Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And All God's People Said...YEEHAW!!

Listen, folks! All of you know what style of music I absolutely cannot handle. In fact, I still think that if I study my Greek New Testament long enough I will find that it is the music the devil listens to. That’s right! I’m talking about “country music.” I’m sorry, but I just can’t take the “twang.” However, as much as country music is completely against my personal preference, I have given my consent to enter the world of “twang” for what we are praying will be the largest outreach in the history of our church.

This June we will once again have all of the Operation Barnabas (OB) teams, consisting of over 100 of the cream of the crop teens from Grace Brethren Churches all across America, with us for their OB orientation in preparation for their summer ministry tours. Teens from our church, including my own daughter last year, are part of Operation Barnabas every summer. It is a fabulous ministry training program sponsored and run by CE National out of Winona Lake, Indiana. In fact our own Andy Brightbill and Doug Kegarise have been both students and leaders on Operation Barnabas. This group was with us two years ago for their orientation and we absolutely loved having them. Our only regret was that we had over 100 quality Christian teens with a ministry heart and mind-set with us but we never utilized them to impact our community.

We wanted to be sure to take advantage of this awesome opportunity this summer so I asked Doug Kegarise, our Director of Student Ministries and former OB participant and Senior Leader, to put a task force together and to plan an outreach that we could do in partnership with all of these Operation Barnabas participants. This task force has worked hard and is in the midst of putting together an outreach opportunity that is different than Lititz has ever seen and which will also utilize the 12 acres of land that we own across the street from the church.

At the end of their orientation, on Sunday, June 24, we will partner as a church with all of these Operation Barnabas teams to have one really big western day. This will include a country style worship service. Following this unique and exciting service we will be having a full-fledged rodeo. There is a Christian ranch that will be coming in and setting up a real rodeo arena along with the rodeo animals and Christian ropers and cowboys. Alongside of this rodeo we will be having a family-oriented western fair. It is our prayer that we will touch more people from our community on this one day than any other day in the history of our church.

Please be praying daily for this event, this task force, and for the involvement you will have come June 24. You will be hearing more about this as we move closer to the month of June. Because the date of this event is so close to the Fourth of July, we will be taking a year off of our annual Patriotic Celebration which is usually held at the Lititz Springs Park around the same time. This western day event on June 24 is not just an Operation Barnabas event or a Task Force event. This is a church-wide event. We need every person and every ministry to be involved…even those of us that don’t like country!

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