|We’re in a “good-news-bad-news” period here at Stones River. The good news is that many things are happening. The bad news is that many of them require changing and we all resist change. The weekend you get this newsletter will mark a time of change—we will have two Sunday morning worship periods. For some that is no sweat (those generally are more recent arrivals to this church family). Just yesterday, someone commented, “I don’t see why it’s any big deal. I attended a church that had seven worship periods each weekend.” You’ve got to be careful allowing new people into your fellowship, they’ll surely see things differently (please note that my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek)!
For others that is a radical transition. They fear we are at risk of losing our family feel. Two hundred people is about all you can realistically keep some sense of familiarity with, so to have more than that number is to get beyond my human capacities to stay connected with personally.
How do you continue to feel connected? What do you do if several of your closest friends choose to go to the “other” service? That’s where small groups and mid-sized groups become very important. Get involved in a small group where you can be honest and more transparent, and you won’t have to worry about feeling like a stranger in a big crowd. As you look around you will see others who know you deeply and love you. They will be your connecting points, regardless of how big the church becomes. Mid-sized groups like Sunday School classes will also help you to be familiar with more people at a different, but important level.
Stones River has been attempting to be a church that connects for several years. At times that has gone well and been rather smooth. On other occasions it has been fitful and difficult. Attempting to hold on to the God revealed in scriptures and to connect with the twenty-first century world does not come naturally, so if everything came off painlessly the likelihood is great that we would not be truly successful. Please pray we help people connect with their Creator. He wants that so much Jesus died on the cross to connect us.
John Kenneth King