Not About Us
April 29, 2019
Recently I connected with three different guests on a Sunday morning, each of them from different backgrounds, different family situations and different stories. They all found their way to Jamestown Harbor on a Sunday morning and shared with me some of the experiences that brought them there.
- One guest was there with his kids and just learned the day before his wife had been in a long-term affair with another person. He didn’t know where else to turn but had a friend at our church who invited him because, “my friend thought I needed to hear good news today.”
- Another guest was there because she was giving church one last chance. Their son had been ostracized from church because of some choices that he made and ultimately their church would no longer allow them to belong.
- Another family was there because they had recently moved to the area and were looking for a church home. They were so thankful because “the last church we went to didn’t have enough volunteers to take our kids in children’s ministry. It really mattered to us that you had space for us.”
Creating space for people is something we can easily take for granted, but it’s a big deal. It matters for every person who walks in the door of our church because you never know when someone is having THAT Sunday. That Sunday where they are giving church one last chance. That Sunday where they just need to hear some good news. That Sunday where we’re hoping we can fit. It happens every single week in ways we don’t even know about.
This past Sunday at our morning worship service and at our evening Vision Gathering, we launched an initiative to add an additional worship service on Sunday mornings beginning next September. What was important to us is that we talk a lot about WHY this initiative matters—that we’re following God’s call to make Sunday mornings “not about us.” We believe that God invites us to make our space even more available for those on the outside and that our practical response to that is to create more room.
Just as important is the opportunity we have to develop new leaders. We’re so thankful that Joe Szymanski has stepped in to lead this launch process with us along with Renee Paulin, Jacki Rigterink and Nate VanderLaan. This team has felt called to help recruit new volunteers, figure out the details for this launch and lead our outreach initiatives this summer. All of these folks are stepping into leadership in brand new ways.
But this isn’t just something where we can cheer on a team of others. This will take all of us. If you haven’t yet, spend some time listening to the sermon from Sunday morning to catch a clearers sense of this vision, and take a look at the FAQ’s we have here. But more importantly, would you consider how you can invest some of your time to make this Not About Us by participating one of our teams?
If you have never been part of a team, would you consider JOINING one, at least for the three months from September-December of next fall? Your next step is simply to connect here and fill out this form!
If you have been on a team, would you consider EXTENDING your commitment during this same period? If you already serve once a month, could you serve at least 3 more Sundays? Perhaps you can take advantage of the opportunity to serve in one service and sit and worship in another. That simple choice will make a world of difference for us. Your next step is to get in touch with your team leader and talk about what your commitment looks like for next fall.
Would you also consider who you could INVITE? You know people who you could invite to hear the good news. You know people who would be willing to give some time on a team. We had over 100 volunteers committed to serving at Jamestown Harbor before we even started a worship service… there’s no pre-requisite for those who can help!
As I mentioned on Sunday morning, we had almost 700 people join us in two services on Easter Sunday. That tells me there are still more people we can reach. Adding another row of chairs won’t create the space, or the experience we want to have with our community. So we’re going to enter into the messy, uncharted waters of change together a bit. We’re going to follow some of our own people who God has called to lead us in this project. All because it matters that we make our space Not About Us. I hope you’ll join us!