The most noticeable differences between this year and last is our drop in average attendance. I believe there are two main reasons this has happened this year. One was beyond my control and the other was based on a decision I made.
#1: The biggest factor was the transition in the youth ministry. This is a part of any church life, but it was a first for us, so there was a learning curve. Our former youth pastor, Greg, moved on from our church and we felt a definite effect. Greg had worked hard to plant the foundation of the youth ministry. Nolan has now taken the reigns and is definitely helping us get back to reaching students. I believe that Nolan’s leadership in the next few months + our new location will help us to reach more and more students.
#2: Our decision to shut down small groups for a season. This was my decision and I learned a ton from it. The decision to take a break from our small groups was made because I was unsure the direction that we were going to go with them in the long run. Were they going to focus on making disciples or on connecting our church. During this time, I clearly learned the value of connecting people into small groups. Connect groups are key to CONNECTING people within the church and keeping them in our church (and it is hard to make disciples of people who aren’t there). The biggest lesson I learned was that disciples are made through relationships, so anytime you are cementing relationships within your church, you are potentially creating disciples.
I believe these to factors have impacted almost all areas of our church this year and provided me with some clear insight for the future. I could not be more excited about the future of our church and what God will do through CPC at our new location.