We had our first worship service at the Massillon Campus last week. It was an amazing opportunity to do some clean up in the parking lot and worship for the first time on the Massillon campus. It felt like a momentous moment and achievement, so much work has already gone into the campus. To have a location and a start date was a big piece of launching strong and I spoke about two other things we can do to help us as we close in on the first gathering. The first was about sharing social media. Sharing blogs, posts, statuses, and pictures helps to raise awareness of what is going on at Living Water. We can spread the great news to all our extended networks by sharing. The second was the most important thing we can do moving forward - having "One Conversation" every week about the Massillon Campus. Talking to a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or stranger can make all the difference in the world in their lives and the success of our launch. It is as simple as saying “I love what is going on in my church”, or “I am excited about how my church is moving forward!” Emily Roebuck, our Worship Leader for the campus, wrote to us about an experience she had this week:
When someone tells you that your reputation precedes you it may be good, it may be bad, but it definitely means that people know about you (and more than likely, they are talking about you). When it comes to our reputation as a church, the type of community we create for people, whether they are coming for the first time or the hundredth time, means everything. Recently, a woman I see almost every morning when I drop my son off and pick him up from daycare, shared with me that the reputation for Living Water is preceding us at our new campus in Massillon. Alice is part of the amazing group of people who take care of my son most days while I'm at work and we often talk about God, church and just life in general whenever I'm there in the mornings or at the end of the day. Earlier this year, she shared with me that she enjoyed watching Living Water's church services online (the video of our Easter service). Watching our video was how she celebrated, since she wasn't able to go to church that day. This week Alice told me she has a close friend who is brand new in her faith. She told her friend that she should start going to Living Water Massillon on Sundays because it will be a place where people will really talk to her and encourage her. She asked me when the Sunday services will be starting up and told me that her friend lives just up the road from our new campus. Knowing that people are already speaking about Living Water Massillon as a place that will be great for new believers is awesome! I felt excited, energized. I started praying for her friend on the drive home and couldn't wait to share with others the way that God is working.
Whether someone is a new believer, a long-time church goer, someone who doesn't believe God exists or someone who wants to make Him the center of their life, we all have reputations out there that we are expected to live up to. My desire is to be part of a church that makes everyone feel welcome and loved, no matter what their “reputation” may be, a place that gives love and life. Living Water Massillon already has a reputation in this world, and I'm excited to have the privilege of striving to live up to it."
We have one example of the impact of conversations on our reputation. We have a responsibility to live up to our reputation as well as sharing about Living Water so people know we are coming. Have "One Conversation" this week with a friend neighbor coworker, or stranger about Living Water and the Massillon campus, and you will help us launch strong! It may be scary or hard but the impact you could have is worth it! I’ll leave you with the scripture we considered Tuesday night.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7