By Garth Leno
Here at The Gathering in Windsor, Ontario, God is blessing in a significant way, and the elders are determined to be good stewards of the momentum and the human and financial resources we have been entrusted with.
From the early, humble beginnings of The Gathering, in 2014, we have grown in our commitment to church planting. Before we understood what it meant to be a “church planting church,” we were telling people that we are a “church planting church”!
At times we have given money to support church planters. At times we have sent people to help with projects. At times we have commissioned people who are moving away, with the hope that they will become involved in church planting elsewhere.
We have helped churches and church planters in Sarnia, Goderich, and Nashville with encouragement, coaching, accounting and financial support. We’ve also come alongside a Vietnamese pastor who is growing a Vietnamese fellowship in our church!
So, yes, we are committed to church planting, and we will continue to say yes to opportunities that we feel God is calling us to … because we are a church planting church.
But our church is growing rapidly also. We see increased blessing, growing attendance and multiplying prospects for discipleship at The Gathering.
The need is great for more churches in Windsor Essex and we believe God is calling us to plant another church here in the near future.
Second, we have decided that we need to start a second worship service at The Gathering to make room for all of the people God is bringing to us. Our worship service and The Kids Gathering attendance has jumped significantly, and we are full—again. We are extremely grateful to God for all the new friends! But with only 300 chairs in our worship space, we have no room for growth.
Starting on Sunday, September 15, we will offer two morning services: the first at 9:15 and the second at 11. We are praying that God will use a second service not only to make more room for us, but to make room for more people who need to hear the Gospel and be discipled.
This vision to reach more people with the Gospel is not always comfortable. But our mandate is to make more disciples and better disciples. Adding another service will help us do that, as well as helping us to serve our community more effectively, create more opportunities to serve, and offer another opening for us to trust God.
Garth Leno is pastor of The Gathering, which started as a church plant in 2014.
Reprinted from the June 2019 CNBC Horizon. Read more here.