Our theme as a church in 2015 is “Getting Ready For Company”. This means that we are preparing ourselves and our church so that people can feel safe and at home with us. This is going to work out in three particular areas of our church: our Life Groups, our Facilities, and our Structures. I just want to take a moment and talk about some of the exciting ways that we are preparing this year so that we are ready as we continue to grow.
What I mean by structures is the way in which we do things at New Life. In established churches and especially small churches it is often hard for new people to feel welcomed, or sort of break into the social fabric of our community. So we are developing practices, and ways for New Life to be as welcoming as possible and for people to get connected as quickly and easily as possible.
The first way we are doing that is with our Connector events. Connector events are times when we can get together to just connect, to get to know each other, to grow in relationships and build community. We currently have an on-going youth connector that happens the first Friday of each month, and a regular men’s connector is in the works. We have plans for other connectors both on-going and single events to make it as easy and enjoyable as we can for all of us to connect at New Life.
The second structure that is helping us get ready for company is our new volunteer orientation. We will be rolling it out in the next month or so. If we don’t have a clear way for people to get involved many people may never get involved, even if they want to. The volunteer orientation helps everyone know what to expect from the church, and what will be expected of them as a volunteer. It will be a great entry point to further connection.
We will be making some major and not so major facilities updates and improvements in 2015. Our biggest project is water proofing our basement. This will be a major undertaking but will help to make our basement a much more usable space. Other projects like painting, carpeting, and decorations are already in the works. We will also finish work on the bathrooms.
This is really the most important feature of our preparations this year. Outside of our leadership team we only have two Life Groups now. Life Groups help New Life be much more connected and in a much deeper way. Life Groups are also our means for making disciples at New Life. The success of our church at accomplishing the vision God has given us ultimately will be won or lost in our Life Groups.
Our goal this year is to triple our Life Groups. Each Life Groups is full with about 10-12 people. So if we triple the number of Life Groups through New Life from 2 to 6 it will give us enough room for 60 adults to be in Life Groups. That means 60 adults at least 30 families maturing in Christ, connecting with people and God. This isn’t enough to continue growth but as the numbers of Life Groups increase the speed at which they increase will also grow. In other words it will be quicker to go from 6 Life Groups to 12 than it will to go from 2 to 6.
What Can I Do?
The most important thing you can do is get in a Life Group and make sure you are growing in your walk with Christ.
Secondly, when we have volunteer orientation make it a point to be there.
Third, get involved. Pray and think about where you could serve. The Volunteer orientation will help with that.
Finally, Give! Givve your time, Give your prayers, Give your abilities and Yes, Give your money. Preachers don’t like to talk about it any more but it will cost money to do some of these things we need to do to make our church welcoming.