We're not quitting, we're just regrouping.
After a tremendous time of Worship and Praise, and strong biblical teaching, after a special time of Holy Communion, at our little campus in Deming, we faced the news that today was the last service for time time being. the turn out has not been what we had hoped. We started out with high hopes and a strong team of volunteers at Easter. We had Sundays where we saw people come to the Lord. Seeds were planted. It was good. And then, slowly things began to dwindle. Those who had signed up to help finished their time commitments and went back to their own campus. Only a few stayed. And so then we had a more accurate count. And it was small. It got smaller.
Summer came and it took many people away. We changed the time of worship hoping it would help bring the people in. the numbers were still small. and it got smaller.
what were we doing wrong? what were we not doing? why were we struggling?
we may never have answers to those questions. it comes down to this... our ways are not God's ways. So we trust Him. He has a plan for good and not for evil.
We suspended Sunday services as of today. Our goal will be to build back up, with a stronger core, using small groups as one way to do this. it breaks my heart to see our sunday worship time halted. but I didn't cry alone this morning. and I take encouragement in that. I believe those who were there today are committed to finding a way to build things back up.
many thoughts have run thru my mind this week as we wrestled with the decision.
all from scripture...
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will not bear fruit.
Jesus wept over the city, saying how he had longed to gather the people as a hen gathers her chicks but the people rejected him.
trust in the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my understanding.
i thought about the spiritual oppression we battle in this area. we fight the demons of gambling and alcohol, drug abuse and violence. we battle against demonic presence, the smokehouse traditions, spiritual warfare of every kind.
and then we celebrated communion, remembering that although Jesus died, he rose again. He lives! and because He lives, hope lives!
I feel like I have been in mourning all week since I learned of the decision to suspend services. We poured so much into making it happen. I can understand a church that dies because of apathy, but i didn't see apathy in the people who were attending here. We just didn't see enough people. we want to win souls for Christ-- it's the main reason the church exists, is it not? And it's harder to do when there are so few present.
So I am grieving. I will continue to grieve and i pray it serves as a motivator to seek new ways, to seek God's leading and to continue to trust in Him.