Friend Day: Details! Details! Details!

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you FRIENDS, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15 

We are less than two weeks away from “potentially” one of Northbridge’s most significant Sundays of 2010! As I hope you have already heard, FRIEND DAY will be held at our church on Sunday, September 12th.  The ultimate purpose of this FRIEND DAY is to fulfill our commitment and duty to our BEST FRIEND, Jesus Christ, by working hard to accomplish our “master’s business” (which is to BEAR FRUIT that will last! John 15:16). FRIEND DAY gives us the opportunity to be used by God to reach out to people around us who are either “not saved” or are “unchurched”.  Since Jesus Christ has given the church the “ministry of reconciliation” (2Cor 5:18-20), we will be using this FRIEND DAY to try to reconcile (bring together) our lost and/or unchurched friends to Jesus, so that they, too, can enjoy a wonderful friendship with our Lord and Savior.

In order for this FRIEND DAY to be successful, there are a lot of “details” that all of our church family needs to be aware of and working on together. The first (and most important!) detail for all of us to pay close attention to…is the need to be actively praying and asking God to reveal to us the “friends” around us that He wants us to invite to this event.  No matter how good the worship, no matter how good the music, no matter how good the message, no matter how good THE FOOD, all our efforts will be “wasted” if we fail to obey our Lord and actually reach out to people around us and try to “compel them to come to the king’s banquet” (Luke 14:15-24)! Do not let “busyness” or “fear” keep you from simply encouraging your neighbors, and/or co-workers, and/or acquaintances from being your FRIENDS at Northbridge for this occasion. If they come, I sincerely believe that they will end up “thanking you” after they experience all that God has planned for them on that day!!!

The second most important detail for your attention, is to make sure you have a filled out “Friend Day Contract” for each person you are bringing to FRIEND DAY. The reason we need to have these “friendly contracts” laid at the foot of the cross is so that we can get these names turned over to the Prayer and Outreach Committees.  The Prayer Committee will be praying for each and every one of our invited “friends” before, during, and after our FRIEND DAY services.  The Outreach Committee will be sending letters from our church immediately after FRIEND DAY to “thank” every one of our guests for attending.  We will also use the information on the “friendly contracts” to visit them and bring them some delicious “goodies” (i.e. brownies, pies, cakes, etc.) to encourage them to consider coming back to Northbridge in the future.

Other details that you need to be aware of include:

1) Throughout the week before “Friend Day” (Sept. 6th-11th), we are asking as many of you as possible to provide a little “elbow grease” to help us get our church looking the best it possibly can for our Lord and friends.  The Building and Grounds Committee and our Sunday School Director will have a list of “small things” that, if done, can make a “big difference” on making a good first impression on those who will be visiting us on “Friend Day”.  Talk with your Sunday School Teacher to find out what your class has been assigned to accomplish.

2) I need as many young (and older!) strong men to help me put up the MASSIVE TENT that will arrive on Saturday (Sept 11th) at around 10:00 a.m.  If we get enough volunteers, we should have it up and ready to go in a couple of hours!

 3) Don’t forget the DIFFERENT TIMES for our Services on “FRIEND DAY”.  Sunday School will be starting at 9:00 a.m.! Our worship service will be starting at 10:00 a.m. and we will have a family meal starting at 11:30 a.m.

 4) We will be having only ONE (1) Morning Worship Service.  This means that seating is going to be at a premium.  We will be Video Broadcasting the Service in the Fellowship Hall for those that can not “fit” into our sanctuary that day.  If you do not have a “friend” that shows up for FRIEND DAY, please go to the Fellowship Hall after Sunday School…so that there will be enough room for “friends” to fit in the Sanctuary for our Worship Service.

 5) Because of the extra cars that will be coming (hopefully driven by our “friends”!), if you are physically capable and under the age of 60, please park in either the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Parking Lot or in the field beside our church.  Senior Adults that are above the age of 60 are free to park in the front of the church or in the Staff Parking Lot.  We will be using some “golf carts” to help transport people from the parking lots to our buildings, so don’t be concerned about the distance you park from the church.

 6) Jesus said that the world will know we are His “friends” by the “love we have for one another”; therefore, get a good night’s sleep the night before FRIEND DAY so that you can be in the best mood possible! Please show up with a smile on your face and a desire to be Christ’s example to the new “friends” you will meet on this special day. Remember, our guests will not know exactly where to go or what to do, so your willingness to stop and be a “good Samaritan”, providing a friendly greeting and willing assistance, could go a long way towards Jesus revealing Himself to a lost person who is attending our FRIEND DAY.  Please, please don’t get so wrapped up doing routine tasks and/or having deep conversations with your fellow church members that day that you IGNORE the cherished guests that our Lord has commanded us to SERVE!!!

 7) Finally, if you have not already begun, please start praying now for God to bless our efforts to obey His charge to “go and make disciples” through this FRIEND DAY.  No matter how well we plan this…no matter how hard we work…and no matter how many “friends” actually show up…Jesus has made it clear to His church: “…Apart from Me, you can do NOTHING”!