We have been going through a lot of changes here at Living Hope and one of those changes is that we are bursting at the seams! We have had a sudden influx of guests the last several weeks and we need to start thinking strategically about what we will do to make sure everyone 1) can fit 2) are comfortable and served well while they are our guests. Here are the particulars.
Our sanctuary seats about 290 right now and we have had 230+ for the last several weeks. That doesn’t seem like a big deal except the bigger issue is that we have 109 parking spaces which normally would comfortably accommodate 220 people. So, you can see the problem. We have parking for about 220 and we are running 230+. Here are some immediate needs we have for this week and the weeks to come.
- We need about 30 families to be willing to park in the grass. Our parking lot is near/past capacity every Sunday Morning. Which means we have had guests the last two weeks drive into our parking lot, try to find a spot, and then leave because they couldn’t find one. Lifeway Christian Resources says that an average parking space accommodates about 2-2.5 people per space. If we can have 30 families to be willing to park in the grass on the left side of the entry way and near the rear part of the building on the hill this could free up parking for around 60-80 people! It would be huge and give our guests some breathing room.
- We need 4-6 people to volunteer to help with parking. Like we said, parking is crazy right now. We need some people to come out in the parking lot before Sunday School at 8:45 and make sure we get about 30 cars on the grass during Sunday School so that when guest start arriving they can find a spot. We will also need them to come out around 10:30 to make sure guests find a parking spot and aren’t discouraged if it is a little difficult to find one. We want their first introduction to us to be one of welcoming smiles and a servant heart! We have had two people already agree to help this week but we need 4-6 more so that we can cover every week of the month and not overwork everyone. If you would be willing to serve in this way then please email Pastor Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Start thinking about guests when you sit down for Worship. If parking is getting crowded it is because there are more people in the seats as well. We want to make sure guests don’t have to search around for seats or have to split up families in order to have seats. We need to make sure that when we sit down we are consolidating the seats we are using by making sure we are sitting close together with person next to us. Maybe even think about scooting all the way to one side of an isle so when a guest does come in they won’t have to climb over someone to get to an available seat. The rule of thumb is that when the sanctuary is 80% full then it feels full. Right now, any time we have more than 230 people in the sanctuary we are hitting that 80% mark so we need to make sure that it feels as welcoming as possible for guests as we deal with the more drastic parking issue.
- Be ready for more change. If God continues to bless Living Hope with numerical growth then we will need to be ready to embrace change so that we can reach as many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as possible. So, don’t get caught off guard. Pray for change. Think about change. Dream about change. Be ready for change so that when it does happen we can jump into what God is doing full-force.
We are so excited what God is doing through you at Living Hope Baptist Church. Let’s push forward and see the kingdom advance here in Hopkinsville!