I’m not sure why, but this weekend we will host one of the largest First Step classes in many years. First Step is our membership class. We call it that because we truly see it as a “first step” in our journey of disciple-making. It is pretty simple. We will meet at noon in the Gathering Place this Sunday (we usually have it in the Board Room on the third floor near our Counseling Center, so the fact that we had to move it to the GP shows you how big the group is!). We will provide a free meal and then Pastor Larry and I will share with you the mission and vision of Chapel Hill. Those who are excited about such a vision and want to be a part of it—(we don’t need pew potatoes! We want members who are on mission with us)—you will have the opportunity to join this congregation as full-fledged members.
But why such a large group? I’m not sure, but I have some ideas:
- Many who took our God Space class have been putting what they learned into practice, looking for opportunities to speak to family and friends about faith and life.
- There were eight people who came forward to receive Christ and be baptized at our recent baptism services this month. Perhaps they are ready to join the church.
- Our very first Alpha class has more than 100 people participating; maybe some of them are interested in membership.
- We’ve been mugging newcomers! For weeks, every new visitor has had the chance to meet the pastors, been given a Chapel Hill mug (they are SO cool!) and received a phone call from the pastor that day, thanking them for coming to church. Maybe this heightened focus on hospitality is bearing fruit. Who doesn’t want to have a place where they belong?
Whatever the cause, it seems that this is a season of fruitfulness. Now, let me ask this: what part are you playing in this harvest? When was the last time you asked a friend to come to church or had a conversation about faith? When was the last time you spotted someone during a worship service who seemed confused and made an effort to welcome them? When was the last time you prayed that God would grow His church here at Chapel Hill?
Thousands of people live around us who do not know Jesus. We can help change that. I invite you to be a part.
P.S. By the way, we are less than five months from my Reformation Study tour. It will be fun, beautiful and inspiring. There are a few spots remaining. Won’t you join Cyndi and me on this trip of a lifetime? Contact Kathy Berry at for more information.