So, about the Fall.
I know you might not be ready to think about the fall quite yet, but I think I’ll need your help pretty soon. We track attendance and giving figures for one main purpose: planning. You want to make sure we have enough seating, parking, and volunteers for the waves of new people that will likely seek us out in August and September. Without studying the numbers, it is very easy to get caught unprepared and potentially have to turn people away at a worship service.
Our summer attendance has been solid, around 600 (+/- dozen) and is pretty close to what our previous Fall attendances looked like the past two years. We are still up by around 20% numerically from where we were last year. If that holds true, let’s project what the next few weeks will look like:
Date 2011 10% increase 20% increase
8/19 686 754 820
8/26 686 754 820
9/2 842 926 1,010
9/9 740 814 888
9/16 874 961 1,048
What Should We Do?
1. Several of you need to move to the 5PM service on or before August 19th. Our real capacity in a single service is around 350. That means that we’ll need our 5PM service to move from running 150-175 to 250-300. Will you serve the church by moving? If 11AM is the best fit for you and friends you invite, please be on time and work hard at getting to know the many visitors that will be there.
2. Lobby/Overflow. Our staff is currently preparing our lobby/coffee area to be a functional overflow space. We upgraded our broken video screen last week and we’ll have chairs ready for potential overflow in the 11AM service. Again, if you are in a crowded service, consider offering your seat to someone that is trying to find a spot and move to the overflow room to worship.
3. Intermediate term planning: 4th service. Our senior leadership is currently processing the best time options. Ideally, we’d like to hold off on it until the fall of 2013, but we’ll have to see how this year goes. We might have to start it sooner, or maybe the growth trends will stall and we won’t need it. Either way, we are making plans now in order to maximize our stewardship of our current facility. The leading options for a 4th service are:
• 3 shorter morning services, 1 Sunday 5PM
• 2 Sunday morning, 2 Sunday night (5 and 7PM)
• 1 Saturday night, 2 Sunday morning, 1 Sunday night
4. Long term planning: facility options. We are also considering different facilities to accommodate worship and kids’ space issues that could provide a lot more long-term growth. Options include:
• Selling current facility, buying larger facility (either building our own or already existing structure)
• Keeping current facility, buying/renting other facility for muti-site campuses
• Expanding current facility
OK, there you go! This should keep you in the loop, but I need you to do more than just know some of the good challenges we are facing. We really do need your help in creating space for new people. If we are going to be a missional church, part of that means creating room in our lives and in our worship services for people we’ve all invited, right? It means more than that, but it certainly doesn’t mean less.