In Touch May 8, 2009
Posted on May 7, 2009 by under Touché,

“That My House May Be Filled (Luke 14:23)”


We have seen a significant increase in numbers at our Gatherings worship the last five weeks.  That is good news.  Terry Dunham will now be leading worship with some of our bands for the next three weeks.  The reason to have Terry lead is to get a sense of what it would be like for Hopewell to have a consistent worship leader that would give more cohesion to our Gatherings worship.  In the next couple of weeks you will have a time to share your responses to questions about worship at HRC.


We need to continue to find ways to make room for growth.  When the guys from Cogun (a church design/build firm) were here they commented on how crowded the facility was on Sunday morning and how we were “making due” in many areas of our ministry.  They referenced the 80 percent rule, which states that once worship space is 80 percent full people start to drop away.  Our Foundations service is over 80 percent full.  The other day our Gatherings service may have hit that number too.  A woman came to me and said: “I came late and it didn’t seem like there was any place to sit.”  There was, of course, but that perception can be a challenge for us.


Short of a new building or another worship service, here is what we can do:

  • Parking: Our prime spots continue to be filled early and completely.  We need to remind ourselves that we have oodles of parking over at Croniser lot.  If you are able and willing to get a little exercise before church, park in the lot just down Beekman Road from the church.  We are looking to get some signs that point people in that direction and maybe some attendants to help people with parking, but it is not very welcoming if you come in to a lot that is backed up and full.  I have known people to just drive by when they see that.
  • Seating: Our sanctuary fills up before it is full. (Do I sound like Yogi?)  Part of the reason for that is we like to sit at the end of the pew. (Maybe because subconsciously we don’t want to be trapped in our seat if the sermon is too long.)  However, it makes it difficult for people, especially if they are new, to ask folks to slide in, or to be willing to step over someone planted on the end.  If you are in an empty pew move to the wall or to the middle, take two deep breaths and say “I will be o.k.”  And make room for the expansion of the kingdom of God.  We will be encouraging our ushers to “ush” a bit more aggressively in this area.
  • Welcome: Still the greatest thing about HRC is the welcome received.  If you see somebody that you may not know, welcome them, share your name, and say: “I am glad you are here.”

There is room for all at Hopewell and it is up to each of us to make sure that is known


Thank you,  Taylor