Growing a reclusive Church
In a place that is not unknown to me, there is a scattering of small Churches each with tiny congregations of 8-12 people who say 'we may be small, but we are perfect.' We like things just the way they are, and we think we have just enough to continue this way until we die.'
The sad fact is they are absolutely right. But when they die, the Church in that community will die with them. These congregations have succumbed to the temptation to withdraw from the world. To pull up the drawbridges and join the heritage industry.
One of these Churches had some building works carried out for a few months so they had to find somewhere else to meet for Sunday Worship. They began to meet in the Villiage hall and over this period the congregation of 8 began to grow. Somehow the warm but tatty informality of the community hall was attractive to those who would not brave the bevelled pew. There was space for Children, and some new families joined them each Sunday. A widower out walking his dog one sunday morning was curious to find out where all the singing was coming from, and felt so welcome that he and his dog became regular members.
The congregation trebled in this season out of it's building. The original 8 Church members were taken by surprise and called an emergency meeting of the Church council. This wasn't very difficult as they were all on the Church council.
The main item on top of their agenda, was how they would go back to the Church building without taking the new people with them.
Source: Breakout, p50