A Message from Pastor Eric
We’ve been so blessed to get to know the good folks of The Woods these past few weeks. Dennise, Maria, and I have all felt the warm welcome of the congregation. We have also enjoyed hearing what you love about your church, and also what you might wish were different about it too.
I thought I’d take this column to share with you some of the issues I heard in the “Listening Sessions” that we intend to work on in coming weeks…
This came up a lot. So, we will endeavor to communicate better and more consistently about everything… to use all the methods available to us… email, print, verbal announcements, poster, flyers, etc.
My own sense is that we must communicate often, and in as many ways as possible, so that everyone knows what’s happening at the church.
For example, we know that most people find a church by looking at their website, so very soon we will be updating our website with all new pictures and content.
The point of all of this is to say, as soon as systems are in place, expect a lot more communication from your church.
Many folks mentioned the two services (traditional and contemporary) as an issue/challenge in our community. My sense is that they are a great strength.
Having served a church with just *one* service for many years, I can tell you that it is a blessing to have two distinct services with two different styles. Both are clearly meeting a great need, and it is extremely hard to reach a diversity of God’s people without a diversity of worship styles.
I see these styles as some of the strength of our church, and it is very clear that people are moved by, and inspired by both services. Woodsians (my term) know to how sing, whatever the style of worship.
I will note, however, that the vast majority of persons who attended the “Get to Know You” gatherings attend the “traditional” service. That means there are a lot of folks I have still not “heard” from yet. I’m going to keep asking the question: How do we get to know these folks and connect them to the life of our church?
This is a really important question. If we don’t find ways to connect-in more of our contemporary service members, and how to listen to their new ideas and desires, we could lose them in the future.
As for unifying the church, to me the key will be found in fellowship activities on non-Sunday morning times. Times when we can all come together as one church, not by cramming more things in to Sunday mornings and expecting everyone to show up. And we *do* need more times of fellowship and connection together.
A geeky, behind-the-scenes change that I hope will happen soon is that we will acquire a “church management system” to help us keep track of our members data and involvement. I believe this will be a huge help to our many volunteers and leaders, as well as helping me keep track of the church’s pastoral needs.
I believe this will also help us greatly with communication and empower greater ministry.
I’ve been deeply moved by the number of volunteers that The Woods has, and the commitment they have to serving the church… Ushers, Greeters, AV/Tech, Sunday School, Office Volunteers, Missions Volunteers (especially the Blessing Box), Prayer Team, Women’s Groups, Youth Group, Choir and Music Volunteers, Worship… and a ton more I haven’t named.
I’m not sure we all know just how blessed we are by so many deeply involved and committed volunteers. We’d be sunk without them!
It’s been inspiring to hear about the history of the two great churches that originally formed “The Woods.” It’s clear those two churches have become “one.”
Now, we have two inspiring worship services on each Sunday, and our challenge will be how to make those groups into “one.” It’s totally a doable challenge, and I look forward to our doing it together.
Our part of Grand Prairie is very diverse and growing. We are well positioned for great things.
I am grateful for all the singing, praying, and serving people of The Woods, and look forward to all the new growth and activity God will lead us to together.
Grace and Peace,
PS: Our “livestream” of worship on Facebook is being watched by 500-600 people a week! Please “share” the feed with others, and help us spread the word of our church.