What can happen by making 55 our goal? What will God do through people whose passion is 55?
And what in the world am I talking about?
I’m talking about 8.55 and 10.55. I’m talking about church members who commit to arriving inside the sanctuary at least five minutes before the scheduled start. I believe it will transform our worship experience!
55 makes a much bigger difference than most of us ever realize.
Why does 55 matter? I’ll give you three reasons:
1) Critical mass. If you’ve hosted a party, you know how grateful you are for the people who come early and get the festive atmosphere started. By contrast, have you ever gone to a party on time and found almost no one there? You wonder if you are in the right place. You worry that this event will be a dud. But if you arrive to laughter and conversation, you know it’s going to be great. If you’re a church member, you’re no longer a guest: you’re a host! And good hosts love to get the party started!
2) Engaging Worship. All this past June, we talked about the journey of worship. We noted how the worship hour is an interconnected, carefully planned structure. Our engagement with God magnifies when we engage worship as people prepared, present and focused. If we arrive at 55, our very experience of worship will change: I guarantee it!
3) Visitors. Visitors to our church usually arrive early. They don’t want to miss the start of things. A critical part of a welcoming atmosphere is having people greet them upon arrival. Not just at the door but in the sanctuary. Just by living out 55, and keeping an eye open for new folks, each one of us can grow our church.
There’s power in 55. You and I can change our church for the better by committing to 55. In a few short weeks, readjusting our habits to arrive at 55 will become normal. And we will be contributing to the health and vitality of worship significantly.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful autumn of worship with you. We will be taking up the golden chapters of John 13-17, the story of Jesus’ final night, uniquely told by the apostle John. My passion is to be with you in worship as we press deeper into Christ. And as ever, I love to be your pastor!
The Next Generation of Leadership
At a recent meeting, the session granted nearly $60,000 in scholarships for six students to pursue seminary degrees. These six represent future ministers, counselors and missionaries. They all have close ties to our church. A vibrant church ignites hearts for full time ministry, and it’s wonderful to see so many rising leaders.
Our church supports our denomination’s vision to grow the Kingdom of God through planting churches. We know that to plant churches, we have to specifically train pastors for this unique work. So, with great joy, the session awarded the first-ever Russ Stevenson Scholarship for EPC Church Planting Residency. The Rev. Will Johnson will be moving with his wife to Atlanta to begin training to plant a multi-ethnic EPC church. Supervised by two seasoned EPC pastors, our $10,000 grant will help Will get started. Will is part of a growing trend of church planters who also work “regular” jobs to support their ministry. He will be working in web development as he also works in a church.
We believe in supporting new leaders whom God raises up. It’s exciting to see the vibrancy of those who will lead in the future.