Jesus at the (Civic) Center

This is for You | This is for You | All for Your glory, Your honor, and Your fame!
This is for You | This is for You | All for the glory and wonder of Your name!

I initially wondered myself. Then other people asked. Even the local newspaper had questions.

Why Easter? And why the Civic Center?

Everything in all creation belonged to God first. My life. Your life. Creation itself. People and things have lost their way or been repurposed for other reasons but all creation has one reason for existence–to bring glory to God.

I remember driving past the Bismarck Event (Civic) Center years ago when a vision was birthed in my heart. What if that was a place where the name of Jesus was lifted up? What if that became a venue that people didn’t remember only for sporting events, rodeos, concerts and events?

What if it was the place where they experienced God and life-giving relationships?

Fast-forward to today and we are within one week of hosting up to 7,000 people on Easter Sunday to lift up the name of Jesus. My hope is not that Jesus will just be made famous for a few hours in a large auditorium but that He will be made famous in families and the lives of people.

The Civic Center gives us one thing our beautiful Evangel campus cannot give us:
Level footing for the person far from church and/or far from Jesus.

Walking into a church can be intimidating. Walking into a church you have never been to before or went to a long time ago can be even more intimidating.

“Who is that?”
“Where have they been?”
“Oh look it’s….Did you hear about…?”

It can be intimidating, and sometimes in some places, condemning.

I’m not gonna lie, being at the Civic Center is scary and out of my comfort zone. Speaking to a crowd that large is not in my wheelhouse of comfort. But I am comfortable being uncomfortable if it gives someone who doesn’t know Jesus a better chance to know him.

The church has been contained and confined to its own property for too long. We need to be outside our own walls. People outside the church need to be welcome on the church’s property.

The community is not FOR the church. The church is FOR the community.

And EVERY person in EVERY place and EVERY life situation deserves an opportunity to hear about Jesus.

We have a mantra: We will bend over backwards for those that don’t know Jesus.

So this year, we are going to pay the money, we are going to rally the volunteers, we are going to transfer the equipment, we are going to give up a holiday lunch, we are going to get inflatables, we are going to make sure the venue is secure and we are going to open the doors of our hearts, our church and our community.

We are going to do the hard work it will be easy for someone to have a chance to experience Jesus.

All of creation belonged to God first and this weekend we are reclaiming it for Him.

Our lives.

Our kids’ lives.

A venue.

A community.

And whatever happens, we’ll say: “This is for you. This is for you (Jesus). All for Your glory, Your honor, and Your fame!”