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Body Life: In the Beginning

November 22, 2013

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Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Good news.

Great.

I was really afraid you would want the bad news first. The good news is that if you are in a church if 75 you are average. Not just for Churches of Christ, my current tribe, but for all churches in America. So stop feeling like you are an anomaly. Stop thinking we must be doing something wrong or we would be bigger. Stop thinking that if you could just get so and so to get on board things would change.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to see growth, trust me on this one, just stop being so hard on yourself or your eldership or, well who ever you are currently looking down upon as the reason you are not growing. Again I want growth I just think we need to understand the barriers. I’m going ot break it to you gently, not every church is Willow Creek or Saddleback which actually just dates me since the new crop of “It” churches are more like Elevate and North Point or whatever up and coming with it church that is just over the horizon.

The bad news? People in America prefer bigger. So while your church is average in size American’s would rather be in a church of 350 or more (National Congregational Survey). In fact 50% of those who attend church go to the largest 10% of churches. There you have it. If you expect to see any amount of growth from the already saved wanting to work with you no matter how Christ-like and loving you and your church are the odds are against it.

What does it mean? Someone in your church is going to have to connect with people. The average American isn’t dreaming of being a part of a smaller fellowship. This is good news. Well, you may not agree but I believe it is good news. It is good news because it gives you realistic expectations.

It is good news because I personally am called to minister to a body not a building filled with lots of people. I hope you are too.

As I said there is a plan.

When I arrived here I set about getting to know the community. Plug in wherever I can. So this week I read with 4th graders at Garnet Mesa Elementary school and helped serve lunch there on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday I read with 5th graders at Lincoln Elementary and dropped in on an after school Bible study that takes place in their building. On Wednesday on talked at Donuts with Dan at Delta Middle School and on Friday I will be helping on of the Middle School teachers by grading papers. Yesterday I helped with math at the opportunity school and I scheduled a time to read with Kindergarten kids at Cedaredge Grade School where one of our members teach.

I don’t say this to brag or to have you think that Darin is a great guy. I share it because I realistically think it is important to anyone working in smaller churches. Get your name out there where and whenever you can with a purpose, to get Jesus out there.

A lot of people don’t realize that I did this not just for me but for them. So that when people in my church start to connect with friends and neighbors they already have some understanding of our church. They already have a connection.

“You go to Thunder Mountain Church of Christ. Oh, your preacher serves lunch at my son’s school.”

There are so many ways to make this connection and we must make this connection. To get to know people is great but if we don’t introduce them to Jesus we have only taken them partway.

This is the next part of body life. Getting our people to become more evangelistic. As we move into next year that is also one of my goals. Hopefully these two years of meeting people will help facilitate our goal. I would appreciate the prayers. I will let you now how it goes, I’m off to grade some tests.

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