As a church planter, change has been a pretty constant part of my life. From meeting in a basement to meeting in store front and then going to two services and then moving to the Mattawan School center building cafeteria setting up and tearing down each week to then moving to our new building to NOW going to two services . . . It seems like a growing church is never done changing.
And with change comes some sacrifice. But any mission worth our effort is going to require sacrifice. We set out with the goal of “Worshiping God and Finding More Worshipers for His Name”. That mission statement has two prongs. One points to God and refers to our relationship with Him as those who are made to ascribe worth, to adore, to ultimately live for something higher than ourselves. We want to be connected to a bigger more important purpose than our own petty self-fulfillment. None of us can satisfy ourselves . . . We always crave more . . . because we are designed to eternally worship the eternal One.
But that second prong has had a pesky habit of keeping us on our toes. As God has continued to bless us in finding more worshipers for His name . . . We have needed seats, and more classrooms, and more parking spots. And we want to keep on mission.
Timing on these types of transitions can be tricky. I am never confident that I am getting it right. Maybe we could go a few more months before launching two services? Maybe the church will go through a God ordained season of contraction and we wonder why in the world we are doing two services. But maybe we will just find that by making more room for more worshipers, we will find the mission multiplied. Maybe we will continue to be used by God to see His kingdom grow in US and through our faithfulness to the mission He has placed before us.
Whatever the mission statement of a church may be, it must have a component of seeking growth. We never look at numbers for the sake of numbers. And God forbid that we look at numbers for some sense of arrival or sense of self-affirmation. Instead, we look at numbers as a credit to His faithfulness. Growth from God leads me to thanks. And the couple of seasons of plateauing as a church has led me to thanks. He seems to have given us pauses in the growth to catch up.
We will be starting our two Sunday morning service format on September 10, 2023 with a 9am and 11am service. Both will be the same songs, same band, same sermon. Both services will have nursery, preschool and the ReCAST kids program for k-5th. We are hoping to have a little more room to breathe in our meeting space, but we are also hoping to have more room to invite more worshipers for His glorious name. He is worthy of all glory, majesty, praise, and worship.
In His vision, the apostle John saw around the throne of God and the throne of lamb a multitude that no one could count . . . Praising God and praising the Lamb! Eventually, our little churches will be poured into that huge throng of people offering eternal praise to the lamb. And I am confident that some will be there because they were invited into worship by US!
Let’s kick to the curb any discouragement over the sacrifices that are involved in going to two services for this season. And instead, let’s fix our eyes on that final glory. His mission is a mission that ought to keep us on our toes!