The first half of Acts 2:43 could have been thought to have died off when "the perfect came". And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe. While it seems legit that some things did cease once the church got its bearings, I don't believe being in awe of God or His works are among them. For many congregations, though, it seems like it.
I love the church's Awe Factor. I enjoy the sheer wonder of walking through our halls at any gathering. I am rich in who I get to know. I know so many enthused, grateful believers...and these numbers are certainly not restricted to our corridors. They are everywhere! You all are everywhere!
It wasn't always that way for me at Memorial. My role was interesting and the benefit of maintaining close ties was certainly rewarding. To say we lived in awe was really only true on random and distant occasions. Not so today. It's perpetual awe. Why?
United expectation. We anticipate God involving Himself in our usual routines; thus, transforming them into utter thrills and excitements. We live in a time of inexpressible joy, as the New Testament puts it. How did we get there?
We got out of His way. It began when the elders went deaf to critics. Critics have no ear from our leadership. If you believe they need at least one, I could give you a list of congregations to call where the critics have plenty of attention.....but there is no Awe Factor living among them.
The staff got out of His way. We still go by the Book which surprises many. We place emphasis upon forgiveness 70 x 7, starting life over, challenging members to freely use their talents, and looking for the handiwork of God to continue. We, as the elders, have developed an ability to not be afraid to let go of the control buttons. We, as the elders, trust the Holy Spirit to run a freer and more productive ship than we could do corporately.
The congregation got out of His way. We called a halt to our criticism of one another. We've learned to speak grace filled words in support. We as a congregation work as a team. There is increasing love and respect at every turn. Competition has become shadow. Harmony dominates center stage.
The result is the church's Awe Factor is a perpetual topic of discussion among our amazed and amazing people. We are more than productive as a result. We are so happy during this process. We live the Awe Factor and only want more of it. We keep having this feeling of awe!