The Well

The Beacon - March/April 2012

By Bryan Boersma • From our March/April 2012 newsletter

Several Sundays ago, guest speaker Doug McClintic was invited to come and preach in the Well. In a conversation with Doug following his visit, he was asked what some of his impressions were. Among the many positive things he said, he also responded by saying, “You all worship in a gym. You just really do.” The comment wasn’t taken as a putdown, as it was not intended that way. It was a matter-of-fact statement, stating the obvious.

The Well has been a part of Rockford Reformed Church (RRC) long enough now that this comes as no surprise to anyone. It is the way it is. The Well meets in the Family Life Center (FLC), which for all practical purposes is a gym-like space. The reality of this fact is both a blessing and a curse. It’s responded to with both joy and frustration. One of the wonderful blessings is the way it allows for creative thinking. This past November the idea was suggested that the direction of the Well set-up (the backdrop, stage, chairs, etc.) be changed. In response to this idea, for three “trial” weeks, the Well was set up with the gatherers facing west instead of north. The response to this change was fairly positive, so the Well currently continues to be set up facing an entirely different direction than it has been over the past five years.

Recently, the Well was blessed with a lot of sound equipment. Many of the items received were things that the musicians and worship leaders have wished for over the years – monitors, a portable sound booth, right and left speakers. These are just a few of the blessings that have breathed a breath of fresh air into the worshipping space. But this blessing to the Well came with a cost, as one of the churches in Grand Rapids connected with the Reformed Church in America closed its doors for the last time in early February. As this church disassembled, it no longer had use for the sound equipment, and so it was then entrusted to the care of the Well, where it loudly resounds praise to God.

On an average Sunday morning at RRC, one-third of those who gather to worship can be found at the Well. Some weeks the attendance in the Well has swelled to over 140 people. Other weeks a remnant of around 75 have gathered. But most weeks the average is around 100. Many of those who identify the Well as their place of worship come regularly, but the Well is also blessed with several visitors on most Sundays. Because of this, it is a constant joy for the Well to be a place where new relationships can be established. And yet, it is also a challenge to find ways to make the Well as hospitable and inviting a space as possible. The Well is such a casual, come-as-you-are setting that it lends itself nicely to those visiting. It is a priority that this continues to be true of the Well in hopes that more, new, and different people will come and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus.

A gym it is. There is no mistaking this fact. The constant wear and tear on the equipment, as it is set up and taken down every single Sunday, is a reminder that things will need to be replaced. But it is wonderfully exciting to see, week after week, an empty gym transformed into a place of worship and filled with a group of people who are eagerly seeking the presence of God to be realized in their lives and in the world.


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