As disciples of Jesus, we are called to be unified in the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that we disciple each other, pursuing Christlikeness, as we go into our city and invite others into a new life with Christ and His people. We grow more unified despite our various passions, identities, ethnicities, and understandings, because the Holy Spirit knits us together by the preaching of the Word, singing praises together with one voice, and hearing the prayers of each other through our confessions and thanksgivings. With the whole communion of saints at Riverside gathered together in one service, it’s easier to see and know what the Lord is doing in and through his people. As the Lord grows our congregation to maximum capacity, we hopefully will better “feel” the need to plant more churches in our city and imagine ways we as a congregation of small groups can be a part of planting new churches, so that more people can come to trust Jesus and give their lives to him and his church.
We fully understand that, in terms of seating capacity, we are in-between one and two services. Some Sundays it may feel very full, and we will need to squeeze in tight to make room for our neighbors to encounter the risen Lord. We also know that this decision will impact the frequency with which people serve in various ministries, particularly children’s ministry. Given that there is not a second service to attend, we encourage ministry team members to serve no more than twice a month if the position will not allow for participation in the service with the congregation. There will be other challenges and opportunities as well and we want to take on these together with zeal because we love Jesus, His mission, and our neighbors who join us to worship God on Sunday mornings.
We will reevaluate our capacity and needs near the end of the spring in preparation for the fall. If you have any questions regarding this decision or want more clarity about the vision, please contact the elder over your small group.