By: Tim Soots
When planting a church, there are things that you wish we could change, things you hope last forever, and moments where you get entirely blindsided. Our one year anniversary happened to be all three.
If you remember the weekend of April 17th, you will remember the unexpected arrival of April showers, showers of snow that is. Many churches chose to cancel, many people stayed home, and Wellspring Littleton celebrated Word and Sacrament. However, unlike other weeks where we set up an entire gymnasium with sound equipment and staging, this week our service was simple; voices, a guitar, some chairs, a table, bread and wine. The unthinkable happened, our trailer was snowed in, and the snow was making the ramp too slick to remove our equipment. So we reluctantly held an acoustic service.
Some of you may remember that one year prior we lost our building for the first week of services. As a result, we crammed 100 people into a house basement. Likewise, at our one year anniversary we crammed the majority of our church, with ten visitors, into a cafeteria with no staging, no amplification, no physical beauty to speak of, except the people present.
The beauty of being part of a church plant is that it forces you to ask the question, “what is really necessary for the church?” Do we need our projectors, or will printed liturgies work? Do we need loud microphones, or can my frail voice carry God’s Word over the cries of children? Do we need a nursery, or can the squeaks and squeals of infants remind us that our talk of God is like the babbling of a child?
Our one year anniversary, just like our first Sunday of existence, is proof that the church does not need much. God’s presence will be realized in the Eucharist. God’s Word will be spoken during the sermon and liturgy. People’s hearts will be formed. The church does not need much.
On our snowy Sunday, the majority of the church showed up to celebrate Christ’s glory. I think church planting makes you realize that the church doesn’t need much, but it does need the Body gathered together. The church doesn’t need microphones, but it does need the voices of the people. The church doesn’t need staging to elevate the worship leader, but it does need the elevated hearts of the people. The church doesn’t need comfortable chairs, but it does need men and women who sit under the Word of God. But most of all, the church needs the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and they always come to church, even without microphones.
When planting a church there are things that you wish you could change, things you hope last forever, and moments where you get entirely blindsided. Our one year anniversary was thankfully all three.