What a night. The energy is heightened. Plenty of smiles. And it’s beginning…”Merry Christmas!” I shouted. And in true call and response fashion, the group shouted back, “Merry Christmas!” And I continued… “Guess What!?” And as is our custom every week, they responded on cue “YOU MATTER TO GOD! The Gathering is many things rolled into one: a fine dining experience and it is church. It is community and it is family. But mostly its God. And the Gathering provides us with a front row seat to see His story intersecting with our friend’s story as it is played out right before our eyes. What a treat.

Tonight was an extremely special treat. The children of the parents who attends the weekly Gathering performed for the adults. The kids procession in from the kids area and was greeted with cheers, roars, and applauds. And then it happened… camera phones popped out all over the place as parents, volunteers, and me try to capture a special moment. Some where floating back and forth throughout the room while other’s stood on chairs. After the children finished their two songs the kids gave each person in the room a gift that they had been making for the last several weeks for this ome moment. The kid’s little faces were beaming. And so were the adults. Please check out the following clip.

The Son City Kids volunteer team who works with these kids every week have done an remarkable job in loving, valuing, and teaching the kids.

Afterwards, together we watched the Granger Community Church weekend service where Mark Beeson talked about unlearning somethings in order to follow Jesus. What a sobering message. I realize that, although we recite how much we matter to God at the Gathering, the truth is there are many in the room who got to unlearn the bad messages received along the way that says, “I’m nothing.” For many, it will take many steps before they can truly embrace the fullness of God’s love and acceptance for themselves. But we keep taking steps… none-the-less.

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