M-Note 4.1.2022

Has it Been A Decade Already?

by Matt Miofsky

A decade ago, The Gathering was growing rapidly, so we decided to take a leap of faith and try something new. We started a second location in downtown Clayton. We hired a person from within our church to lead it (Matt Fulmer), and about 50 or so people committed to leave the McCausland site to start what would become the Clayton site. This weekend, The Gathering’s Clayton site will celebrate their ten year anniversary!
 
Looking back on the beginning of the site, what I most appreciate is the sense of mission that existed among our church. Early on, there were people at The Gathering who had finally found a church they loved, who were beginning to build significant relationships, and whose kids found a place of belonging. Then, I suddenly asked them to do something pretty risky – give all that up in order to go start a new site so that we could continue to invite new people to also find a place of belonging. And they did it! They sacrificed what was comfortable, enjoyable, and what was working for them in order to make space and welcome new people. It is what Jesus calls us to be. The church is not a place we go--it is a movement of people inviting others to know and follow Jesus.
 
This weekend, if you are or have been part of The Gathering’s Clayton site, then I hope you will be there for worship. Pastor Charity is also inviting people to make a short video on your phone talking about how that site has influenced your faith and what your hopes are for the future. Take time to record one and post it to The Gathering Clayton facebook group.
 
In so many ways, I believe that The Gathering is once again entering a season of great growth. This past Sunday, we had a new record in attendance since the pandemic started. Hundreds of new people have checked out our church in the past few months. Many of you are new and are now inviting friends and coworkers to experience what God is doing here. It is exciting and inspiring.
 
Over the next few months, I cannot wait to see what God will do through our church. But remember – church is not a place we go, it is a movement of people inviting others to know and follow Jesus. And sometimes, maybe even sometime soon, that might mean that you step away from what is comfortable to make room for someone new! We did it ten years ago, and a new site was born. I cannot wait to see what will happen as we continue that kind of mission in the future.
Peace,
 P.S. Easter is a time when so many people naturally start wondering about church, and the role faith might play in their life. But often they don't know where to start, and it can be awkward to try something new. I ask you to think about one or two people in your life that don’t go to church. Invite them to join you this Easter. We have 6 services including one on Saturday evening (along with an Easter egg hunt). All the locations and times can be found at the link below as well as links to share our Facebook events and a PDF of the schedule.
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