As our Sunday morning meeting continues to grow, new challenges are created. One of these is ensuring we have maximum seats free at the right time.
The Set-Up & Pack-Away (SUPA) Team are now putting out 335 chairs which uses all available space & chairs. Our average attendance last term was 256, the peak morning attendance was 302. Now, 30-80 empty seats sounds a lot but quickly get lost when several hundred RFCers stand/shuffle/jump to worship :o)
Why am I telling you all this? As elders & deacons we have concluded that the morning meeting is nearing seating capacity for first 20 minutes when the children are in with us. This has created a problem in that some people have left the meeting because they couldn’t find a seat easily / were overwhelmed when they arrived. Others want to come in unnoticed and don’t want to create a fuss to find a seat. We must consider their needs ... and also make space for the many who have yet to start coming along.
As a team we have often discussed this and now want to try a few things. The first being a 6 week pilot scheme starting this Sunday (15 April) where Crèche & Children’s work will start at 10:20am and finish at 12noon (Youth will go out at 11am as before). Once the children are registered in their normal rooms, they will be taken to the gym for a time of worship altogether. Parents can join them there if they want to worship as a family. This should make it easier to find a seat at the start of the meeting, because over 55 people will now be gathering in the gym.
This pilot scheme will run until half term (3 June) when the elders & deacons will review it (your feedback will be appreciated!) Personally, I will feel the loss of us not all worshipping together. Yet I will console myself by believing it is for a season and that it is a price worth paying if others can gather to Jesus. We all need to embrace change with faith, believing that God will give us people and venues at the right time.
We must be mindful of the needs of existing RFCers, as well as those who are looking in, and also those who have yet to start coming along. If you have any questions, please do contact me via email.
Love, Sean (On behalf of the elders & deacons)