Easter at CityLife


I’d like to invite you to a party this weekend! Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. Seriously, if there’s ever a reason to celebrate anything, this is it!

We’ll be hosting three identical worship services this weekend for the first time ever at CityLife Church. Everyone who attends will receive a coupon for a free t-shirt. There will also be a free family photo shoot with professional photographers after both services on Sunday. We’ve got some more fun and surprising “firsts” happening in all three services. But most of all, we’ll be presenting the good news in a clear, creative way, and celebrating the fact that about 2000 years ago, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God played his winning hand.

The message of the resurrection is that this world matters! That the injustices and pains of this present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice, and love have won. -N.T. Wright

I hope you’re ready for a God-party this weekend, and that you don’t come alone!

A Generosity Buzz at HUP


Two of our Life Groups kicked off Servolution last night at The Hospital of Pennsylvania (HUP). CityLifers took gift baskets filled with snacks into the waiting rooms on the surgical floors to encourage people and pray with them. Then we setup in the cafeteria and started paying for everyone’s orders.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread, and once it did, the cafeteria was packed with patients, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff. A girl who attends CityLife was actually on call when some co-workers on her floor started buzzing about a church that was paying for everyone’s food in the cafeteria. I loved her response. “I think that’s my church!”

The highlight of the night for me was meeting Maurice. He hadn’t had anything to eat for two days. He woke up Monday morning and prayed for God to send him some food. He was blown away by such a creative reminder that God knows exactly where he is and exactly what he needs! Out of hundreds of folks who came through the cafeteria, he was THE ONE.

It was fun watching people come through the line, find out their meal was paid for, and say, “Really? Why?!” No strings attached! God is the most generous being in the universe, and He has wired us to experience true joy when we give what we have away.

Thanks for being so radically generous CityLife! Your giving helped pay for 888 items, and put God’s heart on display for the whole hospital to see. I feel like this is the start of something special.

Let the Serving Begin!


Yesterday I shared a dream with our church. If I could press a button and instantaneously create a reputation for CityLife in our community, this is what I’d love to hear people saying.

That is the most generous group of people I’ve ever been around! I’m not sure I believe everything they teach, but I’m so glad they’re in our neighborhood.

Of course, we can’t just press a button. But we can choose to live in simple, radical ways, and unleash some generosity on Philly! That’s the heart behind Servolution.

Over the past two weeks, our church has given more than $19,000 in our Easter offering. This week we get to give it all away! We started on Thursday by sharing breakfast and gift bags with all of the teachers, custodians, counselors, and support staff at The Academy at Palumbo. Here’s an overview of what’s coming next.

  • Monday: Visiting Pennsylvania Hospital where we’ll buy dinner for everyone in the cafeteria and give snack baskets to people in the waiting rooms.
  • Tuesday: Gathering at Love Park to distribute 75 care kits to our homeless neighbors.
  • Wednesday: Throwing a dinner party for the staff of Children’s Choice, a foster care organization in South Philly.
  • Thursday: Giving away bus and subway tokens to SEPTA riders, and gift cards to taxi drivers.
  • Friday: Delivering dinner from Famous Dave’s to the firemen at six firehouses in South Philly.
  • Saturday: Going crazy with generosity! Buying groceries for random folks at the grocery store! Buying everyone’s order for three hours at Dunkin Donuts! Visiting laundromats with snacks and detergents and paying for people’s laundry! Throwing a baby shower for a single mom in North Philly!

Why? Because a generous lifestyle is the most enjoyable, thrilling way to live. And the heart and example of God is radically generous.

We’ll be sharing plenty of updates this week on this blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Would love to see your updates as well. Just make sure to include the hash tag #servephilly.

Let the serving begin!