Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are YOU "ALL IN???"

I'm not much of a gambler, but it's hard not to catch on with some of the terms that people who are into the poker craze these days.  The term, "ALL IN" is something we hear all the time. People say it in relation to all sorts of areas, but they use it most often when they are describing how important something in their lives is.  They use it to speak of their complete commitment to some action or ideal.

Usually when someone goes "ALL IN" in playing poker, they are so certain that their hand will win, that they are willing to risk everything for the big win in one shot.  They place their cards face-down on the table, and push all of their chips into the middle of the table in an all-or-nothing move to gain all, and in some cases to win the game.  It's the ultimate move for people with a great opportunity.

But, let me ask you a question.

Is there ANYTHING in life worth being more "ALL IN" about than the opportunity to introduce your friends to God?

I think that sometimes we over-emphasize the fear associated with taking the risk involved in asking someone to come to church with you, or even bringing up matters of faith.  Sure, they might say no when you ask them, but that the worst thing that could happen?  Not to minimize the anxiety you might feel, but is it really worth it when you consider the benefits of stepping out and taking the risk of inviting someone this Sunday?

Think about what a great experience you have had in life since turning your life over to God.  Do you remember how incredibly freeing that very first moment was when you asked Jesus to forgive your sins?  Do you remember giving all of the guilt of your past to Him, and walking out of church (or wherever you were that day) knowing that your past mistakes were just the past?  Isn't it amazing to know that since you have connected to God that you have a family of people who will stand with you in the hard times?  Can't you think of at least one person in your life that needs to know and feel that way, too?

Then I have an opportunity for you that you just CAN NOT PASS UP!  

This Sunday, almost everyone is thinking about going to church.  

It's true.  They might not actually go, but almost everyone is thinking about it.  They usually think about it, but then decide not to go, because of one reason or another.  They might not want to risk going and being ignored at the church they have visited before.  They might not want to deal with the guilt they feel.  They might not even want to go because the last time they went to church they were so incredibly bored, they never want to sit through that again!  Whatever the case, though, they ARE thinking about it.

This is where our opportunity lies.  What if you and I were to take our hand and put it onto the table, and gather all of our chips, and slowly push them to the center of the table in an action of going "ALL IN" with our attempts at inviting people to Element Church this Sunday?  Could you imagine what might happen?  Could you imagine that neighbor of yours starting a new life with God?  Could you imagine your husband, son, aunt or other family member finally finding the peace that they have been searching for?  Could you see your boss at work or another coworker actually begin to change as they begin to live their lives in a God-honoring way, all because you went "ALL IN" and invited them to church on Easter 2011?

It's going to happen like that for people who take the risk and invite people this Sunday.  I promise you this Sunday is going to be a SURE THING.  We work hard every week to have an engaging program to help you connect with and grow toward God.  But THIS SUNDAY, Easter Sunday, will have an incredible impact on all who attend.  If you go "ALL IN" in getting people to church, both you and they will not be disappointed.  We WILL see the miracle of people coming to Jesus.  We WILL experience the power & presence of Jesus, not in a "weird" way, but in a very REAL & down-to-earth way that we always do at Element Church.  This Sunday is going to be AWESOME.

So...will you join me?  Will you lay down your hand?  Will you push the chips into the center of the table?  Will you go all in & invite EVERYONE you see to Element Church this Sunday?  

I'm doing it.  I'm dialing my friend Mark right now.  (412) 951-XXXX.

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