Offsite Worship in September
The session approved a motion to worship offsite for three weeks in September. The weeks of September 8th, 15th and 22nd 2019, we will worship at a different location, most likely the Central High School Auditorium. These are the only planned week’s offsite, and we will resume worship at our church building on September 29th, 2019.
Why did the Elders decide to try this out for a few weeks?
- Current Building Space Issues
Over the past 5 years our church has experienced very slow but steady growth. This is a huge praise of course, and we hope that our church will continue to grow by God’s blessing in the years to come. However, this growth is beginning to create some space issues as our sanctuary has a very limited seating capacity. We can only seat about 150 people comfortably in the lower section of the church, and we don’t want to have to use the balcony seating on a regular basis. The majority of this past year we have had average attendances of at least 80% of that comfortable capacity each month, and for the summer months well have well exceeded it. The space limitation is not just in the sanctuary, as our current building also has very limited classroom, fellowship, and youth space. In short, our current facility gives us very little room to grow, and the session is wrestling with how best to address the issue as we look to the future years of our church. There are several different options, but moving offsite would be one option, and this trial is low risk way to test another facility and see how that might work for us.
- Future Cost
Not only is our building space limited, but it is old and requires upkeep. It is also very dated, and if we were to stay in the building longer term we would need to raise and spend money to renovate and update much of the building. We want to be good stewards of the resources God has given us, so before we go through effort of raising and investing tens of thousands of dollars into the building, we want to be sure it is a building we want to stay in. Renting a nicer facility that requires no update or maintenance has some upsides to it, and we at least want to consider that option as we look a few years down the road.
I want to repeat that these three weeks are just a trial. No decision has been made regarding our church building or a move offsite. It is our hope that between having a couple weeks with two-services this summer, and then a couple of weeks offsite, it will allow us to think more clearly about all of the downsides and benefits of both options as we move forward into 2020 and beyond. We want and need your feedback and input as we go through this process. We have a couple of months to think through all of the logistical items for an offsite move, but please contact any of the Elders should you have any questions, concerns, or advice.