You might have noticed that Village Church has seen quite a few new faces in the past 18 months. If you’re one of them, we’re really glad to have you. It’s great to see the way God is working in and through people at Village, and we love the diversity, energy & dimension new people bring.
But one of the challenges facing Village Church at the moment, isn’t something unique to Village, but to any church or organisation that grows. That it “feels” different. Some love this change, some don’t. But as with every aspect of our Christian life, we’re pushed not to think about it merely in terms of us, but in terms of others.
There’s four things I want us to think about as a community as we grapple with change. Here’s the first one.
Don’t feel like you have to know everyone
This might sound like it goes against the grain, but the reality is, it’s just not possible to know everyone at Village Church. And that’s ok. Stop feeling guilty about those conversations that go: “Are you new to Village?”, “No, I’ve been coming for 6 months.”
Firstly, being a welcoming church isn’t ever something we want to compromise. No matter our size. It’s becoming harder for many to know who’s new, who’s been here for a few months, and who’s been here since Kelvin Grove was an army base. But it’s worth putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. On Sunday night, the person we sit next to, the person we say hello to, the person sitting by themselves – that might be their first night back at church after years of being away, or even their first night at church ever. And your conversation with them might be the thing that helps them feel comfortable, stay to hear the Gospel & see it at work in our community. We’re trying to provide clearer points at which people can know how they can connect, but it’s the simple, kind, genuine conversations that make the difference for those starting out at Village.
Secondly, we can’t know everyone. But we need to make sure we invest in some. It can be overwhelming in a large crowd, but the last thing we want is for people to not connect with anyone. It’s this reason that Growth Groups are so important, and we talk about them so much. Smaller groups, where we can connect, share our lives and invest in others, pushing each other towards maturity in Jesus. In some ways, it’s going to feel like our circles get smaller as we get bigger. It’s ok not to know everyone. But we want to make sure that we invest in some, and allow ourselves to be invested in by others.
Have a chat about this with others, or at Growth Group. Growth isn’t bad, and neither is change. But they can be hard. So it’s worth talking and praying about.