This past Sunday was pretty special for Grace Hills Church. After four years of being a portable church plant meeting in two local movie theaters, we moved into our newly renovated space in Rogers, Arkansas. We called it a “soft launch” and reserved the Grand Opening for this coming Sunday – our fourth anniversary since launching pulicly.
Sometimes, things change, such as the location where we gather for worship. But some things never change, like the mission and message of the church. In this message delivered on our inaugural Sunday in our new space, I’m casting a vision for the future and challenging us to throw a party for sinners like us.
We like change that directly benefits us – a job promotion, a new home, marrying our dream mate, etc. But we’re terrified of change that threatens our sense of stability, security, or significance. Having been a Pastor for eighteen years now, I’ve seen my share of missed opportunities for new, fresh growth resulting from the fear of taking risks that might cost our comfort.
Remember the Once-ler? From The Lorax by Dr. Seuss? He was a fairly normal guy who wanted to build a big business at the expense of the environment, so he kept “biggering and biggering” until all the trees were gone, the wildlife had vacated the landscape, and his business crashed. The little children’s book seems to leave us with the impression that biggering is bad. But I’m not convinced that should be the big lesson.
I love small churches. I love medium-sized churches. And I love large churches and “megachurches” (typically defined as an evangelical congregation with 2,000 or more weekend service attenders). I also agree with a principle shared by Bailey Smith who once said, “There are no large churches. All churches are small, some are just smaller than others when compared to the surrounding lost population.”