Friday, May 17, 2013

Moving Forward as the Church

Dear Church,

As we move forward as a family of believers, I want you to know a few things. I mean, I think you know these things already because you know me. But I’m going to say them anyway: I love the mission of Victory of the Lamb. I love our community. I love you. You are the cherished people of God. You are the church! The movie theater is just a place, just like the soccer club was just a place, just like any future building is just a place. But you…are…the…church.

It just so happens that I really enjoy having our worship services in a movie theater right now. When we moved from the Polonia Soccer Club to Showtime Cinema four years ago, I was as high as a kite because I knew the opportunity we would have to reach more people there, especially in regard to our kids’ ministry which Cassy built basically from scratch. I mean since the beginning of our church I’ve seen God grow our church from a small group meeting in a living room to a group that almost filled every single seat in the cinema this Easter with 40 kids and 6 adult helpers down the hall in Bible Quest! God be praised for that!

And I still think Showtime Cinema is a really great place for doing ministry. The managers are great to work with. The chairs are comfy. The lobby is spacious. The rent is reasonable. Even the showing up and setting up at 7 am every single week…I don’t personally mind it (most of the time!). What I love to do and what I want to do wherever I am (besides sharing the Gospel!) is to create a culture and an environment where people can serve with their time, talents, and abilities; where our guests and first time visitors are held in great honor and feel hosted, if not also loved; and where we can all be excited to invite people to come on any given Sunday.

If there’s one thing that always pumps me up it’s when I hear someone telling me who they’re trying to invite because they think we have created such a safe, welcoming place that anyone can feel comfortable to just come as they are, hear the message in a clear and relevant way, meet Jesus through the gospel message…and dare I say it, even enjoy their time with us. How awesome is that?!

So just so you know, whenever I talk about what I want our church to become in the future…a big part of that also is what I want it to remain. Those things that you and I love, those things that help create our safe, welcoming culture and the “feel” of our church, those things that are important in our mission…we’re going to work very hard to keep those things as we move forward trusting God.

Finally today I want to share with you a little snapshot also from Cassy, our Children’s Ministry Director, about how a building of our own, one that we design one day, would benefit and enhance our ability to reach more kids and serve more families. Having walked through and seen many really great kids’ ministry areas in other churches, I think she’s spot on. In her own words:

“A building of our own would present a real growth opportunity to Bible Quest.  There are a number of logistical and program based benefits that would result from a building.  But, hands down, the single biggest benefit would be the ability to create the best possible environment for children’s ministry and make the best possible first impression on visitors and guests – making Bible Quest an even more effective outreach tool!  Decisions about how much fun Bible Quest will be for my kids, if my kids are safe and if my kids even want to go are strongly impacted by what people see, before they even talk to anyone. 
While we strive to make a positive first impression at Showtime, the opportunities in a building of our own would be tremendous.  I want the Bible Quest area to be magnetic for kids, a place they just have to go see!  Once inside, I want it to be a place they don’t want to leave!  Bible Quest can be a space full of bright light and colorful d├ęcor.  I want parents to see that their children are safe with us and will have a fantastic morning!  We could truly maximize this first impact on families, providing the best possible worship opportunity for children and providing the strongest possible motivation for families to return.  Bible Quest is an effective outreach program today, with a space of our own, the possibilities are endless!”

Well friends, if you made it this far and you read all the way to the end...congratulations! Thanks for sending me your thoughts, Cassy, and thank you all for reading my thoughts on this cool and rainy Friday afternoon. God bless your Friday night and I look forward to seeing you all this Path to Victory commitment Sunday.

Sharing Christ's Victory,

Pastor Ben


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