Last Saturday, a group of nine leaders from our church visited Grace Community Church for one of their Saturday night services. Grace Community Church is #47 of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches in the US in 2011 (weekly attendance growth from 500 to 1,800 since ’09). What was even more amazing to us was, Grace is in our backyard in Washingtonville, NY (35 min. drive for us). The opportunity to go, observe and learn what Grace is doing to reach a community so similar to our own was invaluable! It was a great encouraging and inspiring trip and we are thankful for all the help and wisdom the Grace Family shared with us.
On Sunday, a pastor and his wife from Pennsylvania, Bill and Sue Covert, from Hope Community Church, visited with us at VALLEY Christian Church for the same exact reason; to gain some encouragement and inspiration in leading a church through growth transitions. After our 11am Gathering concluded, my family and three other leadership families from VALLEY joined Bill and Sue for lunch and a time of questions & answers. It was very humbling to experience such a reversal of roles in less than 24 hours. At the same time, it left me with wondering why these type of experiences don’t happen very often in church world.
I’m praying that God would continue to bless churches like Grace Community, Hope Community, VALLEY and others who understand that learning from and helping other churches, not only blesses other churches, but builds the Kingdom of God! Meanwhile, if anyone is looking for a great church in Washingtonville, NY or Williamsport, PA, I’ve got some I can recommend.