what are people saying?

A few weeks ago I was contacted by someone working in conjunction with Virginia Commonwealth University. She was assembling a greater Richmond area directory of churches. In her communication she talked about New Venture with more understanding than just another church on a list. So I asked her, “How did you hear about New Venture?” Sometimes the answer to that question is, “You are on the master list of all the churches in the area and I am just calling all of them and soliciting information.” But it is highly possible that we are not on the “official” lists due to our short existence. All the more reason to ask, “How did you know about us?”

Here’s the response to the “How did you hear about us?” question. “Well I live in the area, and have for many years, so I know your church from word of mouth, advertisements and just driving down Courthouse.”

So that means people know we exist. We are a known entity in the community even in our new and rented status. To be honest, I think we have done a pretty good job on “exposing ourselves.” We are out there in people’s mind.

But there was a part of her response that both excited and frightened me. It was the “I know your church from word of mouth.” That means we are not only known in the community but people are talking about us. That excites me and frightens me because it makes me ask, “What exactly are they saying?”

Can you help me on this one? What are people saying about NV? What comments have you heard? What “gossip” is being passed around? What accolades are being offered? What have you heard? Would you care to share any of it, the good and the bad? Go ahead, we can take it.


2 thoughts on “what are people saying?

  1. I think I count as people, and since I’m still rather new to NV I thought I’d share what I say about my experience and observations. To my friends who continue to proclaim their faith but provide excuse after excuse as to why they can’t attend any worship service, I usually counter by letting them know “You know, you could wear your pajamas if it’s just too much trouble to get dressed in the morning.” They look at me like I’m insane … but I’ve seen someone in PJ’s – so maybe it was a teen … and maybe those weren’t their PJ’s at all (I suppose at 27 I am already out of date with trends) but, the point is – there is not a social pressure or obligation to put on your “Sunday Best” and feel as if your hair isn’t perfectly curled or your suit isn’t freshly dry-cleaned then you might as well stay home. Being a new mom, this simple “come as you are” idea is enough to push me out of the door at least a few Sunday mornings a month. I don’t have time to iron my pants during the week with a job, and a baby and cooking and cleaning – does God really need me to do that at 9am on Sunday for worship? Thankfully at NV, apparently he does not. I’m a huge work in progress when it comes to my personal faith and service to God … I have always been one of those people with “too much else going on” and I wait for Sundays to be my one day of zero obligation. I have to stop looking at church as only an obligation though and since attending NV, for the most part I have. I tell people if you’re looking for traditional or fire and brimstone – don’t come to NV. If you’ve had that before though and you want to see and hear something different – come to NV. I tell my teenage brothers about how “cool” the band is and how one member even wore a Black Sabbath t-shirt on stage without bursting into flames. 🙂 I tell them how kind everyone is and that when you look around – no one looks the same … and that’s a good thing. I tell my southern friends and family that Steve sounds like my Uncle Mack Shane from Tabor City, NC and he’s humble and honest and he remembers little things about you even if you’ve only been to service once before. I tell people how much he loves his wife and isn’t afraid to give credit to her and God for making him who he is, and sadly that seems rare among men these days. I told people about the Confessions series and Wayne’s affair with Chipolte and how the video made me laugh out loud – in CHURCH, can you believe I actually laughed out loud? 🙂 I tell my fiance there are other beautiful “hybrid” babies running around b/c our daughter is biracial and we’ve become painfully aware that not every place is as accepting of that as we thought they’d be by now. These are little things that matter to me and I am only one “people”. I don’t speak for anyone but myself … and I suppose some of the things that make me excited would scare others away but I feel like in these uncertain times more people are struggling to find their faith. For too long most of us have put our faith solely in others … or our ability to succeed … or the stock market … we have faith things will get better but we think it’s because we will be the ones to make it so and we think we can do that without God. I know that this isn’t true and I believe the work NV is doing now and will continue to do within our community will bring more people back to God. I am very grateful to have been a welcomed guest.

  2. all i can say is “wow.” maybe i’ll add “thanks.”

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