The great migration of 2016 is about to commence! With the electrifying semi-final victories of West Monroe, Neville, and Sterlington football teams, NELA is headed to NOLA. The buzz in our communities is palpable, the hotel reservations are made, and the packing lists are being compiled. WE CAN’T WAIT.
All of the hard work by coaches, trainers, marching bands, cheer and dance teams, and—without a doubt—the young men who will suit up Friday and Saturday, has led to a weekend they won’t ever forget, regardless of the outcomes. It is often said by sports teams when traveling to compete, “This is a business trip.” The implication is, “We aren’t interested in simply going and participating, but we know what needs to get done and have every intention of taking care of it.” It is a team on a mission.
Did you know that as a parent, alumni, student, community member or just an avid fan, you can be on
This weekend, if you are headed to NOLA, you can use your life story, time, influence, and resources to make a difference for something much bigger than a Championship Ring. You can make a difference for the Kingdom of God by sharing with others about the love of God and His Son’s sacrifice for them!
Below are eight ways that you can be on
Serve your Hotel Maid – These hotel employees spend all day, every day, serving people by cleaning their rooms. What if you flipped the script? Think of some creative ways that you could bless these men and women as they come to take care of your room. That act of service and gratitude could very well lead to the conversation they’ve need to have their entire lives concerning a God Who served them by sending His very own Son!
Eat Intentionally – Did you know that’s possible? If you have a favorite restaurant, don’t apologize for eating there more than once this weekend. On your first visit, enjoy your meal, meet your server, and tip well. On visit number two, request to have the same server from your first visit, enjoy your meal, share your story with your server, and tip well! What’s better than eating New Orleans cuisine while making an eternal impact?
Beignets for Jesus! – “Speaking of powdered sugar everywhere, do you know God’s love is for everyone, everywhere, including you?” Okay, don’t use that line! But if you visit Café Du Monde and you’re packed in tight with the crowd, SHARE YOUR STORY! Whether it is someone you meet while there or someone with your group that you’ve known for years, this is a great place for meaningful conversations!
Invite a Friend – You will be spending time with people who may have never considered attending a church service because no one has invited them. Two big weekends follow the Dome weekend at First West. As your having conversations with the people you are sitting with at the dome, invite them to our Christmas Worship and Christmas Weekend services. You can learn more about Christmas weekend at the bottom of this post.
Leverage Your Game Day Gear for Gospel Conversations – If you have been there before for Dome Weekend, you are aware that you will see school spirit everywhere. As you talk with people from across the state, you will probably talk football, offensive and defensive schemes, Division 1 recruits, and more. However, you don’t have to leave it there. Ask them questions about their lives and their story and share with them your story.
Bless a Superdome Employee – Many of the employees there are going to work long hours this weekend, and many of them will be stationed in one location all day. While you shouldn’t interfere with their responsibilities, if there is an opportunity, ask if you can purchase them something from the concession stand or just have a conversation with them. Thousands of people will walk right by them and never even notice them. Jesus wouldn’t. And you don’t have to either.
GO TO CHURCH – Just because you are out of town, that doesn’t mean you can’t worship with your family. There are many great churches in NOLA, but here are a few to check out. Look around on their websites and find the right one for you this Sunday…
First Baptist Church, New Orleans – http://www.fbno.org/
Celebration Church – http://celebrationchurch.org/
Franklin Avenue Baptist Church – http://www.franklinabc.com/
Vintage Church – http://www.vintagechurchnola.com/
Canal Street Church – http://www.canalmosaic.org/
You can also encourage a new church plant that is beginning by joining one of their services as well. Find one here: https://www.namb.net/send-cities/neworleans/map
PRAY – As you see the sights, hear the sounds, and smell the aroma of NOLA, be fervent in prayer for a significant Gospel movement within this great city. We desire to see the “city that care forgot” experience an unnatural, unending movement of the love of God. As you make your way through the streets, pray for the people you see, the businesses you pass, and the churches in NOLA. This is a significant opportunity!
We don’t expect you to do all of these in just a couple of days, but what if your willingness to step out in faith and do just ONE of them changes even one life? What if that one life, empowered by the Spirit, then changes their neighborhood? What if that neighborhood changes the city? Sound far fetched? Not according to my God!
We guarantee you that when heading back north at the end of the weekend, you will be more fulfilled by how God used you to make a difference than anything you’d experience on Bourbon Street!
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