Dear Friends,

A month or so ago I wrote that we are considering some changes to how we “do church” on a Sunday morning. I shared how most of what we do is the same as what we did the first week we held services here. We originally intended to work out better practices – but the rush of getting set-up in a rented space that we cannot access throughout the week means that we tend to do the same set-up every week.

A couple of weeks ago we had some church planters come and look at our set-up with fresh eyes. Like us, they use rented space on Sunday and have to do a complete set-up and take-down every week.

Here are a couple of take-aways we want to implement sooner rather than later.

The first thing they said was that we need to cordon off seats. They were quite definite about cordoning off one-third of our seating. On one hand, people should not be packed in like sardines; but, on the other hand, we can be far too spread out.

Secondly, they thought we needed to figure out a way to get everything on the stage. This would mean the band, the choir, the service leader – everything led from the front should be on stage. They pointed out that the OLT is designed to have people look at the stage. The acoustics are designed around people being on the stage. So is the lighting. Fixing this is more complicated than cordoning off seats, but we want to make this happen as soon as possible. By the way, one nice consequence of this change will be that we can line up along the rail at the bottom of the stage when it is time for holy communion. This is a more “Anglican” way of “doing” communion.

Thirdly, they really liked the OLT’s great lobby. They also really liked the main entrance. They pointed out the power of first impressions and that the Besserer St entrance is cramped and unattractive. They recommended we find a way for people entering the worship space to first go through the lobby. They also said we should try to find a way to have more people enter through the front doors – obviously those with mobility issues will always have to use the Besserer St door. We are giving this proposal some thought and will experiment with different options in the new year.

One more – they recommended we have a clear “welcome” spot in the lobby. A welcome spot with a host is best. But an “un-hosted” welcome spot is better than none at all. We have begun to implement this idea at the 10am service today.

Friends, please share your best wisdom with us! Please pray for us as we make these and other changes. Please pray these changes will aid us in welcoming guests, welcoming each other and help us to worship the Lord!