At Living Hope we have been seeing some amazing things happen! In the last year we have gone from a church that is running about 165 people on a Sunday morning to one that is running closer to 230 on average! That is amazing! We have seen God working in our church in the last year and we praise Him for that. This has pushed us into a new reality. Our facility is being used to its fullest capacity. Here are some numbers to understand what I mean.
- On a Normal Sunday of 230 or so people that is about 75-80% of our Worship Center, even after we put two dozen extra seats a couple of months ago.
- On a Normal Sunday of 230 or so we are seeing our parking lot at about 110% capacity. That means that if we didn’t have 20 or so awesome church members parking in the grass we literally couldn’t fit all of the people wanting to hear the gospel in our parking lot!
- On a Normal Sunday during Sunday school we have several classes that have only 1 seat available in them and we have literally 0 empty classrooms. We are maxed out in space for Sunday School classes!
You might be, like we have been as a staff the last several months, blown away by God’s grace to us as a church! But, here are some problems that we see right now because of what God has been doing.
- If a room is 75-80% full then it looks full to guests. Thom Rainer of Lifeway says, “When a facility is 80% full architecturally, it feels 100% full.” What this means is that if someone walks into a normal Sunday morning service at Living Hope they feel like they don’t have anywhere to sit because most seats that are available at this point are either 1) in the front middle rows which no one (not even you) wants to sit or 2) They aren’t together or in the middle of a row and people want to be able to sit with their families and/or not have to jump over people to get to a seat. We have actually seen people considering leaving because they can’t find a seat!
- This same statistic applies for any room, and that means Sunday Schools! So when we only have one empty seat that means that we are about 95% full in those rooms. Two things happen. 1) People feel cramped. We have had people not going to Sunday School because they are claustrophobic or feel like there isn’t a place for them. 2)People don’t want to invite friends to come with them to hear the gospel because they want to go to Sunday School and can’t bring them with them! Yikes.!
- Because we have no more Sunday School room space we are stifling the ability for us to raise up new leaders and teachers. We have Apt-to-teach men and women who can’t use their God-given talents because we don’t have anywhere to put them!
- The same statistic also applies to parking lots. So when our parking lot is 80% full it feels full and when it is 110% full then people just leave. We have seen, on several occasions, as well as spoken to people that have literally driven into our parking lot, figured they are too late and left to go to another church!
You might now be saying, “Man those are good problems to have!” But they are problems nonetheless. Because of these problems here is our plan!
- We are going to do our best to make it through the summer before changing anything drastically. For this to work though we need your help
- We need people to commit to sit in “undesirable areas” for our guest’s sake. Flock to the middle front rows. Don’t populate the outside isle seats. Instead make sure you leave room for a guest in those places.
- We still need more and more people to park in the grass. We understand that this is almost impossible in rainy weather but if you are able and your car is able consider parking in “undesirable areas.” If you can’t get in the grass park away from the front door and walk a little further, or park in a parallel parking spot.
- Watch for guests and make sure they have a spot to sit. Give up your seat for them or scoot over to accommodate a family that needs an extra seat.
- We are planning on fixing the parking lot no later than August 5th. We have two options and are working to see which will be the best use of our money and space, but we will be adding enough parking to accommodate what we are currently running plus anticipating what the Lord may do in the years to come.
- We will be moving to two Worship Services and two Sunday School Hours on August 5th unless the Lord forces our hand
- This will essentially double our space for worship and Sunday School for little to no extra money. We are trying to be good stewards and any other solutions we have looked at would essentially cost in the 10s of thousands of dollars or more! and would only be temporary fixes. This will set us up to watch the Lord hopefully grow our congregation even more.
- We will need your help to do this! We will need lots of people to start to volunteer in ways they haven’t any more. We will need people to help in the parking lot, we will need more greeters, we will need ushers to help people to find seats. We will need more people to do sound and video during the worship services, more children’s ministry workers, more Sunday school teachers. And the list goes on. Consider signing up for a new area of service this Sunday even.
We don’t have everything worked out on how this will work but we will be talking more about how we will accomplish these things in the weeks and months to come. Come join us and see what God can do!
for the audio for the night listen below