We Re-emerged yesterday. It was fantastic!
For the past few months, The Well has been meeting in a loft. We scaled back our services and put all our efforts on community outreach events. We've set up booths at the local Farmer's Market and other festivals, and hosted parties in our homes where we invited neighbors, friends, and co-workers to learn about the what we're trying to do in the community to help people. Our worship team learned secular songs and is playing around town. We changed our logo and updated the website. We re-evaluated why we were doing what we were doing. We simplified and took out the trash. We de-robed and de-churched.
And the process shifted our paradigms. "Doing church" does change people's lives. Loving and serving is what we're called to do, and God changes people's lives. Making a great service doesn't bring people in to church... but going out and serving people in the community does demonstrate love and can begin a conversation about Jesus. Which is the whole point, right?
We had our Re-emergence gathering yesterday... back at school where we were meeting a few months ago. Except we looked totally different this time. And there were a lot more people. It was a gathering of people with a different look in their eyes. There were a whole lot of jeans instead of slacks and heels, mouths munching muffins throughout the meeting, people sitting in casual groups instead of stiff rows, and a lot of laughter. The same passion for God is there in all of us--in fact, it's stronger. It just doesn't look religious or churchy anymore. It felt GREAT.
It's amazing the different learning seasons we have gone through as a church... the number of times we re-evaluated and update. The number of times we've changed location or vocabulary, or thought processes. Honestly, there have been so many, I've lost count. But it's so good. I guess it's like life for everyone... we all go through the "growing up". All I know is that I'm growing and learning and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.