When I was in High School and my brother was in grade school… he could out run me. Yeah, it was embarrassing. He could beat me to the house from the corner, beat me down the driveway, beat me on the sidewalk and beat be up the stairs. He’d taunt me into racing because it made him feel so good to beat his older brother. It didn’t last for long.
I had hit a giant growth spurt and with it had come growing pains. My knees hurt. My arms hurt. My muscles wouldn’t do what I told them to do. It was bad. But… a few months later I was 4 inches taller than I’d been. I was stronger, broader, bigger, and yes, faster. I was back to beating that scrawny little rat in everything (we won’t talk about his growth spurt about 6 years later).
MPC is in the midst of a growth spurt. It’s the first year we’ve ever averaged more people in January than we did in December. Two years ago we averaged 191 people in February. Last year we averaged 221 people in February. Last week? We had 280 here on Sunday morning (and that isn’t our biggest attendance of the year!). We have record numbers in Upward and on Wednesday nights including 30+ Sr. High teens! We’re looking at near 50% growth rates in our various activities! Talk about a growth spurt.
But, with growth spurts come the growing pains. Things don’t stay as clean as they used too. It’s harder to find seats if you’re late. If you’re serving in ministry you find someone else has been using your stuff and areas. Forgotten names, overcrowded rooms, not enough money, more chaos, etc. We don’t move so fast right now and we tend to be a little awkward because our muscles can’t keep up. Isn’t it great?
No, I’m serious. It is great! Would you rather be in a church that isn’t as clean because there aren’t enough people left to clean it? Where you can find your seat every week because there’s always more empty ones? You have rooms that never get used? You always know every name because there’s never anyone new?The teen room is never full, there isn’t any ministry needs to need money for, and everything is perfectly organized and in it’s place because it’s always the same?
The great thing about growing pains is… YOU’RE GROWING! You’re going to be taller, broader, stronger, and faster if you just hang in there. So hang in there. God is using us to grow His kingdom! God is using us to reach new people with His grace! God is using us to help people discover truth! God is using us to be a family to those who have no family!
So I need to ask you to be a little more patient and a little more hospitable. To serve a little more and give a little more. To introduce yourself one more time and shake one more hand. Smile at a little bit of mess and live with a little chaos. To put others first and thank God someone did the same for you. Give it a little time. We’ll get the hang of this “new body”… probably just in time for the next growth spurt.