Monday, February 18, 2008

The March Miracle...

We're moving our worship services out of our worship center and into our local high school during the month of March. This is a postive step to allow for maximum outreach during the Easter season. Here's four reasons:

#1--We need to unify our church. We have been providing three worship services on Sunday morning for long enough that our church has become three churches. We average less than 300 and yet the reality is that we have three churches of less than one hundred. In other words, instead of having a medium congregation, we look more like three small congregations. Each year, usually at Easter, we come together in one service and the air is filled with excitement. The last two Easter celebrations at Cornerstone have attracted around 500 worshippers each. Last Easter we celebrated Easter at the high school auditorium and had a great event with many decisions for Christ. There is just something exciting about 500+ voices singing praises to God.

#2--We don't have the space to grow. We consistently bump into the 80% rule that states that you will only fill your space consistently by about 80%. We can comfortably seat about 180 which should mean that we have plenty of space to grow in three services. The problem is that our attendance shifts from service to service from week to week. The 8:00 service may be full this week with plenty of seats in the other two. Next week, the 11:00 may be full with room in the 8:00 and the 9:30. Seats aren't the only problem. Our parking lot is consistently full with cars having to park along the street and in a vacant field. Our hallways are not designed to allow the shift of traffic that we have between services as people both leave and arrive. We don't know who our guests are since people are not loyal to one service but regularly shift to another service as their schedule allows. It's hard to tell who is new and who has been attending for some time, perhaps in another service.

#3--We expect a huge Easter crowd. We have more than 100 people praying daily for 1000 worshippers on Easter. The people of Cornerstone are always faithful to bring their friends, family, and coworkers to these big evangelistic events. In addition, we are actively performing acts of kindness into our community. We have more than 100 "AOK" logged and we're still serving. We could not even imagine hosting an event like this one in our existing facility.

#4--We expect many decisions for Christ. We're not just praying for 1000 worshippers, we are praying for 100 decisions for Christ. People are more apt to attend a service at a neutral, non-church location. It's just safer for the unchurched.

In a lot of ways, this is a natural step for us. We have been hosting large worship events away from our facility for many years. They have proven successful for us in all the ways that count--including kingdom growth.

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