I wondered how that was possible. I mean, I sort of thought of how that would work, but I did wonder how someone could not just remain lost in the shuffle of hundreds and hundreds of people.
Fast forward about ten years, and now I get it.
We are a part of a large church, one that isn't massive like James River, but one that is very large for our area. I believe the 10:30 service usually has 400 - 500 people, and that's just one of three services (the other two aren't as big, but I'd guess a few hundred at 9:15...not sure about 8:00).
And here's what I figured out...you have to be intentional about being involved if you want to be a part of a large church. A huge part of feeling a since of belonging (in my opinion) is being a part of our small group (some churches call them life groups). I also loved being a part of MOPS (I've been away for a bit from when I worked...but might just have to get back to it this fall). And when my kids are involved, it allows me to meet other parents, and friendships are formed there, too!
Not to mention, it is a huge blessing and honor to be able to sing on our worship team. It's great to find something you love doing and something that gives glory to God at the same time. That's why I take it seriously as I wrote about in this post.
During the two years we've been a part of Greentree, I have seen how being a part of my church family has blessed us specifically.
Like when I see my children loving their classes and teachers...
|Caleb holding up the number 8 as his 1st grade Sunday|
School class sings "The Perfect 10"
Or when Josh's grandma passed away and members from our small group sent us flowers...
|I thought these were just so pretty and thoughtful.|
My small group put together a surprise baby shower for me and Josh! It was so sweet, and I love surprises! :)
|Hillary and Kim from our small group...this was a special|
night to me, it was so fun!
When I needed to take Leah to her first pediatrician appointment, a friend from church said she would keep Sarah and Gabriel for me!
|Sarah in the middle with Daisy (left) and Elena (right) as my|
sweet friend Lajoie watched my kiddos. They had a tea party!
When friends visited me in the hospital...
|Jana and I are on worship team together, but she's just a great|
friend, too! She also came to see me and pray for me when I
was in the hospital with pancreatitis and gall bladder issues.
|Carisma and Bryan...our small group leaders. Love them!|
I don't have pictures, but I am also so thankful for those who have brought dinner to us after having a baby! I'm not sure where that idea originated from, but I'm glad there are churches that do this, and ours is one! :)
You may be thinking, "My church is just like yours!" Good! It should be! :) I guess I was just thinking of the times I've heard people say they couldn't be a part of a church "that big" and I wondered why. I mean, if you want to be lost in the shuffle (I do think some want it that way) then you most certainly can be. But if you want to plug in, you can most certainly do that, too. The size of a church doesn't keep it from ministering to it's members. If anything, church growth means the church is doing something right!
"I go to a BIG Church, but it's made up of SMALL GROUPS. Little churches within a church. We are like little families that grow, learn, fight, eat, pray and mourn together. My small group has been BUSY lately. New Jobs, new houses, new babies, marriages, and even new songs released!! It's good to be linked up with a group of friends that you love and love you back." -Bryan
Among other things, this status update from Bryan got me to thinking about writing this post. I'm glad he said it, I agree wholeheartedly.
What makes your church feel like family?
Have you ever thought you couldn't be a part of a large church?