A key point of focus in the Gathering is developing a culture of invitation, a community where people feel comfortable inviting their friends, family, and coworkers to church. I want each of you to be confident that when you put yourself out there and bring someone with you for the first time, that acquaintance will feel welcomed, encouraged, and connected to the God who loves and cares for them.
Because of this focus, I make it a point to celebrate moments when we collectively pass benchmarks for engagement and growth. Just two weeks ago on August 26, we set a Gathering record with 386 people in our combined attendance! That’s incredible, particularly considering that August is typically a lower-attendance month as families transition back home after vacations. I wanted to send you a note to celebrate, but I stopped. Instead, I thought I would send a note after our most recent Sunday, hoping that the return of children’s ministry academy would push our numbers past the 400-person mark for the first time ever.
Well, we did pass 400 people in combined Gathering attendance on Sunday. We also passed 425 and 450. Ladies in gentlemen, last Sunday in the Gathering we had a combined worship attendance of 503. 503! Can you believe it?
To compare apples to apples, at the same point in 2017 we had 280 people in worship. In 2016 we had 108. In 2015 we had zero, because the Gathering didn’t exist yet. In under three years, we are now a community of over 500 people in church together on a Sunday in September, all because you keep inviting people to experience what you have found when we worship God together in the Gathering.
I’m passionate about these numbers because each number is a person. Each number is a unique individual with a life, a story, and a soul. Each of them matters to us because each of them matters to God. We’re growing because God is working through us, and we’re just getting started.
Senior Associate Pastor