Archive for Friday, November 14, 1997

CHURCH BELIEVES IN GETTING BIGGER BY STAYING SMALL

November 14, 1997

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Bigger may be better, but some people understand the benefits of staying small.

"Our goal is to get bigger," said the Rev. Dan Anderson, associate pastor of Christ Community Evangelical Free Church at 1449 Kasold. "But we want to stay small at the same time."

Anderson said Christ Community's emphasis on close relationships distinguishes it from other churches.

The church, which has been in Lawrence for five years, has "flocks" consisting of 30 to 40 people. The flocks meet between the two Sunday services for fellowship, prayer and a short lesson.

Flock members take care of each other's needs, Anderson said. For example, if a family in the group has a new baby, other members may help by cooking meals for that family.

The church averages 200 members, but most are also involved in ministries, which help the church seem a little smaller.

The youth group, Oasis, is one of these ministries. It's designed to be a place where teens can be accepted for who they are, said Anderson, who also works with the youths of the church.

The name Oasis was chosen by the teens. The group includes fun and fellowship while encouraging relationships with God.

Another important component of the youths' activities is service to others.

"When they lead the Sunday services, it gives them a chance to see how God can minister through them," Anderson said.

The church, although independent, is associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America. The organization brings congregations together for district and national conferences.

Anderson said the national organization offers encouragement, education and resources. In addition, the Lawrence church sometimes teams with the group for youth events.

In the long term, the church hopes to attract new members and support new kinds of ministries, Anderson said.

"Another goal we have is to have a new building and land. We've outgrown our facilities here. It's a good problem to have, though," Anderson said.

--Regina Cassell's phone message number is 832-7189. Her e-mail address is cassell@ljworld.com.

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