Following Wednesday’s emotional and life changing Main Stage worship must have been difficult for Thursday’s service but with Christian Rock Band Third Day and power house Speaker Efrem Smith in the house, the final Main Stage worship service was, without a doubt, a huge spiritual success.
Third Day, opened the last Main Stage worship service last night at the Thompson-Boling Arena. From the moment they took the stage, we knew we were in for an amazing night. Unlike any previous guest artist this week, Third Day asked everyone to lift our hands to the heavens and really sing to God, as we sang ‘God of wonders beyond our Galaxy, you are Holy. Holy’ Another awesome part of worship led by Third Day was when as lead singer, Mac Powell, sang ‘let your light shine’, the whole arena went dark and was illuminated by cell phone lights.
Thailand missionary, Randy Beavis then thanked everyone here at CHIC for all the love, support, hard work and effort that has gone into trying to heal the struggles of the people of Thailand. These efforts came in the form of prayers, sending three students to help hands-on, and the offering which also took place last night that resulted in a whopping $109,327 to be sent to Thailand. Randy shared that all of these efforts don’t have to end here at CHIC. In fact, Randy has organized three mission trips to Thailand within the next year that he hopes CHIC participants will take advantage of. Covenant World Relief has more information on these different mission trips.
Efrem Smith, Pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minnesota, delivered the message and what a message it was! With last night being the very last Main Stage service of CHIC, Efrem spoke on what happens next, and on our responsibilities in continuing the work of God. He began by stating two simple facts; first, we are all undone people, and secondly, we have been given UNLIMITED opportunities during this week to go back into our churches, community, and WORLD and be examples so that others might know God and be able to see, through us, how amazingly God showed up and showed out during CHIC.
Referencing the story of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:4, where the Lord declares that before Jeremiah was even formed, he knew him and appointed him to be a prophet to the nations, Efrem explained that before we were even created, God DECLARED that our lives are purposeful. “You being here this week was an answer to someone’s prayer” Efrem said. “God knew your purpose. Your life is a declaration and God knows just how wonderful you are” he proclaimed.
Efrem advised CHIC of what needs to happen when we all return into the real world now that CHIC is over. “Don’t go home all religious. Don’t go home thinking that you’re better than everyone else because the truth of the matter is that you’re still undone” but the task is to follow the calling that God has for all of our lives to do the undone work in our communities.
To illustrate what ‘following the call to help the undone’ looks like, Efrem narrates the way that he became a follower of Christ. He was a sophomore in High School when a close friend, Joey, decided that he would follow God’s call and help the undone in his community. As a start to Joey’s journey, he began to ask Efrem to come to youth group and to church, but more importantly, he became a true friend to Efrem which all eventually led to Efrem’s coming to Christ. “If Joey had not followed God’s call, then I might not be standing here before you tonight” Efrem said.
“You aren’t going back alone” he reaffirmed. We don’t have to carry this weight of the world on our own. Efrem designated us as now being anointed, appointed and equipped to empower. We just have to have the courage to do it. Do you have the courage?
Efrem ended with a powerful story that a close friend shared with him about the zoo animal, the African Impala, which is a medium sized antelope that has the ability to jump 13 feet in the air and out 30 feet away. The story was of Efrem’s friend and son visiting a zoo where this Impala was featured. With this powerful animal being able to jump so high and so far, how is it possible to keep it caged up by a three foot wall?, asked the son. He later learned that without being able to see where he’s landing, the Impala won’t jump: the Impala doesn’t have faith. “DON’T LET A THREE FOOT WALL KEEP YOU FROM WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOU” Efrem yelled as he dared each and everyone of us to jump repeatedly. “I DARE you to jump. I Dare you to jump!!!!!!” Then, not only were students jumping on the main floor, the entire auditorium was jumping up and down. At that very moment, we weren’t jumping because of music or because of whatever other stuff we had going on. We were jumping as Christians, rejoicing at the goodness of God.
The CHIC 2009 worship band closed the service for the last time here in Knoxville singing the most popular worship songs for our last chance to worship with 5,500 other Christians who had just experienced a week of being undone. The benediction was read and streamers and confetti fell from the ceiling marking the end of week of transformation for some, and new beginnings for others. The whole arena was filled with worship, jumping up and down and yes, even body surfing.
This week you have been undone so that you can undo the undone work of the world.