Sunday, April 08, 2007


Pretty cool Easter, eh? I don’t think I’ll ever get over the feeling of watching people make a decision to follow Jesus. I love when that happens.

Honestly, I really wrestle with the whole “come-forward”-invitation thing. It’s the churchy-altar-call-tradition that I struggle with. I hope you don’t mind me saying that and that you understand where I’m coming from. I think it’s the problem I have with anything that smells manipulative…or preachers who seem to want to generate some emotional response…or just the hokiness of some American-church-subculture practices. Besides, we really don’t have a decent scriptural precedent for it. The closest thing is Peter’s mind-blowing message after the Holy Spirit falls on Pentecost in Acts 2…and even then someone yells out from the crowd, “What do we do?” Peter simply responds with “Repent and get baptized in the name of Jesus so your sins are forgiven and then you’ll receive the gift of the Spirit.” Then it says he kept on talking like that for a long time. And remember, this wasn’t even a church service. Three thousand people got baptized that day.

That’s a little different from the typical church. You can’t manufacture that…that’s simply God.

Anyway, despite my idiosyncrasies and personal weirdness, it was awesome. People genuinely weeping with desperate faces, hungry for God. And I’m sure some of the electricity I feel has to do with the personal significance Easter has for me. April 14, 1974…a million years ago. Yesterday.

Oh yeah…and the fact that lots of people may only come to church on Easter or Christmas. It just seems like the right time to fish…even with a traditional hook. Seize the day. Or carpe carpum…seize the fish.

But it sure was cool.

Happy Easter, gang! Let’s fling a feast.


  1. Dave, I completely agree with you about how calling people forward can have a "churchy-altar-call-tradition" feel to it. But, at the right times I feel that it is really necessary. When I made the decision to follow Christ it was a "stay in your seat-in your heart" decision. I used to get freaked out when churches called people forward, but I think that was because I didn't understand it. This Easter I finally got it, everything was done the right way, you really could feel the electricity, and I wished that I had walked forward when I decided to follow Christ. It is active. You are coming up, walking, moving, saying here I am Lord, I am ready to follow You.

  2. I have always been repulsed by deliberately incited, hyper-emotional, professional sports style hysteria in church and have noted that early rock & roll looked exactly like a Pentecostal tent meeting in a bar; worshiping sensuality instead of The Sacred One. Following Y'Shua is not entertainment but it's not a spectator event either. Sometimes taking a stand means literally getting up on one's feet in public:

    "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32 NIV

    Mark Marshall

  3. well Pastor Dave it doesnt get any better than that. that's all i can say... i think part of me is still there. i have always thought of easter as a birthday party for His kids. Bless His Name ;-)

    Grace to all

  4. Hi Dave, just wanted to let you know that I came forward this past Saturday ( 4-7-07). It was an easy decision for me. I have been coming to the Vineyard for 2 years now, on a regular basis, every Saturday night. The music is outstanding, the environment is so positive, and the word is so encouraging. My mom now comes with me and she abosolutley loves it!! We were wondering if we could have more of the choir/gospel thing that happened this past Saturday night? They brought the house down. I would also like to be a part of the Healing Center. GO VINEYARD!!!

  5. Hi Dave, I had the pleasure of being in the choir this weekend and loved every second of it!! I hated to go home Sunday afternoon, even though I had been there Thurs. nite, Fri. nite and Sat. morn. I love VCC (I joined in December '06). I look forward to Sundays now like never before. I feel so blessed.

  6. No offense intended but choir is WAY too "churchy" for me!

  7. oh, boy, the worm-can and the opener have collided!!!!

    choir, is a fantastic word. unfortunately the negative connotations that have resulted from the idea of "churchy", well, ohhhh boy.

    we do in fact go to church, and thereby the nature of church things are in themselves "churchy." maybe that's not cool to anyone anymore...but the Church as it stands as the Bride of Christ, and one might think twice about the offense of claiming something "churchy"...

    dude, if its a good enough term for the Temple and for king David, it's fantastic with me!

    "The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God"Neh 12:40

    choir of Vineyard, take your invitation and places in the house of the uncreated God!


    p.s. please forgive me if you, anonymous are offended-i merely want to point out a thought about our concern with what is and is not "cool" in the church. i understand your point though, entirely...

  8. Altar call....whatever it takes to find the Lord. My sister came forward! What a day it was! :)

  9. I just wanted to share that a friend of mine who I've been praying for for 14 years has recently taken an interest in God and has started attending VCC with me. She was crying as people were coming forward Sunday. And although she didn't make the walk herself, I could just see God working her heart. I know it's only a matter of time. What a blessing it is to watch HIM work!

  10. Hey Dave: I loved the Choir! ( OH Happy Day!!) It added so much energy to what was already an energized and vibrant service, as always!!!!!!!!!!! I get chills when Charlie and the band perform. I am glad you called for people to come to the front. I know it does seem like the "typical alter call", but I believe that is what we need, and you picked the perfec time for it! It was awesome to see so many come forward and give their life to Christ! I attended Friday, Sat, and SUN!!! I can't get enough of it! Coming to the Vineyard fulfills my life and gives me strength to be who I need to be. I also teach in Discoveryland now (2 yr olds) and I feel so blessed to have you guys!!

    God Bless

    Susan (from Chili's)

  11. Easter at VCC rocked! The altar call was sensational. To be there was an honor and it was a beautiful thing to witness. I am so blessed to be a part of this family. I can't get enough.

  12. Blessed to be a blessing! That's what I say! I, too was so honored and privileged to be a part of dare I say it, choir! I have to say this though...being in the choir to not a churchy thing at all. It's a God thing! I was a part of my choir back in Savannah, GA and I can honestly tell you...when I'm up there, it's just me and Jesus! I don't pay attention to anyone watching. I just truly feel the presence of our great and wonderful God! Then, I see it as two-fold. While I'm experiencing His presence, someone else sees my love and joy for Him and somehow, my brother or sister or soon-to-be brother or sister experiences the presence of Jesus too! AWESOME!!! Thanks for the wonderful blessing and sweet privilege! Can't wait to do it again...hint, hint ;-)

  13. Isaiah 41:11-13
    Exodus 14: 13,14

    Luke 9: 1,2
    Luke 9: 7-9

    Luke 2: 29-32
    Luke 6: 43-45