A New Church Down the Street: Competition or Cooperation?
Recently another mega-church moved to our church's community. So yesterday we prayed for them and I told my church we welcomed them. You see, only 20% of our county is active in a church. Even if this new church attracts 10,000 people, it will only increase this percentage by 1.5%. We need them and they need us - so my prayer is we will work together to reach those who do not yet know Jesus and need a church home. The amazing fact is yesterday when this new church opened with much publicity and buzz, we had our largest attendance in over a year in worship and our largest turnout for our Discipleship Classes ever! We also had 21 youth start in our Confirmation Class and we baptized 20 youth and adults. This was huge! And a sign we need more churches in this area, certainly not less.
Research shows that when a new church opens, all the surrounding churches grow as well. That is, all the healthy churches. So our emphasis on worship, small groups and calling everyone to places of service has made us stronger. We emphasize a "church of connections" where you will be known by name, where you can be part of a small group and have a place of service that makes a difference in this community. When you are in the hospital or crisis, a pastor will contact or visit you personally. People looking for this find a home here and stick with us.
I well know of the church that just opened around the corner. They are doing good, kingdom work in many places. Their youth minister, Reed Moore, used to be on my staff in a previous church. He is a great guy who reaches young people who would have never come to a church. He was my son's mentor and now my son is a Youth Minister! Pray for our sister churches, welcome them and invite them to join us in showing the amazing love of God to this community. We need to be the church, the body of Christ, TOGETHER! God will bless our unity!!