This Invitation Was 15 Years In The Making // M-Note 1.13.23

Last Sunday after our last worship service, a woman came up to me and reintroduced herself. We knew each other way back during my first couple of years of ministry. Since I didn’t have an office when I started The Gathering, I would often default to Starbucks as my makeshift office. At the time, she was a barista there. Over the course of those early years of the church, I got to know her and the others that worked there quite well. They knew I was a pastor, and so naturally I would invite them to check out the church if they were ever interested.
 
Over the years I went there less frequently and lost touch with this person, until last Sunday. She showed up for worship, and I was thrilled to reconnect. As we talked, she told me that she decided she wanted to try a church, and she remembered me and The Gathering. A quick Google search led her to the Webster Site. And as she walked up the front steps, a bit nervous and apprehensive about stepping foot into a church, but those feelings quickly evaporated when one of the first people she saw was an old coworker at that same Starbucks. She told me that it was a sign that she had come to the right place.
 
After we chatted and I was driving home, I thought how funny God works. I invited this person to church nearly 15 years ago. But, just last Sunday she decided to try it. God led me to a particular Starbucks nearly two decades ago, and I began getting to know the workers (and they got to know me). Today, 4 people who worked there call The Gathering home. It is incredible that on the one Sunday this woman nervously decided to give church a try, the first person she would see was a familiar face. All of it reminded me that God is at work in our lives far more than we can usually recognize.
 
Don’t underestimate what God might be up to in your life. Don’t underestimate the power of an invitation, because sometimes it takes years for it to be accepted! Don’t underestimate the power of showing up, or listening to a nudge, or trying something you feel led to try. It can be the start of a new beginning. God is at work in our lives far more than we often realize. And the signs are all around us.
 
This weekend, I will continue our series Signs and Wonders: Seeing God in Everyday Life. I will be talking about how we get better at paying attention to signs and the way God is working right now. Last week was a huge kickoff to the series, and I hope this weekend is even better. So, plan to worship with me and invite someone new. You never know what that invitation can mean.
 
Peace,
Matt
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