Easter @ the Suncoast 2011

Wow! All I can say is wow! GO GOD! Yesterday was an amazing day at Church of the Suncoast. Obviously, it was Easter so we expected to have a bigger crowd, last Sunday I cast some vision about what if we could double the size of our church in just one week if we all brought someone, and for the first time in our five year history we actually did just that! We came within 5 people of DOUBLING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE we had the week before, close enough to call it double right!

Every person had a story. Every person was someone we tried to honor and serve. Every person heard the Gospel of Jesus preached and acted out by our amazing volunteers who served. OMG! We had 52 kids yesterday and I counted at least 4 more on the way :-)

Here are a few other numbers to thank God for:

34 first, second or third time guests (and there are always more who don't fill out a card)

4 people accepted God's Easter gift and invited Jesus into their lives, THAT NEVER GETS OLD and that is what this is all about Suncoast.

175 the number of people at the Suncoast.

If you have followed my blog, or our church, then you know it has been a hard year for us. Just a lot of stuff going on in the area we do church. A lot of economic stuff that has led to a lot of relational stuff and so on. We were doing two services last year and had 237 and then the bottom fell out. We struggled, went back to one service. Really fought and prayed our way through this and Sunday really felt like we turned a corner. God is faithful Suncoast! Our best days are still to come.

Thank you to all the amazing people who made Easter happen. It was great to see the people stick around for Sno Cones and the bounce houses and just enjoy the day. I hope you were as pumped up as I was!

I love my church!

Egging the City

Hey Suncoast today is Good Friday, the day we mark as the death of Jesus. But, we know the rest of the story, Sunday is coming! All this week you have been egging the city. I was thinking back over all the stuff we have used this week to get the word out about the amazing Easter celebration this Sunday at the Suncoast:

Also we gave out Easter invite baskets:

AND, tomorrow... There will be a group of people from the Suncoast handing out some cold water and invite cards along one of the big intersections in our area. You can contact Mike Drescher for all the info mcdrescher@msn.com Basically, meet at the Starbucks in front of Super Target on SR 54 at 10:30am and you will go from there.

Here is what I really wanted to share though. This Sunday is going to be amazing! You would not believe the amount of work that has been going into making this service a "WOW" experience for the people you are asking and bringing (remember to go for the ask... see last Sunday's message). I will be praying for all the people you are inviting and be praying for mine and Cheryl's. How cool would it be to increase the size of heaven as God meets us Sunday and does what only He can do, change a heart and a life.

I CAN'T WAIT!!! I love my church!

5th Birthday (Recap)

This past Sunday Church of the Suncoast turned 5. It seems like my wife Cheryl and I have been doing this church planting thing forever, but in other ways our time is a blip on the map. Here are some of the highlights:

We started a new series called "DNA" that will take us up to Easter and it is all about the vision of the Suncoast. Normally, when a vision series and our birthday line up I get up and talk about the past and how we started with no building, no people, and no money because you can't know where you are going unless you know where you have been. But, instead of that we shot a documentary on the handful of people who got this thing off the ground and let them tell the story in their own words. You can watch it here:

It is about 10 minutes too long but we really wanted to show the amazing stories, in fact there was so much to share that about 2 hours worth of film is sitting on the cutting room floor. Thanks to my parents, the Drescher's, Wilson's, McCauley's and my wife for sharing and being willing to have their faces plastered all over a 20 ft screen!

We also had the scrap books my mom has made for about the first 3 years out for people to look through. As I flipped through them I was struck by how young I looked... only 27 when we started AND I was struck by the excitement on every one's faces as they set up or did some task to transform the location.

The band did a song by "The Afters" called "We Won't Give Up" and we are going to use that as our rallying cry for the rest of the series. Great job guys! It really set the mood.

We also took up a special offering for a couple Japanese churches that were wiped out last month. We will be sending just over $3,000 to help them continue to do ministry and rebuild. Way to go Suncoast! Stay tuned for updates.

Then we wrapped the service up with baptism and child dedication (congratulations guys) and CAKE! Each year Publix makes us a cool cake to celebrate our birthday and this years was awesome. We went through it in less than 10 minutes.

Then we packed the trailer up and put another service in the can. BUT, what a birthday. I am thankful God has allowed me to go along for this ride. He has done an amazing work in my life through this and I know He has changed many of your lives as well. That was the first five years, can't wait to see what happens in the next five!