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This week’s question is about healthy assimilation of an influx of new members. The back-story of some of the new members presents a challenge. Perhaps there are several challenges. Read on:
Church - Midst - Growth - Attendance - %
Our church is the midst of unexpected and glorious growth. Attendance up 20% and giving up in equal proportion. Some of this growth has occurred because a neighboring church, of the same denomination, fired a long time employee and we hired her. We are working hard for good integration of the newer people but some of the old timers feel a bit displaced. Any words of wisdom or ways you could recommend to make sure we are one church, not two churches in the same building? The pastor at the neighboring church and I are colleagues and I have been in contact with him about the hire and the membership transfer but it is a bit awkward at district gatherings.
Our matriarchs offer their/our ideas:
Kelley - Wehmeyer - Shin
Kelley Wehmeyer Shin:
I rejoice with you as you celebrate new growth in your congregation. It is a delicate situation with the neighboring church and your colleague so proceed with grace and humility, as I know you will, because it is God who brings the growth. I think the most important way to help new members and long time members become one is to create small group opportunities for the new and the old to get to know each other: meals together, bible studies together, mission work together, worship together. Blessings in this time of renewal.
Jennifer - Burns - Lewis
Jennifer Burns Lewis:
I agree with Kelley. Relationships, relationships, relationships will help this flourishing to continue. Careful attention to opportunities to engage people around experiences of spiritual depth while forging good relationships with one another will be important.
Sharon - Mack - Temple
Sharon Mack Temple:
I enthusiastically second (and third) Kelley’s and Jennifer’s great advice about relationships, creating...
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