Church Has Left the Building Sundays

Church Has Left the Building Sundays
Locations for Outdoor and Indoor Gatherings this Summer:
July 16 - Don Ross Secondary
July 23rd - Don Ross Secondary
July 30 - Far Beach "Grassy Knoll" at Alice Lake
August 6 - Don Ross Secondary
August 13 - 41500 Judd Road (Les and Elina's)
August 20 - Alice Lake
August 27 - Alice Lake
* For outdoor gatherings, bring a chair and something to share (food, scripture reading, encouragement, prayer, etc.).
Some from our church family have expressed concerned with leaving the building for some of the CWG's this summer, and for some good reasons. Below is an excerpt of an e-mail that was sent out hoping to help answer some questions and get dialogue happening.
"You are right, it does make it more difficult for newcomers to track us down on any given Sunday, as well as those in our church who don’t check out the website. But we are wondering if we need to work harder at encouraging people to check the website through the summer months especially, as well as utilize social media better so more people are aware of what is happening. We know most newcomers who have checked us out in the past have done so through the website.
The other side of the coin is that we don’t want to be locked down to a building, and shut off any creative ideas on how we can reach a community, just because some people might not know where the church is gathering any particular Sunday. that is a very real concern as well - get stuck in a rut.
Something we have also noticed is that although we haven’t lost people, we are now seeing a new trend, which is that on any given Sunday we are only seeing 50% of our people attending church. Which over the last several Sundays has been an average of 40-45 people. We are also seeing that the few newcomers who do check us out don’’t seem to return. And we all know that for most spiritual seekers, the church building is not the first place they flock towards in order to get answers.
On a practical side of things, we also have Sundays this summer where we have no one to lead a formal singing time, so to keep it simple ( like we did last Sunday ) makes it a lot easier for the one leading, trying to pull off a meaningful Sunday. This is why I want to ask Geoff and Richard what their preference of location is, b/c I want to hear from them what makes it easier for them.
Another thing is that summer finances are low, and not renting Don Ross for several Sundays would help relieve some financial pressure.
We have also talked to a number of our people who tell us that the building, and doing church the way its always been done, week in week out, just doesn’t resonate. They have been asking us to do things like the active Sundays for a while. Our Alice Lake event last Sunday was our attempt to listen to that voice.
And as you know, after a long winter this year, so many of our people want to spend time outside, so to gather outside as a church seems to fit that desire for many.
I ponder the question of "how to we make Jesus known?” in our community on a regular basis as well as "how do we break down the negative stereotypes of what the church is?" for many, and this meeting outside and doing something active is a good step. Misseologists call it contextualizing the gospel - we know the outdoors is something our community values. The “church has left the building” event is our attempt to take this step, that we might see people drawn to Jesus as a result.
I hope this helps explain some of our reasoning around this latest decision."
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