(Photo: NewSpring via The Christian Post)
South Carolina Pastor Perry Noble made the bold goal of seeing 3,000 people receive Christ in one weekend. Though he didn't reach that number, he's celebrating 1,251 salvations.
"Some may be wondering, 'we were asking God to save 3,000 and we saw 1,251 people saved, so, are you disappointed?' ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I'm PUMPED, OUT OF MY MIND & MORE EXCITED THAN EVER!!!" Noble, lead pastor of NewSpring Church, wrote Tuesday in a blog post.
Inspired by the New Testament book of Acts, Noble, 41, launched the Pray for 3K initiative this past weekend. While he admitted to The Christian Post in an earlier interview that NewSpring has always prayed "big," this was the biggest "ask" the megachurch had ever called for.
After much preparation and prayer and encouraging the congregation to invite friends and family to hear the Gospel, NewSpring – which has seven campuses – opened its doors this past weekend to a record non-holiday attendance of 24,507 people. It also drew attendees online.
The title of Noble's message that weekend was simply "The Cross."
"Jesus Christ invites all of us to come to him for rest," he preached. "The place that Jesus calls every one of us to meet him is the cross.
"It doesn't matter if we're religious or rebellious; we all have to go through the cross to get to God."
The NewSpring pastor delivered a straightforward message, telling attendees that Jesus died so that sin could be paid for.
"The cross is where God's divinity intersected with our humanity in the person of Jesus who was fully God, fully man. He paid for our sins once for all so we could be made right with God," he preached.
Noble directed his message to the confused, the runner, the overwhelmed, the sinner and even the saved.
"Nothing on this planet," he stressed, "can permanently satisfy us which means we were created for something other than this world."
As for the "saved," Noble pointed out that there should be evidence of that.
"If you've been hit by the Gospel, there's some sort of evidence in your life. I'm not saying you're perfect ... but to say that you met Jesus but you've never changed, that's a dangerous place to be because you can't meet Jesus and stay the same," he said.
NewSpring did not see 3,000 people make decisions for Christ, but Noble said he was blown away by what God did.
"Why? Because 3,000 wasn't a goal…it was a prayer!! If we are going to pray we need to pray BIG!!!" he wrote. "My prayer is that we need to keep asking BIG!!!"
So far this year, NewSpring – which draws around 18,000 people every weekend – has seen 4,015 salvations. But after this past weekend, its pastor believes there's still work to do.
"Maybe if we had seen 3,000 saved we would have felt like we accomplished something and could sit back and relax…but as I have reflected back on this past Sunday, what we prayed for and what we saw I really do feel like the Lord is showing us THERE IS STILL WORK TO DO!!!"
The South Carolina megachurch will be launching a new initiative in October to equip attendees to be able to share Christ with others.