West Franklin Family,

Five – O – Nine.

509.

Five hundred and nine.

It’s an important number. It’s a revealing number. It’s a number that leads me to push us a bit.

509 is how many viewers West Franklin had last Sunday morning for our livestream on Facebook and/or YouTube. 509.

Think about that.

It was our first Sunday back since the COVID-19 fiasco. Know how many we had in the room, on our property, at 700 New Highway 96 West? 170.

One – Seven – Zero.

170.

One hundred and seventy.

That’s not 170 per service. That’s a COMBINED 170 from both services.

This means that, according to my calculations, we had 3 times as many people watching our livestream on-line than we did in person. 300% more people watching via the internet than in the room.

Whoah.

Now, get this. . .

Last year . . . when everything was wonderful in 2019 (oh how I miss 2019!!!) . . . do you know how many people West Franklin had attend our campus the first Sunday in June? 338.

Three – Three – Eight.

338.

Three hundred and thirty eight.

That’s not 338 per service. That’s a COMBINED 338 from both services. And this is when we were providing coffee and water and hugs and high-fives and sitting close to one another and wishing some people with bad breath would wear a mask.

Think about that.

When you combine the on-line number last Sunday with those in the room, West Franklin had around 680 “attend” a worship service. That’s almost double what we had the first week of June 2019.

Stay with me. I know that’s a lot of numbers. I get it. I also know that numbers aren’t everything. Agree and, again, I get it. We must also consider that many of us simply aren’t ready to come back to a corporate worship gathering. Again, I get it. AND, it’s summertime. People are traveling. We live in Williamson County. It’s time to get out and soak up the sun. I. Get. It.

But consider this implication. . .

AT THE VERY LEAST, for the time being anyway, we are able to have a MUCH greater influence and impact on-line than in person. Before COVID-19, we were averaging around 400 on a Sunday morning (both services combined). Being that we had around 680 join us last weekend, obviously West Franklin has picked up some guests along the way. Thanks to COVID-19 (and God!), we have nearly doubled our “worship attendance” in a year. On-line is allowing us to make a greater Gospel impact. Now. I am not saying the gathered church is going away. It’s not. I am not saying these numbers will always be this lopsided. I am also not saying that I necessarily like it. But it IS reality. It is a real factor that all of us need to consider, lean into, and look to Jesus for direction.

What does all this mean for you?

1. We Need to Hear from You. 

We are going to do everything on our end to enhance the on-line experience for our viewers. We also want to provide (when and where possible) resources to help you grow and lead others to grow. If people are living on-line (they are) and if West Franklin is gaining a greater Gospel footprint (and we are), then we need to maximize that for the greatest kingdom impact. Let us know where we can improve. Let us know what you need. Let us know how we can help you as a disciple and help you better make disciples. Go here for our email addresses.

2. If Your Spiritual Growth is Dependent on a Building, You’re in Trouble. 

It’s been three months since we have gathered on-site (not counting June 7th, where again, only 170 were in the room). If this season has taught us anything, it is that the church is indeed the people, not the building. Again, the gathered church isn’t going anywhere. We will meet again without social distancing restrictions. And, for the record, I can’t wait for that day. But I also believe on-line church is here to stay and this season is pushing us to finally not just come “to” church, but to actively “be” the church where God has us. What is Jesus saying to you? What is He teaching you now that you “can’t” be at church? How are you following Him right now, today? Do you know how to be a disciple of Jesus when going to a building isn’t possible? (If you need help with this, see #1 above.)

3. You’re a Pastor Now. 

Let me give you a minute. Some of you may have just passed out. Breathe. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Get a brown paper bag if you need to. That’s it. Breathe. Hear me out. I am guessing you have been able to spend more time with your neighbors during this season than ever before. Prior to COVID-19, you probably gave the obligatory wave at the mailbox. . . and that’s only because you didn’t see them outside before you walked outside. But now, you have almost been forced to get to know people who live around you. I am also guessing that many of them aren’t heading to a church building on Sunday morning right now. Let’s face it. A lot of church people still aren’t heading to a church building on a Sunday morning right now. So what if God has allowed this pandemic for you (1) to get to know your neighbors; and now (2) allow you an opportunity to be home on Sunday morning, so you can (3) have them over to “worship” (watch?) the service with you and your family? What if you, pastor, had church in your home with some of your neighbors that God has given you favor with? What if someone else does the preaching and singing and reading and praying right now and you just provide the internet and an ear for questions following the service? What if God is calling you to be the pastor for your section of the neighborhood? (Need help? See #1 above.)

Five – O – Nine.

It’s an important number. It’s a revealing number. It’s a number that leads me to push us a bit.

What an opportunity God has given us to be the church! What is Jesus leading you to right now? What’s He saying? Lean in. Watch Him work. One of those 509’s might just be waiting for an invite for cinnamon rolls, coffee, and a slice of bacon in the morning around 9:00 am.

Longing to Not Waste this Season,

Pastor Matt

Housekeeping:
a. Our livestream will air at 9:00 am and 11:00 am (NOT 10:30 am!!!!). Go here to watch on FacebookHere to watch on YouTube.
b. Before you show up tomorrow, please watch this video!!!
c. Registration for Sunday, June 21st, will open Monday, June 15th and will close Wednesday, June 17th at midnight. You should receive an email (check your junk folder); or, you can visit our website for the link.