Ever since Easter Sun-day I have been bask-ing in the glow of what a wonderful day it was. Both services were grand, and, between the two of them, we had slightly less than 400 people in attendance. I realize lots of people come on Easter who won't come again until Christmas. Yet it was marvelous to see the chapel full and the main floor of the sanctuary filled with an overflow into the balcony.
At coffee hour that day someone said, "It sure was nice to see the church full today. Now all we need to do is figure out how to keep it that way."
And I said, "No, we don't. All we have to do is keep doing what we've been doing."
I honestly believe that. We wouldn't have had the crowd we did on Easter if our attendance had not been growing steadily for some time now. And our attendance would not be growing if we weren't accomplishing some good things in lots of different arenas.
Specifically, here are some areas where we need to "keep on keeping on."
Dynamic worship. I like to think we have a worship service combining formality with "folksiness." When people have the freedom to think and feel, laugh and cry in worship, and then take something into their week that's relevant to the lives they live daily, they have a tendency to come back the next Sunday.
First Faces. People who visit in worship are contacted, usually the same day, and
invited back to our church. The old saying claims you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and our First Faces teams assure that FCC's first impression is a good one.
Christian Education. Our module approach to Sunday School keeps children interested and our teachers provide a fun environment for spiritual development. And our adult education program respects the spiritual diversity of our congregation with a wide variety of offerings.
ChristCare Small Groups. Check out the statistics on page 4 for an indication of how this ministry is reaching people in our church and outside it.
Youth Group. Our young people are gelling into a cohesive unit committed to their own spiritual growth as well as ministry to others. Take special note of their hard work to get ready for this Summer's mission trip.
Space does not allow for all the programs and activities we have going, not to mention the expressions of sincere compassion and love demonstrated by FCC folks to each other and to our community. Is there more we can do? Always. But we're already doing lots of things that deserve to be celebrated.
So I get a little embarrassed when someone says, "Paris, you're really doing great things at FCC." It's not just me. It's all of us together. It's a collaborative effort.
Besides, at FCC I've got great material to work with.