What is the Gathering? Part I: Making Friends

By February 27, 2017The Gathering

Lance Marshall3The Gathering continues to grow as more and more people invite their friends and family to experience this new approach to community and worship. Each day this week we will look at a different portion of the service to better examine what’s happening and why.

Part I: Making Friends

The Gathering starts at 9:30 am sharp, but it doesn’t start with anyone talking into the microphone. Instead, it starts with delicious coffee, real breakfast foods, and everyone putting on a nametag. For the first 10 minutes of the service, the community focuses not on the speaker but on each other, visiting, shaking hands, and getting to know your neighbors. Have you ever thought about why we do this?

Our social interaction isn’t something that happens before worship — it’s an integral act of worship itself.

I learned an important lesson early in my ministry. People will come once or twice if they really like the preacher or the music. But they will come back, again and again, if they like each other. Churches aren’t groups of worship consumers; they are communities of friends and family. The Gathering so deeply values forming relationships that we put a social time in the service. Our social interaction isn’t something that happens before worship — it’s an integral act of worship itself.

Our new 11:00 am service will take place at a different venue at FUMCFW. The 9:30 am service will remain in Wesley Hall, but the 11:00 am service will be in the Justin Building, another space that was designed with interaction and hospitality in mind. This space will support our existing focus on community as well as provide a few new extras. (Fresh cinnamon rolls, anyone?) This is a perfect opportunity for you to invite a friend to attend The Gathering with you. When they do, they will experience a community of people who love God, love church, and love each other.

I’ll see you on Sunday!

Lance

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