FYI: I'm going to try to re-enter the blogging world after several months away. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
We had a record setting Easter in terms of attendance. Every pastor brags about that, right? That's not the point of this little story though. It led to a great conversation on the way home with the Bear. He was asking if we'd go to multiple services and then to a new building, etc.
Something you have to understand: it was a genuine question fueled by some of the things he's seen and gotten to be a part of. Whether or not he admits it (he is 12, after all), I think he likes it that he gets to hang around with dad and travel with dad and so forth.
But I told him no, we'd be looking at planting a church instead of building a building. He asked about multiple campuses. Again: we'd plant a church because we want to see the Kingdom grow and that's a major way it does.
Some thoughts on why:
1. Church planting has historically proven to be the most effective evangelistic tool. In our ministry context, we have 275,000 people who claim NONE on their religious affiliation data. That's over half the people in our area. And that's a lot of people to reach. So the most effective tool is what's needed.
2. Our little slice of heaven is landlocked on 5 acres. This limits our growth size. Planting churches makes sense.
3. Multiple services / campuses and so forth are not bad things. But for me, the only reason I'd be open to multiple anything is if it were a step toward planting a church. Why? Because of the two reasons above.
4. I wonder if 20 churches of 500 would be more able to respond to a need and turn their organizational side to meet it at a faster rate than 10 churches of 1000. I think probably so. Slimmer and smaller is more capable of adjustment. Again, I'm not dogging churches of 1000. Far from it.
5. I like pastoring a people, not running an organization. I have friends who can do both. I'm grateful for them. I'm challenged by them. I want to get better at both. But I want to burn my energy with people: knowing their stories, knowing their kids's names, etc.
This is just me on a Monday, but it's something that's been in my heart for a while. I cast no aspersions.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...