Dear Church Family,
This week, we wrap up the First 100 Days Challenge. It has been a good challenge for me and for us as a church. Thank you for your participation and willingness to step outside your comfort zones to engage with God and what He’s doing around you. Let me give you some thoughts to ponder as we wrap this up.
First, it has worked in terms of seeing new people come join us for worship. You’ll remember that the challenge included two parts: telling someone about something God has done in your life and inviting them to church. Well, I can statistically say that it worked. Our attendance in worship is up 10%. We’re reaching more people with the good news that Jesus reigns over everything. Numbers only matter to me if they reflect the transformation that we pray for, lead toward, and teach about. This number says something (see below).
Second, lives have been and are being changed. There are prodigals coming home, like the single mom who’s been away from church for too long or the couple who can’t get enough of what they call “a real family” (that’s you, church, they’re talking about). There are the battered, bruised, and burned who have had enough of institutions and religion and religious institutions who find the Spirit of God at work here and it gives them life and freedom. And yes, there are the lost who have been sought out and who are pondering what it means to follow Jesus, like the parents who showed up because their kids “love it here.” Amen to all of those. We’re not attracting the well-heeled and spit-polished nor are we getting people who were mad at their last church and are ready to come be mad at this one. We’re seeing authentic transformation happen.
Lastly, I would simply challenge you with this thought: if you could do it every day for 100 days (or most every day), you can keep doing it. One of the reasons we felt so strongly about extending it for such a long time was the life-shaping power of endurance. We can keep at this – sharing stories of God’s activity and inviting friends to church – and keep seeing God work, transforming lives of people from various walks of life. So keep sharing and inviting. Let’s make it a normal part of our lives.