It’s getting pretty “cozy” on Sunday mornings during our two worship services. As we have been meeting for over a year in the “old sanctuary” that we have referred to as “The Fellowship Hall,” it has helped our church feel more like a family. There is something really special about meeting in a place that was largely constructed with volunteer labor and has been the place where thousands of people over the past forty years have given their lives to Jesus and grown in their faith.
A few folks have asked why we don’t just move back into the dome for Sunday morning worship. This is a fair question that I would like to speak to. Here’s a few of the reasons why we aren’t meeting in the dome again.
1) We value having multiple service times. Our numbers would feel really sparse if we moved into a 1500+ seat auditorium with 250-300 people per service. For convenience sake and for the sake of children’s & youth ministry workers it is also important to offer more than one service time.
2) We value the feeling of intimacy, warmth and togetherness that the smaller venue fosters. It is really encouraging to hear others singing around you in worship. The acoustics in the dome don’t really allow for that.
3) The dome is starting to show its age and needs some refreshing. Whether it’s the restrooms or pews that squeak, there are quite a few things that need to be upgraded and updated after almost 30 years.
4) While finances have not driven this decision, we know that not having to heat and cool the larger space has saved us hundreds of dollars every month – meaning that we can spend that money on other ministry related needs.
So, after being in the smaller space now for a year, and making continued upgrades to the space, cry room, acoustics, lights, sound, and feel – we are feeling the need to expand our capacity on Sundays.
This is what has prompted us to pray, dream, and plan toward a “Video Café” venue down the hall in what we call the “Fireside Room.” This space is a fantastic space with wood floors, lots of natural light, and a huge fireplace. It has recently been remodeled and it will make a perfect extension of our worship space. We are working to purchase flat screen monitors and speakers for the walls that will televise what is happening in the Fellowship Hall. We are also upgrading our camera equipment and will have the ability to transmit a high quality signal (1080p) to be seen on a 75” monitor. There will also be two 55” flat screens in that room that will show what appears on the screen in the worship service – lyrics for worship, slides that accompany the message and video clips.
Since we are making these improvements, we are also improving the video signal and equipment in our upstairs cry room for moms with their babies. We are estimating the improvements to cost about fifteen thousand dollars, but an additional twenty thousand may be needed to improve the heating and air system in the fireside room as well.
As we make these improvements, we realize that this will also provide all of our ministries another excellent meeting space that is fully outfitted with the media necessary for all sorts of meetings and events.
We know that the “Video Café” won’t be everyone’s favorite way to take in a worship experience, but we do believe that some will enjoy the feel, with some small tables sprinkled in that will be really great for those who love to take notes or put their bible open in front of them.
All of this expansion is not in our current budget, so we have asked you, the church family to consider giving a monetary gift over and above what you usually give in your tithing. We are trusting the Lord will continue to provide for the vision that we believe he has given us. We are also committed to operate on cash only and not incur any more debt – in fact, we are excited about being debt free in the next 20 months!
We are praying and hoping to have the Video Café up and running in March.