Friday, December 3, 2010

The Year of Amassed Pride

With an eldership in place, and Pastor Keith at the helm, Middleberry had arrived at the destination they had dreamed about just a few short months ago.  The GracePoint contingent came out in mass those first couple months.  

Middleberry's building was constructed years ago, and built to house a couple hundred people.  The GracePoint following nearly maxed out the capacity of Middleberry's sanctuary. To restate: a church whose soul purpose (or at least one of many) was to bring in people from Middleberry's neighborhood was already at capacity.  Where would the people from the surrounding houses find a place to sit?

A well known Church planting proverb is this: 80% capacity is full capacity.  Translation: once 80% of the seats are full, you will never get any fuller.  Most churches find ways to add seats (by adding another service or building on or other creative ways); but not Middleberry.  Middleberry would remain at capacity for the rest of their time in that neighborhood.  

The church at Middleberry ran at capacity for the next year or so.  On Sunday morning there were few seats that were open.  The Church saw this as a positive reflection of their spirituality.  During these formative months the church never looked around to see the kind of community they were building, never looked to see how the faces in the pews stood in stark contrast to the faces that looked at them from the street.

This issue would plague Middleberry in the future...but all was well that first year in the hub of the city.

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