Offering Announcement. For the last twelve months we had prayed and planned for this offering. We were overwhelmed at how our people gave. The total gifts on this day were: $677,413.86. And since then the total continues to rise.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Ministry Spotlight: at this point we went to total blackout and projected on the video screens images of our church doing ministry from its earliest days until the present. We did this in silence. This video was followed with the following text slides:
How does God want me to be involved?
In the next few moments of silence...speak to God and ask Him...what do you want from me? How do I need to be involved in Your mission?
Song: All To Us
Song: Declare Your Name
Half way through this song the choir moved from stage once again, this time filling the aisles and leading the congregation in the repeat of the song. The service concluded here joining as a unified body of believers declaring that we will be witnesses for Christ.