Do you like rock music?
This is the question my friend, Mike Winstead—a charter member of our church who passed away recently—used as a segue to invite strangers to church. After all, we’re RockChurch, not Hip-HopChurch.
By the way, it didn’t even matter what the answer was—Mike would find an angle to move the conversation from music to church…and then he would pull out a RockChurch card and extend his warm invitation.
Did I mention he did this regularly for 19 years?
From our pre-launch vision meetings in 1998 to his last day on earth—just a few weeks ago—Mike served RockChurch in some capacity. He served as a trustee all 19 years, but most everyone from our church will remember him as “the nice man who always greeted me with a smile and genuinely wanted to talk to me.” He singlehandedly helped create RockChurch’s culture of love and acceptance.
One of our members recently told me that Mike and his wife, Nancy, hung out in the church parking lot with them (several years ago) following a “newcomers meet and greet” until after 11pm. Meet and greet? Nah. Not to Mike (and Nancy). It was “meet, become friends, and hang out.”
Mike loved Jesus.
Mike loved people.
Mike loved inviting people to church.
He is responsible for inviting more people to church than anyone I have ever met. Every single time I was with him in a restaurant, I knew the following conversation was going to take place:
Mike: “Do you like rock music?”
Waitress: “Uh, yeah.”
Mike: “This is my pastor. He looks like Sammy Hagar, doesn’t he?”
[Insert conversation about music, life, and church.]
Mike sealing the deal: “Here’s our card. You should come.”
Mike was fearless.
Mike was unashamed.
Mike was compassionate.
I want to be like Mike.
Mike Winstead entered into glory on August 8, 2017 and heard the following words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
And I’m pretty sure this is what happened next. Jesus grabbed Saint Peter and said with a smile, “Hey Peter, go ask Mike if he likes rock music.”
*This is a tribute to my friend and co-laborer, Mike Winstead. Please pray for his wife (Nancy), son (Ryan and fiance Erin), and daughter (Janet). Click HERE to read his obituary.