I’m really enjoying this season that LifePoint is in. We are 20 months old, and our dynamic has changed dramatically over those 20 months. In October, 2008, we started with a ‘launch team’. That amazing group of people worked/served tirelessly making LifePoint a fully functioning church from Day 1 (including a fully staffed Kids Ministry, Worship/Tech Ministry…). To say those were not easy days, would be an UNDERstatement. Most of us knew that those 1st few months would be taxing, but I don’t think any of us could’ve really known how taxing they would be.
Since then, we’ve experienced growing pains. For example, LifePoint would grow in numbers, but then it takes some time for the ‘volunteer force’ to catch up with that. Also, early on in the church plant, people don’t know each other very well, so many turn to the pastor for their needs. In addition, as we have been growing, roles get re-defined, and re-defined (and re-defined). It’s during these 1st years, that change happens. Things don’t stay the same for very long.
Recently, though, I’ve noticed LifePoint shifting from a church plant… into a church family. Some observations:
- People begin to bear one another’s burdens.
- Community is developing. LifeGroups have played a HUGE part of that, but not only through LifeGroups, people are building friendships, bonding and growing together in the Lord.
- Overall, people stop asking, “What can I get out of this?” and start asking, “How can I serve the church, the Lord, through the body?”
- Many are going from serving in roles that needed to be filled, to falling into roles that are more geared to their calling/spiritual gifts. It’s a beautiful thing!
- People see a need and fill it, out of genuine care and concern for one another.
- God has raised/is raising up leaders and servants, clothed with different personalities and spiritual gifts and we’re really beginning to witness 1 Cor 12 firsthand.
- The body of Christ, is BE-ing the body Christ; within the church and outside of the church walls.
It’s really cool to look back and see some of the stages that we’ve come through (and lived through, ha ha!). And, I know we’re not finished yet! Woot! Woot!
So, if you’re reading this and you’re in the beginning stages of a church plant, HANG IN THERE. It DOES get better, and better and better. You may not see or feel it now, but there will be a day, maybe even only 20 months from now, that you can sit back and see all the Lord has done and is doing to take you from a church plant to a church family.