As a church planter, I have noticed that there is a certain rhythm to each year. The very beginning of the calendar is a key time, when everyone begins to re-focus after the bustle of the holidays. In January through March, new things happen in congregations, and unique growth is possible. The fall provides a similar window of opportunity. September and October are pivotal months in the life of new churches. Folks are reorienting after the craziness of summer and – just like after New Year’s – everyone is looking to establish routines and make new connections. This is an ideal time to launch initiatives, do outreach to our neighborhoods and invite seekers into the community.
It came as no surprise when attendance and energy at Capitol Hill Friends plummeted in July and August. Not only is this time of year generally characterized by decline, but we had also had three of our core members move out of town in July. These were major losses, but I figured that the usual seasonal pattern would help cushion the blow. Things would pull together in September/October. The fall boost would rescue us.
It is possible for an individual or small group to keep a project going for a while under their own strength. But not forever. After two or three years, fatigue sets in. Our enthusiasm is gradually replaced by bone-weariness. Everything seems to depend on us. Each step we take in our own strength is crushed by the weight of responsibility.
I hope that you will continue to lift me up in your prayers, and to ask that our Heavenly Father speak clearly to us at Capitol Hill Friends. We need guidance for how to move forward with our calling to be faithful witnesses for Christ’s Kingdom in Washington, DC. What form that should take, I do not know. But God does. I am counting on that.