We handed out almost 1,000 of these jars on Sunday at The Church at Severn Run.
Yep, tiny jars with a $5 bill in it.
Every person who sat through the end of our service this weekend got one, well every person who came forward to get one I guess...
Now you're probably thinking, "Who the heck wouldn't come get one of these?!" I'm not sure how many people skipped the $5 jar, but I bet a few did, because we got an assignment with this jar, one that we could take on, choose to ignore, or skip altogether.
Multiply. Gather. Grow.
Hang on, let's learn some back-story.
The Church at Severn Run is an amazing church. It's one of those churches that is known for its amazing people, not it's great building, great worship, or great sermons even though we have all of those things in my opinion. Our people are game-changers, life-changers, world-changers and they've taken on every crazy challenge that we've thrown at them over the last couple of years. And they haven't been easy challenges.
- Take 30 invite cards and distribute them with your personal invitation. Done.
- Put this sticker on your car. Done.
- Join a Connect Group. Done.
- Serve. Ok!
- Write your God-given dreams on a wall for everyone to see. Done.
- Paint a mural in Inner City Baltimore. Done.
- Fast. Food, all of it, for a whole day. Done.
- Post one of your biggest "asks" online for all to see and expect God to come through for you. Done.
- Fast again. Your choice, but make it a sacrifice, for 21-Days. In-Progress.
These are just a few of the things I can think of that my church community has taken on and totally demolished. All the while faith has grown and people notice.
People notice because this doesn't exist in Maryland, especially not in the Baltimore-DC corridor. It's very post-Christian here. People here don't need church, don't need Jesus, don't need God. That's the norm, and it will stay that way until they see people who have Jesus. Not just the metallic Jesus that rests on a crucifix on your neck, the real Jesus who turns your world upside-down, shakes it out, rearranges it and then sends you back out as a radical world-changing agent. That's the Jesus that Severn Runners are face-to-face with each and every week in our gatherings. Many of them have taken on a personal relationship with that Jesus and are wrestling with him and growing with him daily, and people are noticing.
They're noticing because we're lead by a fearless pastor who hears from God and doesn't make excuses to avoid following him. The man is on his face (literally, yall) in prayer in his office for more hours than I sleep in a week, seeking God's next steps for our church. The craziest part of this whole ritual is that we actually do what God puts on his heart during those power-prayer sessions. Every stinking time. It's scary, challenging, stressful, stretching, and amazing.
For some reason I have gotten the crazy awesome privilege to not only be a part of this church community, but a part of the team who leads it. Here at the Mace Place, we're all in.
Multiply. Gather. Grow.
That's my paraphrase of the challenge. If you want to hear the heart of the whole thing, I encourage you to listen to this message to understand where it comes from:
We were each asked to take this $5 and listen to how God would challenge us to use our gifts to grow this small investment. So here's how I'm doing it. With you! The only reason I didn't make social media part of my 21-day fast is because it's part of my job, so what better way to redeem my personal social media habits than by using it to grow what God has given me through my amazing church.
I would love for you to consider donating just $5 to my church right now. It's going to this all new Capital Campaign we're launching called, "On The Road." OTR's goal is to raise $6 Million to help us pay off our building and begin the nest egg for whatever the next logical step is in our overall goal to grow to a community of 5,000 Severn Runners (that's what I call these amazing life-changing Christians). Right now we are a growing community of 1,200 and space is getting extremely tight! We're already talking about launching a 4th (yes 4th) service time this year to help accommodate new folks, but we can only do so many services in one weekend so a new space will be needed sooner than later.
In a few weeks I will be introducing a more involved challenge to you, my online community, about how you can be more involved in this amazing journey (along with a bunch more information I've been working on with my team). But for now, could you drop $5 in my online "jar." I will be giving frequent updates on what this has done, but I'm making it a goal to bring in $1,500 this way by March 5. For now, keep it to $5, if you want to get more involved, hang tight, because I will be giving you an opportunity to do that later!
Here are some nuts-and-bolts on how this works. I've set up a PayPal.me Friends & Family page. That means that when you visit the link, don't click that checkbox about goods & services. Leaving that unchecked will allow you to donate $5 without any of PayPal's fees getting in the way. For now your donations are going into one of the Mace accounts and on March 5 we are going to make a withdrawal that includes all of your $5 donations plus mine, and bring it to Severn Run on March 6 as a part of the celebration we are having that day. I will be sure to tell you all about that day. I can't wait to share!
Thank you so much for participating in this crazy request! I'll see you in a few days with an update.