Do you remember the curtain?
When we first moved into West LA College in 2016, we barely filled half the auditorium, which is why the Experience team faithfully put up the curtain each Sunday to shrink the expansive space into a cozier room. The curtain certainly helped bring us closer, but it was also an urgent weekly reminder to stay on mission, knowing that right behind that curtain were rows of empty seats where Gospel renewal was not happening.
Then came Easter 2017. No more curtain. Every seat filled. People standing in the back. For me, this was a revelation of what we could be. Theoretically, you can imagine the auditorium being filled, but seeing it is a different experience.
I actually started to pray and ask the Lord to take the curtain away permanently. Not because we want to be big, but because our mission is to bring Renewal to Los Angeles. That will not happen in an empty seat. Every filled seat represents a potential miracle, a breakthrough, a reconciled heart, a prodigal come home, a lost sheep found. An empty seat does nothing.
Four months later, God answered that prayer. The curtain was gone. We are now regularly filling the auditorium.
Last Sunday there was barely an empty chair. People were standing in the back, just like they were on Easter Sunday. It is absolutely amazing to see what God is doing at Renew!
But of course this poses a new challenge. If we’re already full how do we continue to grow? What do we do about Easter Sunday 2018 when we typically experience a 50% increase in Sunday attendance?
We make room.
Starting Sunday February 25th we are adding a second service and will meet at both 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM. This will allow us to double our capacity and increase the scope of our mission. Initially Renew Kids will only be offered at the 9:30 AM service but our goal is to have Renew Kids available at both service times.
We ask several things of you as we move towards this shift to two services.
1. Please keep these changes in prayer. What might seem like a simple shift in service is really a change in mentality. We will no longer be a “small” church. With two services and our current momentum, we will soon cross over the threshold of “big” if we have not done so already. With “big” come new challenges commensurate with all the new opportunities. So please pray that God will help us grow the right way.
2. Please consider serving. If you are currently not serving then we would love for you to join our team. Or, if you already serve sporadically, it would make a big impact if you would serve consistently. As we grow to two services, we need all hands-on deck. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in serving. Our priority needs are: Renew Kids, Experience Team, Load In/Out Crew.
3. Please be patient. We might not get all the changes worked out perfectly the first week, which is why we’re giving ourselves a 1-month runway to Easter. Please do give us feedback if you see anything we can improve on as we make these changes and we thank you in advance for your grace.
4. Please be okay with the curtain coming back! Yes, the curtain will make a reappearance as we grow into both our services, but I ask you to join with me in this prayer—that soon, every empty row in either service would be filled with people who are being renewed by the Gospel that they might go out and renew our broken city.
Excited to see all that God has in store for Renew