Launch Sunday

  • 0
  • September 15, 2009

Launch

Sunday was great. Really great. Sincerely grateful for all of Seven Mile Road’s friends. All week, we received phone calls, emails, and texts from friends pulling for us and encouraging us with prayers. Here’s a few thoughts from our Launch Sunday:

1. Sunday is always 7 days away! For a bunch of us, it only hit when we closed the service and dismissed everyone saying, “We’ll see you for worship again next week.” Siby, the guy who leads music for us, went home thinking, “Man, I’m a part of a church plant!” From here on out, there’s songs to select, a sermon to prepare, a room to setup, friends to invite, visitors to welcome – every Sunday. Awesome.

2. One of the thousands of things I learned from my time at Seven Mile Boston: Sunday worship is not about putting on a show. Do you know how freeing that is? How crippling it is when you feel like you’ve got to put on a bigger and better show each week. You always have to preach a blockbuster sermon and sing in a way that riles up the crowd. You’re always waiting for some emotional high and you have to do everything you can to manufacture it. Nonsense. We do that when Sunday becomes about us. You think the people of Israel were stirring themselves up when they would gather before God at the base of the mountain? It was about Him. As such, whether in silence, or song, or celebration, or stillness, the people encountered God. I have no pressure to put on a better “show” next week than this one. Instead, I am joyfully excited that we will gather next Sunday and it will be about Jesus. We’re not trying to make anything happen. We sing, we pray, we read Scripture, we preach, we take Communion, we fellowship. We’ve got a simple flow. No special effects and I love it. We get to participate with the people of God in worshiping and making much of Jesus. God help us to stay that way.

3. It didn’t feel like a graduation. At the end of the service, someone came up to me and congratulated me. They were totally sweet, but I genuinely was caught off guard. Nothing about the day felt like this was about  our achievements or accomplishments. Graduations are like that. People congratulate the graduate for what they accomplished and achieved and pulled off. There’s a spotlight on him. Nothing about Sunday felt like that. We preached on Matthew 16 where Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus promises to build His Church. On Sunday, Seven Mile Road got swept up into what Jesus has been doing for two millennia – the achievements and accomplishments are His. He is the Victor and we are His trophies.

4. I love these people. I genuinely do.

5. I’m so glad we did preview services. They helped us gain momentum. They gave people an opportunity to gain a feel for Seven Mile Road for several months now. They helped take the pressure off the Launch date. Sunday felt much more like a continuation of something that had been rolling than the start of something from scratch. It felt more like a next step than a first step.

6. We’re excited. I can just imagine how horrible it would be if we got out of Sunday thinking, “what have we gotten ourselves into!” I don’t feel that. We have so much work to do. We have to raise up leaders for SoulCare groups, teachers to start a Sunday School, musicians to lead in singing, teams for setup/breakdown – not to mention keeping mission before our people so that we don’t drift into maintenance mode. But we’re excited. May God keep us joyful and our spirits high.

7. We have such small shoulders to carry this work – but thankfully Jesus has broad ones. My prayer has been that what Jesus began on Sunday would long outlive us all.

Share this post:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
« « Previous Post: Our last Sunday before launch | Next Post: Now Podcasting » »

About Ajay Thomas

Ajay lives in Philadelphia with his wife Shainu and their kids Hannah and Micah. He is responsible for preaching and vision as a pastor at Seven Mile Road. He loves God, family, food, and football - in that order.

6 Comments

  • Sam George says:

    Way to go, guys. Keep it up.

    A local church is the hope of the world. There is nothing as influential as a local church, when done right. Change the landscape of your community…let Spirit’s enduring work flood that neighborhood.

    Let God’s love for the lost world flow through you all and restore the hurting and broken world.

    Praying for you all.

    Sam

  • Ron Hamilton says:

    I am very encouraged by the report of your first official service on Sunday. “He who started a good work in you will bring it to completion!”

    I hope to visit your church again soon!

    Ron

  • What a treat to be able to share your joy Ajay, and thank you for an excellent demonstration of Christ-centered, grace saturated preaching. I look forward to visiting again, this time with my whole family.

  • Nate Hall says:

    You guys are an encouragement to all of us … in fact you were mentioned last Sunday as an example of what a small church can do when they decide when they to give up their dreams of being huge and use their resources to multiply disciples, leaders and churches. Your story (7 Mile Road Philly, Boston and Forestdale) has inspired our people in Westport, MA.

    Nate

  • Cindy says:

    It is hard to believe that a year has gone by already. I remember when I first met you and heard about the church plant. I will continue to pray that the Lord will bless you and the people you minister to.

Leave a Reply