We started our day hearing an outstanding message from Vince Antonucci, Verve’s pastor on leading with love. His message was exactly what I needed to hear, and hit on some excellent things that really helped change my perspective. He mentioned that Christians have the tendency to get lost and loose our purpose & mission. Our mission is to help lost people get home. I know what it is like loosing my son, he ran out the front door and I couldn’t find him anywhere running up and down the streets and screaming his name I was so terrified I couldn’t imagine life without him. After calling the police in a panic, less than 5 min later I found him a few houses down. Wow, was I so glad. I wrapped him in my arms and that feeling of love I had, I’ll never forget. That’s nothing compared to the love God has for us. He just wants us to find our way home no matter our past, or troubles we face. His love is unconditional.
Vince touched on a great point that the main reason people don’t share the word of God is FEAR. Fear of what others will think or how they will react. But everyone needs love & truth. You can’t convince people of truth but you can love them. He mentioned leading with love opens people up and leading with truth shuts them down. But love opens ears and hearts. So much so that you may not even need to get to truth. They may find it on their own. It’s Gods kindness that leads us to repent. Love makes people want to change and gives them security. Gods goal is not to get you to stop sinning, it’s for you to come home and experience his love. His love will change you. We get to be a part of Gods mission to help others come to know God. We get to be the answer to Gods prayer and make his mission our mission to seek & find lost people.
After the message we then went out to deliver 30 dozen donuts to the local businesses around the church to thank them for all the hard work they do. They were in shock that we did that. In fact the Auto Zone guy gave me a hug and yelled “hey everyone they brought donuts.” Later, one guy from he thanked us again when we were walking by. Another example was the Vet office. They said this was the best thing that has happened to them all day. And lastly was a boutique where she thought we were selling her something. She said, “no thanks” and we insisted that it was a free, no strings attached gift to say thanks for all your hard work in the community from the church. She was so grateful, she ran out later and thanked us again and asked for more invites to put out in her shop for others when they come in. It’s the little things that brighten up someone’s day.
After lunch we went back to local neighborhoods to hand out more invite cards. While out, our group ran into a family who got an invite card years ago and started attending Verve because of them. How incredible. What a true testimony of what these invite cards can do and what an impact we can leave on the city.
After invite cards we headed to dinner at a Verve family’s house. This family moved to Vegas 3 years ago, far away from friends and family and their comfort zone. They have had to overcome a number of challenges being surrounded by so many unbelievers, having to listen to many sad stories and extend love and grace to everyone. The wife expressed to us the challenges of raising two young girls here and having to explain very hard situations to them at an early age. They’ve learned that sometimes not knowing what to say is okay and to just be. I was blown away by her faith and trust in God to walk them down the correct path.
After dinner we went back out on the Las Vegas Strip to pass out more invite cards. It was so awesome seeing everyone break out of their shell more and more. To witness team members Bud & Marilyn praying for the homeless and showing them love and grace was amazing.
These last 3 days have been extremely eye opening. I can not wait to get home and start being on mission for God locally in the neighborhood and sharing love with everyone I come into contact with. It’s those touches, seeds & love that will help transform their hearts, and help bring them closer to their Father who desperately is awaiting their return.