I don't want to miss this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone at The Orchard Church. Over these past few weeks we've taken a big and exciting new step together as we have added a second worship service. Thank you to those who are serving, those who are putting in extra hours and to those who have willingly made the adjustment to their Sunday morning schedule.
While we were diligent in seeking the Lord over this transition, and worked hard to do our homework, to learn from others and to plan, there have still been a couple of wrinkles that we have had to work out along the way. That said, so far everything has gone tremendously well. God has been gracious and His people have been faithful!
One of the adjustments that we're all having to make is that we have grown accustomed to seeing our sanctuary pretty full each week, but now with a second service (even though we have taken out some chairs), there is still a lot of room left over. The 9am service has so far proven to be more popular with but the 11am service appears to be the one drawing more visitors. While the fact that we are spread between two services creates the feel of a smaller attendance, let me tell share with you a couple of the reasons why I am especially excited as we move forward:
1. Based on these first few weeks of the 2 service format, our total weekly attendance would have meant that had we not moved to 2 services we would have been at full capacity for our facility and unable to add more than one or two new families. I believe that the Lord is graciously affirming that this was the right decision at the right time!
2. The 11am service which is currently the smaller of the two is so far averaging more people than were in the entire church at the end of 2007, only about 20 months ago! God has done great things in our midst in the last year and half, and I can only begin to imagine what He might have in store for us over the next 20 months.
Our desire as a leadership in taking this step was to obediently follow where we believed that God was leading, and to provide an opportunity for many more people to be able to hear the life changing message of the gospel. Thanks to everyone at The Orchard for being so willing to take this step with us, to make room for others and to courageously press the reset button so that while each service may right now look a little smaller that what we have grown accustomed to we can look back on what the Lord has done, and look forward to what He has yet to do.
Thanks for your continued partnership in the work of the gospel.