Everybody loves a party. Even Jesus does. And according to Luke Chapter 15, heaven loves throwing a party for people who decide to follow Jesus. What’s a party without balloons?
Where your focus goes your energy flows. We cast vision at North Pointe Community Church to focus on souls. We would celebrate every time a boy or girl, woman or man decided to follow Jesus. On Sundays we filled a red balloon with helium, anchored it using a coloured ribbon, and displayed it on the platform so all could see. If appropriate, we wrote the new follower’s name on the balloon and gave it to them after the service.
On Sunday January 26th, 2014 the congregation of North Pointe showed up and saw a red balloon on the platform. The party was on!
100 red balloons adorned North Pointe’s platform on Sundays in 2014. For over five years every red balloon has been greeted with applause. On one Sunday, 63 red balloons filled the platform. On my last Sunday as Lead Pastor we had 43 red balloons representing 43 individuals who made decisions over the preceding 3 weeks.
The red balloon idea is catching on. Pastor Dallas Bidell at Family Worship Centre in Whitecourt started using red balloons in 2018. When I spoke at the church on August 18th, 2019 they had four red balloons celebrating four people who recently made decisions to follow Jesus.
As the interim pastor at Bethel Pentecostal Church in Barrhead, I introduced the red balloon idea to celebrate 27 decisions made by children during their Vacation Bible School. The day after we cast vision for the red balloons a man came by the office. He was concerned because helium was at a premium price. He and his wife had caught the vision and said they would pay for all the helium, ribbon, and red balloons that we needed in the future.
Why red? No special reason. Choose whatever colour you like. What’s important is sharing the Good News about Jesus and joining heaven in celebrating decisions. Then following them up. But’s that’s a story for another day.