Over the last several months, we have seen God do some EXTRAORDINARY things @ the Creek! During March, we had 30 days of concentrated prayer for the lost and revival and saw 28 people profess faith in Christ and 20 follow through with Baptism! On a weekly basis God is bringing new people into our fellowship.
Whenever we see rapid growth take place, there is ALWAYS a level of discomfort to be experienced. There is the discomfort of a full to overflowing meeting place. Currently, we are at about 75% capacity for worship and 80-90% capacity for Life Groups/Sunday School! These are great problems to have, however, there is a level of discomfort that is associated with it; therefore, either a plan will be adopted to make more room or eventually your attendance will decrease. As well, you have to staff it and develop programming to disciple and train the people and care for the people.
There is also a discomfort among some who feel threatened by new people coming to "their Church." Two things quickly about that mentality: 1. IT IS SIN!!! It isn't "my church" or "your church," IT IS CHRIST'S CHURCH, which he has promised to build. If it isn't growing, it's b/c Christ is not being allowed to draw all people to Himself b/c of our attitudes. and 2. With Jesus the Door has been thrown open to EVERYONE, the Jew first and also the Gentile (Romans 1:16). The truth is WE WANT ANYONE AND EVERYONE to come the Waters of "The Creek" and find cleansing and healing in Christ.
A final point worth mentioning is that there develops a fear among some that the Church will get "Too Big," and you won't be able to "know everyone." There are several myths held to mostly by people who have never been to a "MEGA-CHURCH," that stereotypes them as being cold, impersonal, uncaring, only about entertainment, and the list goes on. Ed Stetzer wrote an excellent article this week debunking 9 major myths about Mega-churches that EVERY Christian Church goer should read with an open heart and mind. You can get to this article by clicking here.
Just a few that are worth addressing in this blog are as follows:
1. Mega Churches Grow b/c of the Show. A recent study shows the opposite to be true! Most large churches, while the music and worship is a key component, most grow because of the pastor and people catching a vision of reaching the lost/unchurched world; and at the same time, making ways to integrate the new people in service through the church! In essence, THEY THROW OPEN THE FRONT DOOR, WHILE CLOSING THE BACK DOOR!
2. Mega Churches are only concerned about themselves. Actually, studies again prove the opposite. Mega-churches are more likely to get involved in their communities and even help smaller, struggling churches with their needs. Larger churches are more likely to be mission minded and get involved in practical missions at home as well as abroad. And Finally,
3. You can't get to know people in a Mega Church. According to the article, most churches in America average less than 100 people in attendance on Sundays; and studies show that people who attend Large Churches actually know more people and are intimately involved in the lives of more people than in smaller churches.
So, why bring all this up? Because as we continue to throw the front door open to our community through bus ministry, Journey to Freedom, Personal Evangelism, Direct Mail, etc., WE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW! If we continue to foster a spirit of community and worship, people will continue to come and the Church will continue to get larger. We must guard against a small mentality that fails to fulfill the vision left for us by Christ of reaching the world with the Gospel! We must not back up in fear, BUT MOVE FORWARD IN FAITH!!! There's plenty of desperate and hurting people all around us for EVERY church to grow if they will get involved laboring in the Harvest Fields! Until He returns, let us be faithful about the task of reaching as many as possible with the Gospel! BE BLESSED! CU SUNDAY!!!