This Sunday will be the last one with a meeting starting at 10am.
12.5 years ago we started meeting a 10am at Reading Girls School and the congregation has steadily grown to an average of 286 in the mornings and 64 at South Street in the evening.
Ideally we want to lease/buy a bigger venue and do everything under one roof but we simply cant find somewhere suitable. With the morning venue approaching capacity we are having to jump to two morning meeting (9 & 11am).
Its a strange feeling. I am energised by the reality that Jesus is building His church and we are responding to that. I feel genuinely excited and that RFC has taken on a life of her own.
But it's a lot of change and I feel relationally a bit overwhelmed. I simply don't have the time or energy to keep up with all the people I have met over the past 12 years!
I guess its one of those tensions in God's Kingdom albeit on a micro scale. Living with expansion/bearing fruit yet trying to do that with a genuine sense of family/community. It's a tension you shouldn't try to solve.
I am hoping that halving the numbers of the morning congregation will make it easier for people to connect, faces should be more recognizable. Certainly that is the case in the evening; gathering with 60 others is really great, you can actually know everyone's name!
I don't know if we will ever go back to 10am meetings at RGS, it may happen over August, but I suspect we wont. We will eventually get our own venue and may be able to gather 600+ ... well have to figure out what to do then.
Meanwhile, I do know that this Sunday is the last one at 10am and I will relish it whilst looking forward to Jump Sunday on April 14.