Two thousand and eleven is almost behind us and a new year is about to begin. Normally one year turns into the next and if it weren't for calendars and the lengthening days we'd be none the wiser. Next year, however, promises to be a truly new year. The church that I am a member of is merging with another church. There are some organizational differences, nothing major, but we share the same beliefs and many of us know members of the other congregation personally. The move has almost universal support, and no one opposing it.
It will be two small churches joining together to form... Well, it'll be two very small churches joining together to form a small church, but one big enough to get some traction under it. For the last few years it has felt like we were treading water. We often got people commenting on how surprised they were that such a small church could do so much, but 'so much' took a lot out of people. Beginning with a change in ministers in the summer, we have been working to change ourselves. To ready ourselves to be the church we believe we should be. After we voted for the merger, I remembered a prayer my wife and I had joined in making last January. As the usher, I keep attendance. We prayed that our average attendance would grow by ten people in the next year. Not that ten more would be saved, would be baptized, or even become contributors in the work of the Lord here. Just that the attendance would increase by ten. When your average is less than twenty, ten is a lot. I never imagined it would happen this way, but our attendance will certainly increase by more than ten. By more than ten mature Christians, anxious to make a difference in their community.
Our first service together is this Sunday, January 1st.