A view from the cheap seats…

this was a good sunday.   a really good sunday…

we had five brand new families join in with us this morning.   five.   man,  i love meeting new people!   it’s even better when we have a chance to dig deeper.   i got to share lunch with one of the new families.   great folks.   it was cool to hear their story and learn about their journey.   i really do hope we have the opportunity to become friends.

north point sits at a precarious spot these days.   it’s a spot that creates a dilemma.   here it is:  our personality as a family is tied pretty directly to our size.   it’s not the only factor, but it is a super important one.

the values we hold…knowing people deeply…caring for others…sharing life…playing…laughing…eating together… accepting faults…challenging each other to honest and transparent relationships for the good of the kingdom…simple service…genuinely following in the footsteps of jesus…being the church and not simply going to church…these, and many other values,  are best lived out in smaller communities.

and there’s the challenge.

how does our church family maintain it’s essential character  (which is best lived out in a smaller,  simpler,   and more organic community ),  when that’s exactly what more and more people these days seem to be searching after and longing for?   how do we stay small and lean and mobile and intimate when new friends are coming all the time?

how do we handle growth…numerical growth…when it’s something we are not necessarily looking for?   how do we embrace the changes that come with new faces and still be true to our calling and fully invested in living out lives of authentic discipleship…all together?   how do we keep from letting pride and pursuit of the more traditional trappings  of church growth creep into the warmth of our circle?   how do we continue to avoid the ego affirmation and validation that comes from getting bigger?    sheesh.   this could become complicated.

i love this!

i know the big-dog churches have five new families that attend their services all the time.   i wonder if it is such a big deal to them as it is to me?   i hope so.   the opportunity to share life and ministry with new people is just about the coolest thing i get to do anymore.

right next to sharing life and ministry with my existing peeps…

the ephesians study is over.   hope it was good for you.   we will start a new study this week.   it’s titled:  IYRKM.   anybody know what it stands for…except for the two people i told today?

have an awesome week.   give your best.   pull up your girdle and strap your helmet on.   duck before you get ear-holed by the enemy.   pray continually.   extend an invitation to join our family…we’ll gladly face the complications.   pass on what you know to be true.   don’t run from your questions.   enjoy not being god of your world.   jehovah is quite capable of handling the job.

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3 thoughts on “A view from the cheap seats…

  1. I believe that if God blesses us with numerical growth that He will bless us with the correct ways to accommodate it. Fundamentally, I don’t think we handle or deal with it any differently than we would deal with a small addition to our family. It’s definitely a good problem to have nonetheless.

    “i know the big-dog churches have five new families that attend their services all the time. i wonder if it is such a big deal to them as it is to me?”

    Reading this made me feel kind of sad, cause honestly I don’t know if there’s any real way that mega churches will ever even know that anyone new has attended for the first time.

  2. If you really knew me?

    Sometimes I come up short when it comes to meeting new visitors at north point. I get into my own world of saying hi to my same friends every week. I have been forcing myself to get in the habit of standing by the entrance door just for a few minutes. I remember my family’s first time at North Point. Do you want to know who came up to me?
    So I guess just by us saying hi to someone new and not being prompted to do so, will make us stand apart from a mega church.

  3. I remember the first time Harm and I came to North Point together we were invited to lunch by the Forsythe’s. Their whole family was there. We sat and had lunch. We felt included. It was like getting together with friends you hadn’t seen in a while, never mind the fact that we had never met these people in our lives.

    I distinctly remember the first time I went to a North Point get together. They had a volleyball/picnic thing at the College St. park. I had played softball all day and night the day before and had zero interests in being there. But it was apparent real quick that I didn’t have a lot of choice. Well as I sat there moping about sitting at this park that I didn’t want to be at one of the kindest and most sincere people I’ve ever met came and sat down next to me. He forced me to engage in conversation. To this day I don’t know if I would still be at North Point if Gary Riker hadn’t talked to a guy that really didn’t feel like talking.

    I guess that long winded rambling all gets to the point that I don’t think the size of the church matters near as much as the people. Those guys could be in a mega-church and they would notice the five new families.

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