The year was 1995, the date was October 15, and the scene was the United Center arena on Chicago's west-side. What normally serves as home for the Chicago Bulls and Black Hawks, housed an overflow crowd of 20,000 plus as the Willow Creek Community Church gathered to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a church.
It was an inspiring evening of music and worship and testimonies. But the highlight of the event happened when all the lights were shut off across the arena and it went pitch dark. Shortly after the darkness settled across the vast room, these instructions came over the PA system, "If you have come to know Jesus as your Savior during this past twenty years in Willow Creek, please switch on the pen light you were handed when you came into the arena this evening."
One by one across that darkened arena points of light began to appear until glow of 20,000 pen lights pierce the darkness and illuminated the room! For a moment a holy hush fell over the arena as the significance of the light dawned on them! But then a thunderous roar arose and resounded across the room in celebration of lives transformed forever by the grace of God!
I get a chill down my spine as I ponder on what that moment must have been like!
That's evidence of a great church! A church that is great in its passion to reach lost people! A church that teaches its people how to shine their lights in a dark world.
It has been nearly 20 years since that momentous event and 20,000+ more have been reached by this ministry!
Are you a follower of Christ?
Then you have a light! That line must shine brightly in a dark world! Let's each one reach one this year!
Through the month of October I will be sharing from a book entitled "Just Walk Across the Room" authored by the pastor of this Chicagoland church. In this book he shares the simple steps they teach an use to win people out of spiritual darkness into the light of salvation!
Let's light up this town!