Diagnostics

After a couple weekends back, it’s safe to say that we’ve lost a good number of regular attenders in the move to the new building. Strange, really. Hardly what we expected. The new building is closer to the campus than the old one. But I can think of at least several reasons why we still haven’t really taken off yet in the new place:

 

1. The aforementioned warehouse syndrome – fortunately, we made a lot of progress this week on this one. Got some furniture in there, cleaned up quite a bit, hung up some curtains, did some seasonal decorations, rearranged existing stuff, and even installed some track lighting to make the stage feel warmer and brighter. Plus the heat was on this week, so it actually was warm. This stuff obviously doesn’t make for great services, but it does give us a much better starting position. When everyone feels miserable being in your church, you’ve got to pray for a pretty amazing service. Which brings me to the next thing…

 

2. Less-than-amazing services – ‘underwhelming’ comes to mind. I’m afraid sometimes the guys have a fairly lackadaisical approach to their work in the service. Apart from preaching, I should say. When they preach, they generally work hard and do a fantastic job. I got several comments about the quality of their preaching when we were gone. But our music, our announcements, our greeting of visitors, and our overall management of time has been pretty poor. More my fault than anyone’s – I don’t naturally make things like that priority, so they don’t either. But these things can severely damage services. S. did great with the music last night. Had it all planned out, written out, and then he sang out. Think he got the message – I canceled the music last night because he got there late, so there wasn’t any time to practice. Last night’s was much better than we’ve had in a long time.

 

3. Rough semester – we’ve got a lot of students whose major is under national evaluation this year. Meaning, they’re getting lots of homework, tough tests, plenty of classroom hours, and a bunch of required projects and activities. They’re feeling the pressure, and apart from the most mature believers of the bunch, church is often something that gets bumped if necessary. What this has done, though, is reveal more accurately who our core really is and who we should be targeting for positions of leadership, and training for discipleship.

 

4. Transitional loss – it seems some people just got lost in the cracks in the move. Don’t know where we are or when we meet. Some others are just a little further away now. We drew a little bit from one other university in previous location that is now just a little too far away. These people will hopefully get reconnected with us, though, as time goes on (meaning we hunt them down). Hopefully being even closer to the main university will also bring in a larger number of visitors.

 

The good news: we’ve had several visitors in every service that we’ve been back for. People are still bringing their friends. I pray the Lord will help us to love them like He does. And we’re going to pray for some momentum (an aspect of organization that is probably talked about far too little) that we lost while we were gone. Build some steam bit by bit by obeying our Lord, preaching His Gospel, and loving His sheep. We’re also going to start planning for a culminating Christmas event (skip Thanksgiving, it’s too close to pull off anything really exciting) that will let as many people as possible know about the church.

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