Dear Spiritual Family,
Prior to last year Parkminster grew for three straight years to an average of 120 people in worship. Moreover, Taking Root had taken us to 80 people in weekly Connection Groups. Things were going well.
But a year ago our Elders began noticing signs of stagnation. Attendance in worship, youth group, and Connection Groups began to dip. Then several key leaders moved on (Alex Banks and Ben Longabaugh) and several beloved members passed away (Dan Wright and Debby Brown). Those departures grieved all of us.
There’s been no single cause for this sudden decline in attendance. Denominational issues accounted for 4 people leaving, and one family left seeking a church with more young families. But other than that, those who left weren’t unhappy with Parkminster, they left because they relocated. Many of them were our young leaders.
I’m just acknowledging that this has been a hard time for Parkminster. It’s hard to watch people we love and count on leave, even if they leave for good and exciting reasons.
I want you to know our Elders have been discussing what to do about this. We know that the way to lead through a time like this is to face reality and deal with it head-on. Last Sunday a team of people met a consultant named Barry Lawrence who has helped a number of churches find new vision for their ministries. Recall that one of the goals we set for this year is to “articulate a compelling vision for our church’s ministry”. That visioning process takes time, and we’ll keep you abreast of what’s going on.
What’s God doing with us during this time? A possibility is what Jesus says in John 15: I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so it will be even more fruitful. It may be that we are in a time I call “pre-vision”. Pre-vision is a painful phase of being pruned so that we can become open to a new future that will be even more fruitful. Pray that our church will hear and obey the Lord who loves this church, has sustained it, and will lead it into its future.