Yesterday was a special day at NCCC. Normally, we are forced into four assemblies by our facility limitations. Yesterday, however, we were able to worship together as One Body. We worshiped at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, just across the street from where we normally gather. The service was multicultural, with both English and Spanish-speaking members of NCCC leading in various capacities, and even in different languages at times. The singing was fantastic. Peter Wilson and the NCCC praise team were fantastic worship-leaders. The elders read passages of blessing and prayed for the church at the end. It was just a great day.
I knew we had a lot of people gone yesterday, and I knew that we would likely miss some people in the count because of the way the building was situated and the number of people we had serving all over the building. So, I was well prepared not to hit the 1,000 mark. It wouldn't have been the biggest deal in the world…but still. You preachers know what I'm talking about :) When the attendance count (1,009) came in to me backstage, I thanked the Lord and prayed.
The first time any congregation reaches 1,000 is special. In my experience, the 800 barrier is really, really, really hard to break through. I would argue it's THE most difficult—even over 200, 500, or other known "growth barriers." Even when you move past it, there is still quite a bit of suction pulling backward until you get to about a thousand. NCCC has begun to move past it, but it feels a bit like running with a parachute on — lots of energy for each inch of progress. So, we're hoping yesterday will give us the boost we need to move past it for good. It's not about numbers, it's about people.
All of this is about far more than simply counting attendance. It's about God changing lives and using His people to do so. Each church represents an outpost of the Kingdom. Each "number" is a child of God and a soul God cares about…that's why it matters.
After services were over, we carried the fellowship outside to the park and ate lunch together. It was just one of those great days in ministry…the kind of day sends your head to the pillow with a, "Thank you so much Lord for allowing me to do this with my life."
I was so proud of those who served in various ways yesterday. Those who were willing to miss some of yesterday's service to serve children, particularly, were the unsung heroes of yesterday. There are others I could mention and there are certainly those who served in ways I didn't see. I'm just thankful for NCCC, where God is leading us, and for the blessing of church.
Just had to say that, today J