So, as many of you know who follow this blog, I am part of a church plant in Southeast Michigan, (well, does 6 years old still class as a church plant)? At Easter we had our first service in our first full time facility that we now own. Up until now, we have rented facilities, used homes and the youth program when I arrived here met in basements. Now that we have our own place, you would think it would be all plain sailing now? Right? Yes… and no. Here’s 10 things I have been learning…
1) Less Set up / Tear Down? Getting in a building does not necessarily mean less ‘set up and tear down’ every time we meet for our large program. Prior to being here, we rented a facility for youth ministry and we had to set up and tear down every week. Now, we still have the same situation. We do not have our own youth space and this means we still have work hard before and after the program.
2) Students Love the Place! Our place looks great and does look like your typical church. Students feel greater ownership and love the place and feel.
3) Students say they bring more Friends! A number of students have told us that they feel it is easier to bring their friends to. When I ask why, they explain that it’s almost like inviting friends to ‘their place’. Before, it was like inviting friends to someone else’s place.
4) It’s Easy to be too Laid Back! I have noticed that many of my leaders took their foot of the gas a little when we arrived here. It’s almost, like “this will be easier, now we can relax”.
5) Laid Back = Falling Over! We were all a little too laid back about getting in here and we fell a couple of times and we have had a lot of bumps in the road.
6) Falling Over is a good path sometimes! Falling over and tripping up a little has been an important part of our journey. I love the fact that I am surrounded by leaders who are always looking to learn and get back up when things don’t go to plan.
7) SWINE FLU changes Everything! Yes, we had to close our youth program down one Sunday after we got word that some students in the local high school were infected with H1N1 virus. I did not want to over react, however, it was important to send a clear message to parents that safety and health is a top priority for us.
8) I have a LONGER JOB DESCRIPTION! Now that I am in the office more, I end up doing more stuff outside my youth ministry description. I usually preach every couple of months and work on a lot of communication stuff for the church, but recently I have become: Removal man, IT help desk, Cleaner, Handy Man… just to name a few. However , it’s important to say that I love doing this. There are some people who are throwing down a lot more than me. We are a team and it’s important to get stuff done…
9) I love my British office! I got to paint and decorate my own place. The flavor and feel is British! I have a lot of stuff from my home country in there!
10) WOW, we have grown!!!! We have increased attendance by about 25% in the first month. Now, we have had Easter and mothers day, but we have seen so many new people, first time commitments to Christ and so many more people have got plugged into ministry. AND, at the end of the day… this is what it is about.
There, you go, that is what I am learning. Sorry for the blog drought… It has been a busy season!