I was buying salt for our water softener a couple of weeks ago in Orillia (my family lives close to Orillia). I was having a typical "customer/sales dude" conversation with the guy behind the counter. He was in his early 20s. It was my first time in the store. I didn't know anyone there.
Suddenly he switched gears and said "Loved your sermon on Sunday. I go to the Orillia campus. I love it there."
Totally caught me off guard. Turns out he'd been attending for a few months, didn't have much church background and was totally enjoying it. I was so grateful!
For years in ministry (and maybe some of you grew up in a church like this), one of the tests of a great church was how well that pastor knew people. On Sunday I was at our Orillia Campus on a road trip.
I don't think the test anymore is that the pastor knows people. Instead, it's more important that people are known and cared for by one another. Period. If it all depends on how many people a staff member can know meaningfully, churches are destined to stay small.
My hope for my friend at the water store and the rest of the community at our campuses is that people will make time to get involved in community. The two principle ways we engage each other at Connexus is through:
A great opportunity to get involved in a community group happens in September. Stay tuned for details this weekend. And there will be some great serving opportunities too. Again, stay tuned.
I was at our Orillia campus on Sunday. I normally preach out of Barrie, so it was a treat to be on the road again. I was so excited by what I experienced. Mostly I was excited that for hundreds of people, Connexus Orillia is home. I've been at numerous monthly gatherings in Muskoka too. As we launch that campus, we're praying that it will be home (we pray) for more families over the years ahead.
I think one of the great advantages of having multiple campuses is that a great thing (providing a church unchurched people love to attend) is not just kept to one community. I love that people in various cities can have a great experience with Christ and with each other.
Thanks for making the investment where you live. It's making a difference.