The following blog post comes to us from Alan Rudnick for BaptistNews.com. Alan is an executive minister at DeWitt Community Church and author of “The Work of the Associate Pastor”. He also serves on the Mission Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
“Is that we are called to do? Create a place where everyone knows your name? Did Jesus call us to build a Christian version of Cheers?”
Those are the words of Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, the largest United Methodist Church in America. Hamilton, speaking to the 2015 Leadership Institute, recalled the decision to add a second worship service over 20 years ago. His leaders pushed back: “Then we will not know everyone. We love this sized church. We know everyone.”
When churches are faced with a change or a decision that will impact the comfort zone of individuals there will always be a push back. There is security in keeping things stable. There is comfort in knowing everyone. There is confidence in leadership knowing that they only have to work with 100 people instead of 200 people.
When I led a vision process in a former church there was push back:
“What if we grow?”
“What if there are too many new people?”
“What about the older members?”
“We will lose them.”
“I don’t want to be in a church with so many new people.”
“I like things the way they are.”
Last time I checked the New Testament, knowing everyone’s name and keeping things the same was not a hallmark of the ministry of Jesus.
Next time you make a change in your church and someone says, “I like a place where I know everyone,” ask them, “Do you want this to be a Christian version of Cheers or a place where we welcome people, even if we don’t know their name?”
To read the entire post, click here.
Your partner in ministry,
Share This Post