The only people who like big churches are worship leaders and preachers. Everyone else wants to be in a small church because of the quality of relationships you get, but will put up with being in a big church for the quality of the kids work, youth work, music, preaching, the range of ministries and courses and the impact the church is making - Jim Tomberlin
As part of working our how to launch our new site in Sandhurst we've been helped by the writings of a guy called Jim Tomberlin who writes and speaks almost exclusively on helping churches start new sites. I've only heard Jim speak once, which was long before we started thinking about starting Sandhurst, but in the course of that talk he made the quote above (or something similar!).
The more I've thought about it the more I think Jim is exactly right. Most of us don't want to be in a church where we're an anonymous face in a crowd of thousands, but want to be somewhere small enough where we can know people and be known. But we also like the quality, range of ministries and kingdom impact which comes form being part of something big.
My prayer is that all of our sites will give everyone who comes along the benefits of being in both a small church and a big church. In Sandhurst we physically can't gather more than 220 adults in one meeting as the hall won't seat more than that - it will always have a smaller feel. But as part of a much bigger church Sandhurst will offer the quality and ministries of something much bigger. That's the hope at least!
We talk about being a church of thousands, but I strongly suspect that those thousands won't be gathered in one huge auditorium, but in many smaller gatherings where each of us can know others and be known. Sandhurst is just the first step in making that idea a reality.
I'd love to hear what you think about this. It makes sense to me but I'd love to know if it resonates with you.
Hope to catch you on Sunday (in either Bracknell or Sandhurst!).