God has provided a new meeting place for New Venture. We have enjoyed the 7th day Adventist building at, 530 courthouse Road, for three weeks now. There have really been no major complications in the transition or in the services the last three weeks. The new facility brings with it several blessings. Here are the ones I can think of right off hand.
1. Individual class areas for all ages groups in KidVenture
2. A large group meeting area for KidVenture with built in audio/video equipment
3. Fully furnished classrooms for all ages
4. The capacity to store all KidVenture set up materials in the building
5. An adult worship area that will hold 150-175 adults with comfortable, stacking, movable chairs
6. Sound board and equipment that can stay set up all the time
7. A kitchen area to serve our refreshments from
8. The ability to hold fellowship meals
9. A staff and facilities committee at the Adventist church that is delighted to work with us.
10. The ability to start our services on time with everyone involved
11. A yard area for our kids to use when desired
12. A SIGN ON COURTHOUSE THAT IS SEEN BY THOUSANDS DAILY
13. Close proximity to our current ministry center
14. A storage area to keep all our set up equipment on site
15. A portable baptistery when we need it
16. Our own keys to the building and the ability to come and go as needed during the week
17. Same rent as our previous location
18. The ability to park our trailer on site for additional storage
19. The use of some of their projection equipment. And last, but not least
20. A baby cry room in the back of the auditorium
What a list of advantages. I am sure I could have come up with a few more if I tried a little longer. There are, however, a few disadvantages that we have to work to overcome in order to use the facility and worship setting to its maximum potential. My shorter list would include
1. The need to still set up the stage and speaker system each week
2. The need to set up several signs each week for information and directional purposes
3. A facility that we are renting but not really in control of
4. A smaller amount of space for information and sign up tables
5. A building that is traditional in style while we are quite contemporary in approach
6. A small entrance and welcome area. And perhaps the biggest challenge of all
7. A less than ideal set up to welcome visitors and guests. Let me expand on this last on briefly.
The building is set up in such a way that it is easy for us to congregate in our own little groups and enjoy talking and hanging out while visitors slip in and take their seat almost unnoticed or ignored. That is tragic to a guest. Guests decide in the first few minutes of their visit if they will return or not based on the kind of reception they receive. That means we are going to have to break out of our little holy huddles, constantly look around and go out of our way to greet and talk with new people. I’m talking everyone and not just the welcome people at the doors.
The major reason we moved from TCMS to this new location was to attract more traffic flow of friends, guests and visitors. Nothing would be more tragic than accomplishing our purpose and then squandering the opportunity. And once the opportunity is lost with a guest, we usually never get a second chance.
So I am appealing to everyone to make yourself a personal welcoming party to guests and visitors. The last thing we want them to do is leave feeling no one recognized their presence. Thanks for going out of your way. You will be glad you did.