A year ago the Lord spoke to me and said, “I have chosen an architect to redesign your church ‘A Place To Meet Jesus’ and you will know them because they will tell you their goal is to design Disneyland-style theme parks and churches. Two days later I was at the construction firm that is overseeing the remodeling of our sanctuary.
It was there I was introduced to a beautiful young Christian Chinese architect and she said the exact words that I previously mentioned. After fulfilling immigration issues and other things pertaining to her transfer to San Francisco, she is now our official architect and is designing our soon-to-be remodeled church.
It’s been over a year since that original word was given to me and I have thought and prayed a lot about why God would use the reference of Disneyland when describing our church. As a result of all this, last year we held a conference in Disneyland and my family and I have visited Disneyland numerous times. My favorite rides are The Little Mermaid and It’s A Small World!
When you walk into Disneyland the sign at the top of the entrance welcomes you to “The Happiest Place On Earth.” Actually that is not an exaggeration. If you’ve been to Disneyland very much you know that every Disney cast member is encouraged to literally increase your personal pleasure while you spend the day with them.
The additional advancement that we have at A Place To Meet Jesus is that we have placed Jesus in the center of this worship-themed church! Jesus only spoke using parables and without a parable He did not teach. So it is in every activity of our congregation’s experience ~ everything has a story.
This is why the Lord has connected us so close to the movie industry. So that we can share this happiness with the world. Ralph Wilkerson who pastored Melody Land (which was at the time the largest church in America and right across the street from the main entrance to Disneyland) called me this week.
“Richard,” he said, “the Lord showed me that He is drawing people to San Francisco at such a rate that your city is running out of housing space. This is a sign from God that a great revival is coming to your city. God told me to call you tonight and make sure you are ready for this divine visitation!”
Dr. Ralph has called me many times before, but this time his demeanor and words seemed so serious. After he was done he immediately hung up the phone with no salutation. I knew it was more than just fatherly word of encouragement but it was truly a word from God.
God’s house is “the happiest place on earth.” In the presence of the Lord are pleasures forevermore. I feel like an excited little kid as I look forward to church this Sunday, and I am actually more excited then if I was going to Disneyland ~ because I have found God’s presence is full of joy, healing, and answering every problem I have. And better than that is, if all of my problems are fixed He has an incredibly exciting vision for the future! Wow! How exciting can that be? “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!”