We are off and running this fall. On Homecoming Sunday, we had 11 new members join our congregation. This week, we kicked off a new Bible study and confirmation. This coming Sunday, we will begin a new children’s choir. This is the kind of life and vitality churches are praying for in this post-pandemic world.
This is a wonderful time, but it can also be stressful. Anytime there is growth in a church, things change. Perhaps the seat you have always enjoyed in worship is now occupied by new members. Or the Sunday school classroom you have been using gets used by another group. Or the pastor’s time seems to be consumed by the new members and activities. Growth in the church can be uncomfortable.
Change is hard even when it is desired. And you know what? It is okay that we may feel anxious as we continue to increase as a body. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” When we look at change this way, we can be better prepared to manage it.
When we find ourselves focusing more on the season that is passing and not so much on the season that is coming, we are to look to God for the courage it takes to lay aside our comfort for another’s. Jesus’ ministry gives the witness the challenges faced by change even when he was bringing good news.
When Jesus’ disciples were frightened, he calmed the waters. When Jesus’ friends were hungry, he fed them. When Jesus’ followers were confused, he taught them. When salvation was not possible for everyone, Jesus redeemed us all.
God is blessing our church, but God is also aware of our growing pains. God will lead us like a shepherd as we embrace the season before us.
Rev. Carol D. Sparks
Hate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!