Hey everyone, I wanted to give you a very short update about our Family Meeting for anyone that wasn’t there and what it means for us moving forward. Our meeting was prompted by a few different things which I had already been discussing with our Elders and our staff.
1. My ability to lead in the capacity that I have led for the past 15 years has diminished. We all have residual fatigue from the pandemic, but Deidra and I are also in a different season of life where we have demanding jobs (I’m bi-vocational for those that didn’t know) and much more is required of us for work, in caring for our parents and in helping our children launch into their next season of life.
2. While we are currently paying our bills and pulling off weekly programming on Sundays and Wednesday evenings, it feels to me that we have entered some unhealthy patterns of simply maintaining what we are doing rather than thriving as a church and growing deeper, together. Additionally, changing attendance and volunteering patterns are requiring a few to do a lot each month and though our bills are paid, almost every dollar that is coming in is going to payroll and facility costs with very little for any type of ministry in our community.
3. The Church (Big C) is undergoing some significant changes, itself. 20 somethings and younger are walking away from church in exponentially growing numbers, namely because they do not feel that the average church is living out what they say they believe. The average age of a church attender or pastor in the US continues to get older as a result. They see the church as more of an institution that is focused on dollars, square footage and attendance numbers than a people that have truly experienced Jesus, desire to truly love others or are a viable answer to their deeper questions in life or its’ ability to be a legitimate onramp to true faith in Christ.
As a result, I believe that we need to consider that it is time for some significant prayer and for us to reconsider some of what we are doing as well as how we are doing it. These are the action steps I am calling us to.
1. Join me at 10am each Sunday morning beginning this Sunday for a short time of corporate prayer in the Event Hall. This is not a service or a program. Whoever is here will meet to pray. We will do this every Sunday for the foreseeable future.
2. Continue to pray during the week about our church and where God would direct us.
3. Read your Bible regularly to be inspired about what the church should and could be. I would encourage you start in Acts.
4. Show up for worship every week that you can.
In addition, I will be working myself out of a paycheck so that our budget can go towards more ministry than simply payroll and facility costs. Searching for a new facility will likely become a part of this process. One that works for us and that we can afford. Though we love our current space, we do have additional challenges here, especially in our children’s hallway where sound can be unbearable when we have rooms full of kids.
15 years ago, we reconsidered what it meant to be the church in our time and Journey was born. The world has changed quite a bit in the last 15 years and I’m asking you to help me reconsider it again.