Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our first Sunday at Pioneer Ridge Middle School

It had been a year in the making, but our first Sunday in PRMS finally came. I had some serious "pre-game jitters" that I hadn't felt in awhile. It was almost like our opening Sunday again. All these questions of whether people would really follow us out to PRMS, whether people would be able to find it and whether new people would know we'd moved. Well, all those questions were answered. No one told me it was hard to find, we had one of our biggest attendance Sundays ever and one new family had pulled into Madison Elementary, but came to PRMS after seeing our sign in the Madison Elementary parking lot.

I must admit, though, the 12 hours or so leading up to the beginning of worship were quite stressful. We came in for two hours on Saturday night to work on set-up details and were back at the school by 8 AM on Sunday morning. But even with all that extra time, we were still stressing a bit (at least I was) by 10:00 Sunday morning. We've got a lot of new equipment for the kids area that we'll have to train people on and get efficient at, it will take a few weeks for the tech guys to get placement and hook-ups figured out and PRMS is so HUGE that we still haven't worked out an efficient route for the carts.
We rented a lift for Saturday night so as to hang our lights on the PRMS light rack but the lift wouldn't fit down the aisle. When I measured the lift (twice), I failed to notice the back wheels were two inches wider. So, that was frustrating, too. David Brush and I both had trouble sleeping on Saturday night because we kept thinking of things to worry about.

The funniest comment of the day came from Lindsay Mothersbaugh, referring to the size of PRMS, "this isn't a middle school, this is a college campus!"

Worship did however, begin promptly at 10:30. It was amazing to see that huge auditorium about 1/3 of the way full. And let me tell ya', there was a powerful spirit of worship from the the opening note to the final blessing. A lot of us leading in various ways could sense God working in people's hearts. I preached the message I'd originally prepared for August 17th, before God changed my plans that Saturday afternoon. To be honest, I didn't really want to preach it, it wasn't a very well put together message, but I sensed God leading me, if for no other reason than the last few minutes of the message. I closed the message by passionately challenging people to turn from self and to follow Jesus. I just laid it all out there, if a person only follows self it will make this life miserable and will lead to an eternal separation from Christ.

After my message, the band played "I will possess your heart" by Death Cab for Cutie. I then got back up and asked if anyone would be willing to raise their hand to indicate a willingness to turn from self and to follow Jesus. I was totally blown away by the response, we had about 20 people raise their hands! I just about lost my composure. It was amazing!

At 10:15, when I was nervously pacing the auditorium, wondering if people would show up, mumbling about how going to PRMS is likely the "make it or break it" point for our 3 year old church, I had no idea how incredible that morning's worship was about to be. I imagine God smiling, "Donnie, see what happens when you trust me!"
I believe in 10 years or so, we'll look back on August 31st as one of the most significant days in the history of our church.

Trinity Family is dreaming God-sized dreams!!!!

To view all the pictures from Sunday, click here.

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