Have you thought of starting a new (small) church? I love the idea of small churches being so appealing that they multiply like bunnies.
It’s really a reasonable thing to think about too – a different model for ministry. Assuming that God continues to bring growth, there will probably come a time when our church would make the decision to start a new church rather than growing endlessly…
In fact, someone who has been through a similar transition with a church suggested that we consider allowing the older people to have their more traditional church and taking the younger people to start anew church. But we believe we are called to be a multigenerational church – which is counter-cultural and not the easiest way to grow a church in a world where many seek “instant community” through a common context.
You could still split a church to form two small churches that could seek to serve God in their own separate ways. I think if we served a large geographic area, that would be a very wise thing to do. But right now, I think we want to stay together and gro together. Also, we have a pretty big vision. We see more unmet need in our community than we have resources to address. We have more ideas for ways to help people grow and serve than we have people to lead them. And we have have yet to reach a critical mass of younger families and young adults. We thank God for the pioneers who don’t have to be part of a larger group, but we know that people are more comfortable in a community when there are others their age in the mix. We strive for diversity and also for enough people that people can also find others who share things in common with them. (Right now, several parents are helping each other with childcare, for example.)
So I won’t rule it out, but I don’t think that we’re being called to start another small church right now. It will be very interesting to see what God does.
For those who are interested, we decided yesterday to start a Sunday evening worship service at 5:00 p.m., followed immediately by the Alpha Course (at least for the first 12 weeks).