On Sunday evening, not even the threat of rain could dampen our spirits, as we enjoyed Joe and Jeannie Davis’s hospitality and settled in for a small group meeting led by Pastor Dan.
We packed the living room for a lively discussion about making an impact in our communities. We began with a question from Zero to Eighty, a guidebook on planting churches:
Are there things in your present circumstance that make you feel restless? Make a list of those things in your community, your ministry, your relationships, and your encounters with others that make you angry, unsettled, exasperated and/or tempted to get up on your soapbox.
This proved to be a powerful question for helping us explore the opportunities ahead of our group! We talked about different worship styles and how they appeal to different types of people. We revisited the unresolved social tensions that contributed to disaffiliation … and how we might structure ourselves to be more inclusive of people and ideas. And we noted the importance of having a clear identity — so that people can find us, certainly, but also so we can avoid a future where members misunderstand or forget our reason for existing.
We closed the night with a stirring a cappella rendition of the old hymn, “I’ll Fly Away.” After that, someone remarked about the authenticity and energy of the song … and the sweetness of our little church.
We left the session marveling at how bold our group can be … how much we trust each other … and how wonderful it is to be in a place where open minds and open hearts are opening doors for the future.