At Transformation House this Sunday we will have our first water baptism service since we started the church in February. I am STOKED! Our second one is scheduled for October 30. These two Sundays will be very special. Seeing people surrender and connect to Jesus is an awesome experience. The last baptism I attended was at Brookwood Church earlier this year when my cousin's daughter was baptized on her tenth birthday. I'm STILL smiling over that one.
There is another aspect of transformation that really moves me - seeing someone finally "get it" after living years in confusion or trapped in a destructive lifestyle or mindset. We have a church full of people like that. From the stage to the back door, our pastors and all around the room, we have experienced the life change that comes from living in right relationship with Jesus.
There are people who hesitated to come because of past church experiences, some who don't feel "worthy" or "clean enough" to come. Think of the people in the Bible who came to Jesus. He required no sit-ups, hail Mary's, or clean fingernails. They came to him sick, naked, foaming at the mouth, groveling, filty, stained, broken, and some with their own agendas of what they expected from him. Still, he put no prerequisites for them. He touched them, loved them, healed them, fed them, rescued them, encouraged them, and taught them. He welcomed them with open arms.
He still stands, arms wide open, with an invitation to ALL. Come with your piercings, your three-piece suits, your tattoos, your torn jeans, bare feet, scars, hurts, shaved head or ponytails, just come! He still has no prerequisite. Sure, some people, some churches, create barriers between Jesus and the people he loves, but those barriers are man-made. They don't exist, they're illusions from the mind of the pious, religious people who forget their only hope is the grace of God.
I'm saying this to say to you that the reason we started a church in downtown Greenville was to have a place where you can have free access to Jesus. Grace - your "get into Heaven free" card. No hidden fees, no secret code, nothing but an open invitation from the person who loved you enough to make SURE you could know him forever.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Take him up on it.
If you 'd like to talk about it, the doors of Transformation House are usually open until around 8 p.m. every day, Monday through Friday, and our Sunday Open House is at 10. We would love to meet you.