As Neighborhood Church, we get to be “questionable” in a number of enjoyable ways. But one question we’ve come across more and more lately is: “Do you plan to eventually meet as one big group only, or will you keep these smaller gatherings?”
A perfectly good goal for any church is to grow bigger and bigger. Any church leader with their head screwed on straight wants to see boatloads of people transformed by the love of Jesus. But often, we assume this means meeting in a bigger and bigger building, with everybody gathered together each week in one large church service.
We too want to grow. But rather than growing into a bigger and bigger building tied down to a single location, we want to grow small. We want to see Neighborhood Church Gatherings all over Adrian. We want to see every pocket and corner of this city saturated with gatherings that fit and invest in each location. You belong there because you live there. You know the needs because your own house is down the street. It’s not just your church, but it’s your neighborhood. Each gathering knows how to best speak and demonstrate the gospel in their neighborhood, because they live with, interact with, and eat with the very neighbors they are trying to love.
Yet with all these smaller gatherings rooted throughout various neighborhoods, it would be easy to lose track of what is happening across our city. But this is where it gets even better. We also get to enjoy the occasional central celebration that brings together all the various Neighborhood Church gatherings into one large combined gathering. We get to hear stories of what God is doing across Adrian. We get to hear about how people are discovering life in Jesus, how families are being healed, how neighborhoods are being transformed. We get to see people being baptized into new life. And we get to enjoy it all as one big family. Welcome to Neighborhood Church.
There are certainly challenges to getting these gatherings rooted in various neighborhoods. But we absolutely believe it is worth every effort to see people in Adrian amazed by the love of God transforming their own street.