Steve Baker, who is an Ignite church planter in Elmhurst, IL, told me about a significant event he experienced a couple of weeks ago. It happened at the end of services that morning when he noticed many of the people attending that day remained in the lobby. He walked out and saw people talking, laughing and hanging out together. Others stuck around and were involved helping the staff tear down equipment and signage that had been set up earlier. “I just stood there and soaked it in. I knew something significant was happening. I realized my dream of starting a church was becoming a reality.”
Prior to this Sunday, many who attended Journey exited the building as soon as services were finished. There had not been a sense of genuine camaraderie, there was no real fellowship or life sharing. To this point, it was a group of individuals who showed up and worshiped with other individuals each week. This day, something changed as people made time to slow down, talk, and share life and laughter together. The church took its’ first step toward becoming a family.
I told Steve that I have seen this at other new churches. Somewhere, 10 – 12 weeks into a church plant, a new dynamic kicks in and people begin interacting differently. When this happens, it’s time for celebration, for it means that something good and healthy is taking place.
Steve was thrilled to see what God is doing at Journey CC and so am I! This is another reason we start new churches across Chicagoland: so people can find community with other followers of Jesus. A community that brings love, encouragement and strength.