City Church only has one more worship service in our current location. Beginning on Sunday, February 6, 2011, we will worship at Beth Ahabah Synagogue. A couple weeks ago, I wrote in this space about pitfalls I wanted to avoid in our move to new space. This week, I’ve been thinking about characteristics I want us to embody as we move to new space.
City Church is a welcoming church. Part of the welcome we offer is communicated by our physical space. Our transition to Beth Ahabah helps us communicate that City Church has room and will make room for you, because God has room and has made room for you.
We want our worship space to be consistent with Jesus’ recurring message: “Come to me all who are weak and heavy laden;” “I will come again and will take you to myself;” “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”
Our community exists to represent God’s welcome to a world that feels uneasy and out of place. As English writer and theologian C.S. Lewis describes the role of the church:
The Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ. . . If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other reason.
City Church is a growing church. If we are faithful as a welcoming church, we should expect growth, without acting as if growth is our only (or our ultimate) measuring stick.
Faithfulness to the gospel message means always holding in tension apparently contradictory realities. The gospel has both centripetal (center-seeking) and centrifugal (center-fleeing) forces. We always seek Christ as our center, but we also always seek those running far away from God, too.
The move to Beth Ahabah isn’t just about accommodating more people in a worship service. It is about providing a better space for deepening people’s life with Christ. The new space at Beth Ahabah allows us to continue to grow in both breadth and depth:
- More comfortable classroom space for children and adults will enable deeper spiritual formation.
- Meeting space for regular after-church meals will deepen friendships and increase our ability to care for one another
We’re grateful for the new worship space that allows City Church to remain welcoming and growing.