Like many of you, I have ways of keeping track of what needs prayer: my journal, some cards that I keep by a prayer kneeler in my study, my memory, whatever gets my attention when I sit down to pray… One of the items that has been front and center for a while has been asking God to make our new space ‘feel’ like our old space– that it would quickly become familiar to us.
Now that we are 3 weeks in, I know that we have all had a range of emotions: we are genuinely excited to be ‘all together’, we are stretching our Sundays to include prayer before the service and eating after the service, at times we feel lost– literally and figuratively, we miss the old place, we love the the new place, we wonder about the next place.
We have all looked around that room and wondered, ‘who are these people?’. We have all felt the unsettledness of going from 150 people in the room to 450 people in the room. It’s exciting, but it’s different.
So if you’ve gone from Wow! to Yay! to I’m nervous! to I don’t know anybody! to I wish it was smaller! to I wish it was bigger! to ‘Call me when you move back to Quincy street and I can attend in the morning’…. You are not alone. Change is. Period.
So a couple thoughts as we all move through this new season:
- Pray. For your church. For your staff and leaders. For yourself as you think about gathering for worship. Pray that God would connect your head and heart to what He is doing in that room.
- Come EARLY. It is extra hard to feel connected when you get there after the service has begun and you are scrambling to get a seat in the back and to get your child checked in.
- Sit as close to the front as possible. It is harder to hear under the balcony. You will feel more disconnected at the back and up in the balcony.
- Put on a name tag— as soon as you enter the building. They are so helpful to us. No one knows everyone’s name. So let’s all tag up.
- Come early and pray at 4pm. I am so thankful for this time to settle my heart and to focus my mind on who I will be with and who I am worshiping.
- Plan on parking at Nottingham Elementary School or on Little Falls ROAD and walking. Build in extra time to walk to the church. Don’t assume there will be parking at LFPC and then be disappointed.
- Make sure you are in a small group. As our worship gets bigger, small groups become even more critical. Sunday is the last day to register. Ask your small group to sit together so that you know the people who are worshiping around you. Pick out a spot in that sanctuary that is ‘yours’.
- Make yourself stay for the after-service food. Plan before you go to say hi to someone new and to stick around for a few minutes. We are providing these opportunities to eat so that people can have the opportunity to connect and get to know others.
I am working on slowing down, looking around, focusing on people so I can see who is there, walking slowly, listening.
I am so grateful for our church and for this new place and for God’s work among us. What are your ideas for adjusting to the new space?