Well, today is the day we closed the Vineyard Church of Waterville. (Earlier posts in this process are: Going out with a bang and Free Gas on Channel 6.)
I’ve never had a funeral for a church before, but I think we did an exceptional job today. Here was our order of worship:
- Opening song: “More than Ever” from the Dwell DVD
- Purging of the church
We spent about 30 minutes tossing things into the dumpster. Everyone got to play. 😉 We filled it high. Then we took a sawz-all to the the old church sign and “buried” it in the dumpster. It was quite cathartic for all of us.
- Horizons DVD
I am immensely proud of being part of the Vineyard movement. This video shows where we come from, what we stand for, and where we’re going. You can see this wonderful 18 minute video at www.watervillevineyard.org
- Communion with the worship song “Dwell”
We pushed the chairs back and held hands to pray. We thanked God for this portion of the journey. We prayed for our time of rest. And we gave thanks for the people that have been part of the journey that weren’t there by offering up their names.
- Stacking of the chairs
Then we all came over to our house for a cookout.
Now, the floor is bare, the fridge is empty, and the signs are down.
Please pray for us as we rest, both that we will grow closer to Jesus and that we will rest. (Already I’ve had numerous opportunities to get really busy with pastor-type stuff this summer. So far, I’ve been able to respectfully say “no”!)
Remember, if you want to be notified of our new church plant, there’s a email sign up list at www.watervillevineyard.org.
It’s funny, I’ve always said that VCW had to plant a new church in our first five years. I just didn’t realize the next church plant would be another Vineyard in Waterville!
Caroline Cornish of WCSH Channel 6 did a wonderful story on the free gas give away.
The video is at: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=87232
She’s got a fun, corny ending that fits me to a “T”!
As I was thinking about closing the Vineyard Church of Waterville, I came up with a new analogy. If a car breaks down, you don’t yell at the passengers or order them to get out of the car and push it. You take it to the shop and have it fixed.
That’s what we’re doing with the church. It sure beats pushing the car! 🙂
WCSH News was on hand to find out why we were giving away free gas and to hear about our plans for VCW 2.0. They even interviewed people at the pump!
There’s still some gas available, so if you’re in the Waterville area head over to Lucien’s Mobil (right off I-95 exit 127.) Regular gas is $3.73 but because the Vineyard is paying the first 25 cents on each gallon, the regular is $3.48!
It’s another fun way to help out our community.
[If you get Channel 6, would you tape tonight’s newscast? Our TV doesn’t necessarily get NBC but I’d love to have a copy.]
Closing the church just didn’t seem right without doing some servant evangelism!
We have touched around 5000 individuals since we started, and we didn’t “get” servant evangelism until year 2!
Servant evangelism is about sharing God’s love in very practical, and often quirky, ways. And what’s a very real concern for our neighbors? The cost of gas.
So we’ve decided to do a “gas pay down” here in Waterville at Lucien’s Mobil on KMD.
On Friday, May 16 at 6 a.m., the Vineyard Church of Waterville is paying 25 cents of every single gallon of gas. We’ll keep it going for the first 1000 gallons sold!
Would you help us get the word out?
To see what we mean by servant evangelism, go to http://watervillevineyard.org/servantevangelism.htm
We were blessed to be the recipient of our local Starbuck’s first community service project!
They helped with heavy yard work in Vassalboro and rebuilding a roof in Norridgewock.
Here are a few of the pictures:
Thanks to Church Leader Insights for pointing me to this Barna Research posting relating to various groups, particularly the “unattached.”
1 in 4 adults fit the “unattached” label. These are what I’d call the “unchurched.” Interestingly, about 60% of them consider themselves Christians, many “born again” Chrisitians. But they revel in their independence and see little need for regular attendence in a community of faith.
Barna lists these characteristics:
Compared to regular churchgoers, the Unattached are:
- more likely to feel stressed out
- less likely to be concerned about the moral condition of the nation
- much less likely to believe that they are making a positive difference in the world
- less optimistic about the future
- far less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in its principles
- substantially more likely to believe that Satan and the Holy Spirit are symbolic figures, but are not real
- more likely to believe that Jesus Christ sinned while He was on earth
- much more likely to believe that the holy literature of the major faiths all teach the same principles even though they use different stories
- less likely to believe that a person can be under demonic influence
- more likely to describe their sociopolitical views as “mostly liberal” than “mostly conservative”
This is the group I think the Vineyard Church of Waterville is here to reach. But these are the least likely to actually come to a church service! Ironic, don’tcha think? 🙂
I will tell you, we’re a worshipping community that is passionate about Jesus but not hung up on things like politics or the moral condition of our nation.
Rather than nit-picking about the other points, we’re definitely committed to giving people an opportunity to experience God’s hope and his promise of “a future” for us.
One of the greatest parts of this type of church plant is that we can’t really take credit for any growth or success! It’s all from God!
Read the entire Barna article here.
We passed out dozens more Peeps tonight.
“We ‘peeped’ the neighborhood.” 🙂
It was a blast. Our kids were so excited to help. People were blessed.
But it almost didn’t happen. I almost cancelled it.
You see, I really didn’t feel like going to the church. I really didn’t feel like making the effort to reach out to our neighbors. I really didn’t even want to walk up to the first door.
I almost cancelled it. And I probably would’ve been thanked.
I’m so glad I didn’t.
Not caring about people is so much easier than reaching out. But showing God’s love in practical ways is so much more rewarding!