Yep, that’s right! We are going to be moving to THREE services this fall (2105) to accommodate the growth at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (MBPC). We shared this with the church this past Wednesday night and I believe everyone is really excited! We are consistently running around 530-550 people (average) each week. The second service is overloaded and because of that we are capping out. For a rural church, (which we are), the gurus of attendance tell you that 80% capacity is about all you are going to get before folks start feeling “there’s no room” and “they don’t need me.” We are almost there now with our second service, thus the need for three. Therefore, we are moving full steam ahead to be prepared. Do you see this guy?
He better stay ahead of that wave, or he’ll be taken under! That’s exactly how the Elders here at MPBC feel. We’ve got to stay ahead of the wave. We want to make room for more people to hear the Gospel and receive Christ and be trained and discipled so they can go and make disciples. That’s the goal and we believe the Lord has blessed and anointed us here out of his mercy and grace. He is having favor on us and we are grateful. We really believe that growth will continue because we are starting to see some growth in the county, principally with Samaritan’s Purse.
They are bringing 600 jobs in the next five years to the county and we believe we have an opportunity to have some of these folks and their families attend our church. (Here’s the full article on their plans from our local paper: http://www.journalpatriot.com/news/article_42f14ca8-9835-11e4-b672-f78692e31039.html
Think about it. If just 100 of these “new job” folks and their families end up at our church, that could mean 300+ more people. We’ve got to be ready and able to handle this growth. So, there are exciting times ahead and that will also mean “growing pains.” Anytime there is growth in an organization (think of adding a new baby to a family), there are adjustments to be made. And there will be here as well. There are so many things to think about that it will make your head spin. But, we are announcing this decision early to give plenty of time to think and pray everything through and not surprise folks. In fact, this Easter, April 5th, we are going to have three services to show the people what it’s going to be like. I’m really pumped!!!
With all of that said, our drummer for our Praise Team, Martin Moore, wrote a wonderful blog post earlier today that I’m going to share in its entirety here. Why? Because it’s that good. And what he shares needs to be understood by ANY church member of ANY church, not just MPBC. This is Martin:
Take a look and I think you’ll agree:
So, what did you think when you first heard that we were going to three services? Excited? Bewildered? Amazed? Didn’t know what to think? To be honest with you, I’m pretty excited. It’s an absolute joy to see this kind of growth.
I grew up here in Wilkesboro, probably just over a five-minute drive to MPBC. I always thought of Mount Pleasant as the little church on the hill. I could have never predicted that Mount Pleasant would grow into what it currently is. This brings us to where we are today: Three services starting in October 2015! Unlike many in our church, I’ve been a part of a church that’s run three services on Sunday morning before. What was it like? I look back on those years as a time of excitement; it was such a whirlwind of activity, it’s all a little blurry to be honest. It was a lot of music playing, a lot of practicing, and a lot of foot traffic. It was also quite a bit of running ragged and chaotic at times.
All in all, it was a great experience. However, I think what made it so difficult was when the old 80/20 rule was blown out of the water. If you haven’t heard about this rule, it basically states that 20% of the church does 80% of the work. In my experience when there is growth, the stats begin to shift…but not in a positive way. I think sometimes a church may end up with an 85/15 or even a 90/10 rule. Why? Because many of the members don’t step up. I realize you may be busy. I am too. We all are. We are all only given 24 hours a day. When I was growing up, my parents were busy, but sure enough I was at church at least three times a week without fail. My mom was a school teacher, and my dad worked two jobs. Here’s the thing – they MADE the time to serve and instilled this in me. Parents, how are you instilling working for God’s kingdom in your kids? Just something for you and me both to think about… Being shorthanded at church works for a while…but it’s short-lived. People will eventually burn out, and no one is immune to it. I’ve seen it, and I personally have experienced it firsthand. While some recover, unfortunately some do not.
At one point in my life, I went several years without playing any sort of music in church because I was so burned out on the whole thing. I got over it, but it took a while. So, here’s an honest look at the current state of affairs (Well, as I see it anyways.). Our church is growing, and those of us who are already involved are working pretty hard, and it’s only going to get harder.
As time progresses, the kitchen staff will serve more people. Ushers will greet more members and visitors. Sunday school teachers will teach to more people. The praise team will be getting to church earlier, practicing more (both at church and at home), and staying later on Wednesday nights. Those that direct traffic will deal with an increased volume of vehicles coming in and out of the parking lot. Custodial staff will have more to clean. From my perspective, I think that it’s safe to say that the current 20% is being stretched. A lot.
With our growth (and the basic rules of percentages), our 20% is probably starting to shrink. Is this a complaint? Absolutely not. It’s a charge. To you. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 If you have been attending our church and enjoy our services and programs, and yet you are not involved, I challenge you to do a few things:
- Pray. Ask God where he wants you. Ask God to put a burning desire in your heart to serve in a specific capacity. When He puts the desire in your heart to do something and you choose to take steps to do it, you will serve Him with gladness, and it will show! There’s nothing better than serving the Lord.
- Ask. Ask those in leadership if there are any specific needs, and better yet, ask if they foresee any needs in the foreseeable future as our church starts to grow. We need (or are going to need) additional Sunday school teachers, people to work in the kitchen, volunteers for chicken-ques, choir members, praise team members, greeters, traffic patrol, help setting up tables and chairs every week, ushers, drama team members, etc. We also have seasonal positions that open up every years (e.g. flag football/cheerleading, passion play, etc.) For more information, http://mpbc.ws/getinvolved/ or sign up for our Get Involved weekly newsletter. Through your involvement, you can have a direct impact on people’s lives and make a difference.
- Talk. If you want to help in serving the church, begin by talking to people! It’s so easy for new visitors to get lost in the shuffle; however, just taking 10 seconds to get to know someone’s name and his or her family will work wonders to help people feel a sense of belonging. It takes a while for people to get connected in church, so talk to those around you. If you greet and talk to just one person you don’t know, you ARE making an impact. As a matter of fact, Marci and I didn’t start attending because of anyone in leadership; we started attending because a couple of members invited us. Just like you.
- Unable to work? We can still use you! Even if you are physically unable to work within the church, we covet your prayers. Pray for the lost. Pray for your lost friends and family members. Pray for wisdom and endurance for your pastors. Pray for safety every Sunday morning. Pray for the person that serves you food. Pray for the people you see stacking chairs and hauling tables. Say a kind word of encouragement to those who are greeting. Wave and smile at those directing traffic. Make a point to go speak to three people you don’t know before or after service. Your ministry is just as important as anyone else’s.
It’s a great time to be a part of Mount Pleasant. People, it’s time to move. Take it from someone who has been down this road before. It’s going to be up to YOU to make this work. So, what do you plan to do?
I told you it was good! Way to go Martin!! (And no…I didn’t tell him to write any of that! 🙂 I didn’t even know about it until Pastor Brad shared it with me. But, I must say that I couldn’t have said it better myself. :))