During our first year of gathering as a church, I could trace a personal connection with nearly everyone in the room. Many of the people in our church at that time had received at least a couple personal invitations to our church from me. I was recruiting constantly, not because I wanted us to grow into something big but because I knew we needed a critical mass in order to get anything done.
I still invite and recruit all the time. I want our church to reach a point where we can take care of our neighbors in an emergency (like the recent flood) or serve the families of Bishop Elementary (like the upcoming Christmas Store) or show up in force to lobby or encourage City Council (like we do once a month). More people means more serving and more caring.
Now, I realize more people in our church comes at a cost. Just two years in and I’m already feeling stretched thin when it comes to remembering names and jobs, meeting with people, and giving the people in our church the care that they need. Growth will mean change, but it will also mean efficacy in the work we do throughout the parish.
So, I’m working toward growth, but not too much. I don’t want to grow beyond a point where we don’t know each other but I do want to be able to pull the trigger quickly when our neighbors have needs.
One of the exciting shifts I noticed throughout our second year is that the number of people who are a part of our church because I recruited them has been consistently and steadily falling. More and more of you are inviting your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to check this thing out. It’s one thing when you’re passionate about something and want others to join you in that. It’s something else entirely when you see others become passionate about that same thing and start to tell the people around them about it.
Thank you for inviting friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to join us on Sunday evenings. Thank you for your financial contributions that help us care for Englewood and beyond. Thank you for your participation and recruitment for the Neighborhood Rehab Project and Englewood Food Relief. Keep extending the invitation. Movements are started and sustained through invitation.