A recent article spoke of the coming “splits” in churches. They are not the splits one might imagine, splits historically centered around doctrinal stances, stances often at odds with each other. The splits instead will occur around those churches leaning into the future and those leaning back towards the past.
It would be easy to treat one approach as “right” and one as “wrong.” But that would be a shallow approach. Older, more established churches that extol primarily the virtues of physical gathering will remain invaluable. Yet if we are to grow as we believe we are called by God to grow, we must do so leveraging the tools in front of us as NCL, tools which point us towards both a thriving online and a thriving in-person congregation gathered into one church.That “one church” approach is what we celebrate this coming Sunday, June 6th!
If I was to offer a set of general thoughts around our future, this is what I would share…
- Focus: We will focus 100% online and 100% in-person.
- Attendance: Online attendance will continue to grow. Currently averaging 248 Sunday IP’s, that number will increase over the coming years. In-person attendance will take until the fall to recover to pre-Covid levels.
- Kids Programs: For the in-person congregation, we will re-launch KidsLIVE come fall when families return from vacations etc… For the online congregation, we anticipate more online offerings (pop-up churches etc…) to serve young families
- Small Groups: We expect to continue to offer a wide variety of small groups, some of which will be hybrid, offering both in-person and online options.
- Service: We anticipate a return to a strengthened mix of local and online opportunities
- Branches: We are doing a lot of work around geographic “pods” outside of the Philly area where NCL is setting down roots. Stay tuned!
So please join us on June 6th for our special one-off service, “Balancing It All.” We are going to look candidly at the storms weathered over the past 18 months, and the bright horizons opening up before us.
For those local, please note, we have fully reopened and would love to see you Sunday.
In-person. Online. ONE CHURCH. Doing our humble best to serve as God gives us to see it.