Friday, December 23, 2011

My home away from home.... our Church.  I've mentioned a little about it's growing and how exciting this time is for our Church family.  We've been growing in leaps and bounds for about 4 years now but between wanting to stay in Elmwood and needing more Sunday morning seating our options have been rejected over and over again for quite awhile now. In the mean time we've squeezed in a third service but in a building down the street (at MBCI) which we have to rent, we had to buy two sets of visual/sound equipment, AND our staff have to run back and forth between the buildings to serve at all 3 services!  It's not an ideal location so it's been hard to get people to move over to that service (us included, we tried it and just couldn't hack it).

Then, our Pastor, during the GL Summit's session on Audacity, heard God saying our building plans were not audacious enough, and that we had to first set our audacity towards seeking the lost, reaching even more people rather than a fancy new building, and God would provide once we were doing that. So that's what he preached from the pulpit, and then a few weeks later he went to a conference for growing Churches and found a model that tugged at his heart. There was one Church there that instead of building one ginormous Church they decided to aquire smaller buildings within walking distance of where they already were and each place would have it's own live worship music and announcements and coffee time, kidzone would be in the main building, but the message part would be a live feed of the sermon at the satellite location.  And you never knew which building the actual live pastor would be at or if you were getting the feed that Sunday :) This type of model could give us a total of 2000 seats at about 1/4-1/5th the cost of one 2000 seat building! We already have a second smaller building we could maybe utilize this way.
All of a sudden, shortly after he came back, several smaller buildings near by all became available for sale!  A plan began to form. 
Here's a bit what that looks like:

Riverwood Building Tour, Supper & Vote from Riverwood Church on Vimeo.

Our members voted 100% in favor of going ahead with a bid on a property just a month ago that we we are now signing paper work to purchase, that would also give us parking we were sorely lacking, as well as a second building that is almost auditorium ready, that would give us about 300-400 seats, so up to 900 more seats Sunday mornings, as well as room for even more buildings to be built in the future.  Then the old YFC (Youth For Christ) building talked about in this clip was also just voted on, on the 11th and passed with 98% approval and our bid was just accepted this last week!

We are SO excited about the potential for our Church and our different ministries to grow with this plan! And it's interesting that the Church Sean first attended with me exactly 10 years ago was our Church plant from Southland (my Steinbach home Church) and it was held in this very YFC building.  It's amazing how God works, Merry Christmas to Riverwood, what a gift!

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