City of God,
We are currently in a very exciting season at our church. Recently, we’ve had more people worshiping with us than ever, and it seems as if there is an increased sensitivity to the work of God in the lives of our people. Our pastors are regularly hearing stories of how God is working in the lives of our people to call them to repentance, give them a deeper love for Jesus, and send them out on mission.
Every church has its ups and downs, but while we’re in this current fruitful season, we wanted to encourage you with a few things as we try and steward well what God has given us.
God brings the growth.
At the end of the day, if real change occurs in the lives of our people, it is ultimately due to the grace of God. Scripture reminds us that God is the one who draws people to Jesus (Jn. 6:44), allows us to receive spiritual truth (1 Cor. 2), empowers us for service (Eph. 4:7), and helps us persevere in the Christian faith (1 Pt. 1:5). If it seems like there is an unusual amount of fruit at City of God right now, then it should not lead to arrogance or confidence in ourselves. Rather, increased spiritual fruit should lead us to worship, and we should make it our priority to praise God for what He’s doing in this church body.
Bigger Crowds Don’t Always Equal Health
We’ve been so excited to see many new people worshiping with us in the past few months. While a growing church can be one sign that things are going well, simply having more people in worship doesn’t always equal spiritual health. We’re reminded of the scene in John 6 when a number of people followed Jesus for the wrong reasons, and in the end, they abandoned him once His teaching got more difficult.
You can grow a large church and not be about the right things. As our church grows, it might become tempting for our main concern to be adding more people instead of focusing on Christ. Our leaders are committed to doing the things we’ve always done at City of God. We’re going to preach the Bible, call people to respond to the gospel, gather in worship, build relationships with each other in City Groups, and live out the mission that God has given us in this city. In the midst of such an exciting season, pray that we would remain focused on Jesus and the gospel.
One of the most important things you can do as a member of this church right now is to pray.
- Pray that God’s will would be done in Lafayette through City of God, and in all of the churches in this city (Matt. 6:10)
- Pray for boldness to continue to preach the gospel (Ac. 4:29-30)
- Pray that God would open the hearts of many people to the gospel (Ac. 16:14)
- Pray that we would love Jesus deeply (Phil. 1:9-11)
- Pray for unity in the church (Jn. 17:20-23; Eph. 4:1-3)
- Pray for laborers (Matt. 9:38)
- Pray that we would steward well what God has given us (Matt. 25)
How can you serve?
As God continues to increase the number of people who call City of God home, we are going to need more people willing to step into service and leadership opportunities. There is already a group of volunteers at City of God serving at max capacity, and we are in need of as many people as possible to begin engaging and serving as they’re able and gifted (1 Cor. 12).
In particular, our hospitality and children’s ministry is always in need of more volunteers. You can find out more information about those opportunities here. However, there are also plenty of opportunities to begin serving outside of Sunday morning. Would you join a City Group and help our family of believers grow closer to Jesus together? Would you ask what ministry God might have for you to accomplish in your neighborhood, workplace, or school? Would you consider giving if you aren’t? Anything that you’re able to do will help us as we seek to love the people God is leading to us.
Embrace the Inconvenience
As our congregation grows, there are going to be some inconveniences we have to deal with in the short term. The services are going to be full, parking is going to be more difficult to find, and there are going to be increased demands on the time and attention of our leaders and members. Is this inconvenient? Yes. Are these great problems to have? Absolutely.
Our leaders are hard at work on a plan that is going to alleviate some of this pressure, but in the short term, we need to embrace the inconvenience so that as many people as possible can come to know Jesus and grow closer to Him. It’s easy to look only at how these problems affect us individually, but let’s not forget to look around and realize what God is doing in the lives of those around us. These are great problems to have, and God is at work.
I love this church. I love being one of your pastors. I love what God is doing in our church right now. I hope you’ll prayerfully consider what role God might have for you to play in this current season. I hope you’ll invite someone to City of God this Sunday. I hope you’ll join us in praising God for the life change we’re seeing. I hope you’ll remember that everything we’ve seen happen over the past ten years is totally God’s grace and that he is such a good Father.
I can’t wait to see what’s next.