April 1, 2012, was a miraculous day in Fargo-Moorhead and at PHCC: 90 adults, 20 middle/high school students, and 14 grade school students were baptized as followers of Jesus Christ. They made this decision after receiving Christ as their Savior! They all have a unique and miraculous story of God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and hope….simply amazing…absolutely beautiful and breath-taking to say the least.
One of the folks baptized said: “Thank you Jon and PHCC! Before coming here a few months back I was in a very dark place and now God has changed my life. We are so glad to be a part of this church.” Another said “Had somebody told me even a few months ago I would participate in a believer baptism, I would have told them they were crazy. The past couple of months have been really life changing for me and I can hardly believe it.”
The other Sunday I shared from the New Testament 8 reasons why Believer Baptism is a great step of faith and obedience. The result was that these 124 people said YES, I am in! This is what God wants me to do!
After looking at videos and lots of pictures trying to soak it all in on Monday, I sat down Monday night and typed up my thoughts. To summarize: God changed my life on April 1, 2012.
God reminded me:
**How important children’s and youth ministry are! We must never give anything short of our VERY best to them.
**We have to keep encouraging EVERYONE to be involved in a life group where friendships are formed! (66 of the 90 adults baptized are in PHCC life groups and all 20 middle and high school students are regulars at Oxygen.)
**How beautiful healthy relationships are. Sunday was a day celebrating relationships (with God and with God’s family) and it was very apparent and felt by 1000s of people.
**How beautiful people are when they say YES to Jesus! It was an inner beauty of the Holy Spirit that shined in their eyes and faces…a radiance!
God taught me:
**I was hesitant to have a believer baptism during a Sunday morning service because I wasn’t sure how the logistics would go and I didn’t want anything to be “weird”. Many people assume church things are “weird” and that “weird” things happen in a church service and I didn’t want to feed those perceptions. But, I knew that if God helped us pull it off, it would be life-changing for many people in attendance and for our church. Well, God had it all taken care of and it was amazing. Many people came up to me having never seen a believer baptism service and they were so touched. There is something powerful about seeing changed lives being baptized.
**God challenged my vision. I knew it in my head but God visually shared with me, and us, that He has something HUGE in store for Fargo-Moorhead through Prairie Heights! Why can’t we see 200+ new believers at PHCC every year? Why can’t we see 150+ people baptized every year? If each of us keep growing personally and we remain obedient and “all in” won’t God use us in the lives of 1,000s of more people? I don’t see how or why that will not happen.
**God gave me a new “heart” for people. I don’t want anyone to go through life without connecting their life to Christ and to a church family and being part of a Holy Spirit outbreak like we experienced on Sunday. As I look at people now I have a new love for them and their spiritual condition and that came as I witnessed the joy in the lives of so many people on Sunday. It was tangible and unique from anything I have ever experienced. And the result is that God has amped up my passion for His mission and for PHCC and what God is calling us to be and do. Perhaps He did the same for you?
I am so excited for Easter Sunday. It is the biggest Sunday of the year as we proclaim that THE Redeemer of the world is alive and well and He reigns! I will see you there along with the friends and family who come with you. Have a very blessed week!