If it isn’t broke…?
Over the past several months it has become increasingly apparent that the need is great and the time is now to launch a second worship gathering at BLDG 28. For far too long worshippers have been crunched up together, feet sprawled on the stage, as they endure the heat of summer in Florida and 200 plus bodies packed inside our worship room. So, for many, going to two services may seem like an easy, almost flippant decision on the part of the elders, but I assure you, it was anything but that.
For months the elders have prayed and wrestled over this decision. Each week it seems that the Lord brings new folks to our faith family, and as time floats by I have added row after row of chairs. Our objective was to keep the entire family together for as long as possible. We loved the energy, the enthusiastic expressions of worship, the choir of voices in song, and the camaraderie in this one gathering of believers. It pained us to speak of two services, for we did not want to disrupt or jump the gun as the Holy Spirit continued to stir and move. Finally, six weeks ago the elders gathered, and over omelets and orange juice, made the decision to press into two Sunday worship gatherings. The justification for our decision may seem obvious, but for you, my faith family, I want to lay out five reasons why we came to this agreement.
One. There is space to reach more children (and their families) at BLDG 28. For a few months now the children’s wing has been packed with children. Four separate rooms are overflowing most Sunday mornings, with energetic kids learning the Gospel and forming friendships. I have actually heard two individuals say that they haven’t been inviting families to B28 recently because there is no where for the children to go. Now, with identical services and identical children’s gatherings, there is the potential for far more children to enter BLDG 28, gather some pals around them, and learn about the glory and power of Jesus.
Two. It provides the opportunity for those having to work on Sundays to join us at 9:15 AM. Several of the worshippers who call B28 home are scheduled to work some or most Sundays by noon. Therefore, they either skip worship altogether or are forced to leave the gathering early to get to their job. With the addition of a 9:15 service, not only can these individuals worship with the family for the entire service, but they can invite co-workers to join them at the B28 gathering.
Three. It opens the door for more individuals and families to hear the Gospel at BLDG 28. Our seating capacity (and that is with every chair out and rows at 30 inches apart) is 250 chairs. Many Sundays empty seats have been few and far between. By launching a second service, we are effectively doubling our capacity to host more people on Sunday mornings with very little additional financial overhead. With 100+ people (give or take a few) attending each gathering, we obviously have room to nearly double in attendance, with close to 200 additional folks being given the opportunity to worship with our family and hear the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
Four. It provides the avenue for folks to serve and sit on Sunday mornings. No longer do children’s workers have to simply hear about how incredible the time of worship was. No more do they have to miss the testimonies or catch the sermon on the website later in the week. Now, with two worship gatherings, individuals can sit in the service, worship with friends, hear the proclamation of Scripture, be encouraged in the Gospel, and then serve during the second gathering (or vise versa). Never again (hopefully) will anyone have to miss worship to serve in any capacity in BLDG 28.
Five. It serves to accomplish the practical vision of BLDG 28. As I stated at our vision lunch on Sunday, the practical vision of B28 is straightforward: (1) We want to be a church of renown for the sake of the Gospel in the Tampa Bay area (Romans 1:8). (2) We want to continue to grow spiritually, theologically, and numerically through healthy, Biblical discipleship. (3) We want to reproduce strong church plants all throughout the Tampa Bay area. A second service practically serves to maneuver us towards accomplishing each of these Spirit-led objectives.
I ask of each one of you, to please pray that God would be glorified and that the Gospel would be lifted high in BLDG 28 Church. Pray that God would continue to move and that both of our worship gatherings would be environments for folks to learn, grow, worship, confess, connect, and serve. Thank you guys for your investment in BLDG 28 for the sake of His fame and renown.
Soli Deo Gloria!