â€˜Hey, what gives?â€™
What a ride its been over the last four years here at SCC!!! And this year has, in many ways been the very best year in our history! Over 700 have bent the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, over 300 baptized! Gang, thatâ€™s why we exist in the first place! We want to see people who are far away from God brought near by the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
But thereâ€™s one number I hope to see us back on track with very soon! You see, I just read Outreach Magazines 101 Fastest Growing Chruches in America article, and for the first time (according to their percentages and the way they calculate growth) we would not have been on the list (and werenâ€™t). I donâ€™t know how you feel about lists, Iâ€™m with one pastor friend of mine who said, â€˜some love them, some hate them, Iâ€™m somewhere in between.â€™ Lists are pretty meaningless, however, if the data reveals a real opportunity, we need to jump on it!
Hereâ€™s what I discovered, the previous three years 2004 -2006 (according to this yearâ€™s method of calculation) we were growing at a rate that would have put us among the top 10 fastest growing churches in America three years ago and the top 20 the last two yearsâ€¦IN THE ENTIRE USA! But again, this year, we would not have even made the list at all! I say â€˜would notâ€™ because weâ€™re not on this magazineâ€™s radar anyway. You say, â€œBut how is that possible with nearly as many saved this year as the previous 6 years combined? How can that be with hundreds professing Him in baptism?! Itâ€™s flat out awesome to be a part of Southbrook right now, so what gives?!â€
But thatâ€™s just the point. I donâ€™t care about the magazine, I care that we have run out of room and are about to add an eighth service and still have not begun construction on our new worship center! There comes a point when simply adding services gets counter productive. People just arenâ€™t that interested in coming to your brand new service Tuesday evenings at 3:15 a.m.! We need to be able to offer the most available seats at the best possible times and right now, we canâ€™t. Thatâ€™s why awesome things can be happening and yet, at the same time our facilities can stifle the future work of the Lord. And thatâ€™s exactly whatâ€™s occurring. You heard me say it last weekend, â€œOur space capacity is directly influenced by our faith capacity!â€
I so desperately want to see God continue to move on the weekends at SCC like a mighty rushing wind! I am humbled and amazed at these weekends when over a hundred people cross from death to life by embracing Jesus Christ. But, before you can share the good news with hundreds of seekers sitting before you, you have to have hundreds of extra seats before you!
Friends, this is the â€œDivine Momentâ€ that faces all of us who call Southbrook home. Will pray with me over the next 2 weeks about giving generously to increase our space capacity at this critical time? Every great and life transforming community of Christ faces times of testing like this, we are no different. Some churches blow through it and continue to see God do even more amazing things, others camp right where theyâ€™re at and never move forward another inch as a church. In fact, they spiritually retreat.
Thatâ€™s not Southbrook. We will always advance, always take territory from the evil one and always pursue those who are far from God with a vengeance. If thatâ€™s your heart, youâ€™ll love it at SCC.