Friend Day has come and gone at Liberty Lighthouse Church of God, but the effects should last for a long time. What an incredible day we all had this past Sunday; the house was packed, the singing and worship were wonderful and the most important part of all is the fact God visited with us. We are so blessed to say the Lord met with us as we honored him as our friend.
Just before school came back into session about a month ago, we had a special day at our church in which we honored the school children with a big “Back to School” party. We gave away backpacks, notebooks, bags and lots of other school supplies. There was even a new laptop that went out the doors. We asked our church children to supply names of their friends, then we sent out invitations to the party. There were lots of kids, along with their parents, who showed up that day, and it was a great success.
For our Friend Day event, we employed the same principle, but this time it was with the adults. They were asked to provide names of people they would like to see come to church and be their friends. We sent out quite a number of invitations this time, too. I told the people when their friends asked them about the invitation, they were to act excited and to encourage their friends to attend.
Lots of work was done on the church grounds during the weeks leading up to the big event. Fresh paint in the sanctuary, hallway in the education building, restrooms and doors, along with new signage made up the bulk of the cosmetic renovations. We also worked on our flower arrangements in the sanctuary; what a difference that made. One of our young men figured out a way to add another couple of rows of chairs, so I let him take care of that detail; it’s a good thing, too, as the extra seats were needed!
We did several things differently than any other service. Knowing there would be a good crowd, I had a couple of people helping park cars, making sure the visitors got the closer spots. We had greeters and ushers in place, too, and that made a difference. When you’re a small church like we are currently, you really don’t think of having all the areas covered like we did on that day. We normally just have a couple of ushers; we are preparing for growth, so we need them in place now.
The songs were upbeat and the people seemed to really enjoy them. God was definitely in the house as we worshiped him together. I could sense a special presence of God and knew he was dealing with hearts and lives. It’s exciting to see the hand of the Lord move in the midst of people. The Spirit of God calls people to the throne of grace and it’s left up to the individual to accept or reject the Savior’s invitation.
I preached a message entitled “Jesus – Friend of Sinners.” We talked about the meaning of “friend” and showed many examples in the Bible of faithful friends. There are many in God’s word we can see in order to understand how we should conduct our lives. Our friends sometime let us down, but there is one who is even closer than a brother – Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. He wants to be your friend, your God, your Savior and Lord.
We finished the day upstairs in the old building. It has been converted into our fellowship hall and was packed for the dinner. The last of the old pews were taken out the door the day before our big event, so there was room to add even more tables and chairs. It’s a good thing, too, as we wouldn’t have had a place to seat anyone else. It’s good to have a place to sit down and enjoy good food and fellowship.
There’s actually so much more that could be written about our wonderful day. I could tell of each person that had a part in the morning service, those who labored on the various work projects and even those who served during the day. Suffice it to say how pleased I am with everyone who took part, giving of their time and talents to make the day very special.