WOW! Yesterday was an amazing day. South Bay Church is officially "launched" and our Grand Opening was so exciting. We really had no idea what to expect. We had done everything humanly possible to get people to come to South Bay's Grand Opening so that they could hear the gospel and get connected to a community of believers. We sent mailers, we hung door hangers, we displayed banners, we advertised on Google, we made phone calls...and we prayed.
In fact, many people joined us in praying, perhaps like they've never prayed before. For the 48 hours leading up to the Grand Opening we had a prayer chain of people all over the world praying around the clock. My husband devoted between one and two hours EVERYDAY to prayer. That is a huge time commitment with everything else he had going on. But we knew that we were completely dependant upon God. If God didn't show up, then our man-made efforts would fall horribly short.
But God did show up! In the SF Bay Area 95% of people do not go to church. This area has had many attempted and failed church plants within the last decade. People have warned us that our church is likely to take a long time to grow because the people here are so turned off to church. But, I think God has something else in mind when He looks at the Silicon Valley. He sees a place that is bursting at the seams with the need for a new church. A church that will break down the religious stereotypes and love people where they are. A church with a message that will be relevant to people's everyday lives instead of some far removed liturgy. A church that offers hope and joy and peace through the life-changing message of Jesus Christ! God's going to propel that type of church onward to advance the Gospel and bring glory to Himself. That's what he did yesterday!
Here's an overview of our numbers:
279 people in attendance (our highest attendance at a Preview service was 180)
61 first time guests
9 people indicated a first time decision to follow Christ!
68 people expressed interest in small groups
Today has been a busy day as we have been working on following-up with all of these people! It's crazy to think that we'll do this all over again in SIX DAYS! I am so excited to see how God is going to work through South Bay Church in the coming months. There is nothing more fulfilling and meaningful to see than life-change. I'm thankful that I get a front row seat!!!