“O, come let us adore Him, O, come let us adore Him, O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” [“O, Come All Ye Faithful”, English translation by Frederick Oakley (1841)]
We normally refrain from singing “O, come let us adore Him” until we get close to our annual Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus. But God has birthed something in our greater Tri-Cities region that deserves celebration now. God has birthed Adoration 2018.
In my 24 years of full-time Christian ministry, I have never seen a ministry more exciting or important than Adoration. It started with Adoration 2017, and many of you will remember that story.
The Lord gave a profoundly simple “only God can do this” vision to Thomas Cook, a recent ETSU graduate. Bring 1,000 churches together in unity on the ETSU campus to worship and pray.
By the hand of God, that vision blossomed into a campus grassroots movement spearheaded by a terrific team of young faith-filled adults and supported by both university leadership and several area spiritual leaders. Jesus Christ was glorified in an extraordinary worship service on October 1, 2017 in the ETSU MiniDome, with 265 churches represented and over 2,000 people praying and worshiping together.
As Paul Harvey would say, however, that is not the end of the story. Now we need to hear “the rest of the story”.
On October 2, 2017, Thomas Cook and these other young Christians could easily have said, “Great result!” “More churches coming together than other ministries have achieved, on or off campus”. “It’s time to pat ourselves on the back and get on with our lives.” But they didn’t say that.
Instead, these remarkable young Christians looked at each other and said, “God asked for 1,000 churches, not just 265.” And so Adoration 2018 began.
The purpose of this article is to urge each and all of you to support Adoration 2018 with your prayers and both your personal and congregational participation. Please let me tell you why.
As practicing Christians, we have yearned to see the Lord honored again on our college and university campuses. God is doing that with Adoration, and we need to join God in what He is doing. (John 5:19) With our active support, Adoration could become the catalyst for movements of God at other campuses across the nation.
We have yearned to see a new generation of Christian leaders rise up in America. God is doing that with Adoration. Their leadership team is almost entirely made up of college students and very recent college graduates. More young leaders are being recruited and trained every month. But this new generation of leaders will be hard-pressed to sustain their efforts if our generations do not step up and come alongside them. (Malachi 4:6)
We have yearned to see our region’s churches unify around common goals and show the world how we can stand and bear fruit together. God is doing that through Adoration by seeking to bring 1,000 churches together for worship and by networking church efforts for Adoration’s outreach ministry, Restore Appalachia.
We have yearned to see our area churches reach out beyond sanctuary walls to minister to the needs of our communities. God is doing that through Restore Appalachia: an effort to educate, exhort and enable churches to effectively address the horrible opioid epidemic in our land.
We have yearned in these increasingly post-modern times to see the Jesus of scripture lifted up. God is doing that through Adoration with a foremost focus on glorifying Christ and a faith statement that is biblically sound. When a voice like that rises up in America, we must lift up our voices in “Amen!”
Please go to the Adoration website: adorationlife.com, for more information. This year’s unity worship service is scheduled at the ETSU MiniDome for 6 PM, Sunday, October 21. Check on the website to see if your congregation has signed up to have a representative there. If that has not yet happened, do all you can to make it happen.
In addition to a representative of your church, plan personally to come and worship on October 21. Bring family and friends. We want to at least double our attendance and gather 4,000 to glorify the Lord.
Please use your Facebook and other social media to help us get the word out. Despite newspaper stories, radio coverage and thousands of phone calls, there are still many churches and people that do not know about Adoration, and everyone needs to know!
Consider making a financial contribution to Adoration 2018 on their website. These young people are all generously volunteering their time, but they don’t have the personal finances to fund the costs.
Finally, please keep Adoration and their team in continuing prayer. They are doing things that can truly advance the Kingdom of God, so they are under relentless attack from the enemy. Our prayers can bring God’s protection and blessings to them.
In the end, the song says it best. O come, all ye faithful! Come let us adore Him!
God bless you, and God bless our community.