Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Open House

Saturday was a big day, both for our church and for me. For months, our planning team and I had been meeting to discuss and organize an open house event in our new church building. Our goal was to "peek the curiosity" of the neighbors, giving them a chance to find out who we are (and vice versa) and hopefully lead them to want to know more and visit us again. We offered a plethora of activities for kids, because we really wanted the neighborhood kids to have fun and to draw in the parents - face painting (a big hit), bubbles, crafts, sidewalk chalk, a scavenger hunt, a puppet show, a big inflatable soccer activity, and more. For the adults, we had a big buffet, information table, book table, chess, live music and informational sessions, where members of the church were interviewed about the various aspects of our church community.

The day went very smoothly from a logistical standpoint and although it was chilly and cloudy, it did not rain
(a huge answer to prayer)! Things were quiet in the morning, but we had many guests stopping in by the time midday rolled around. All in all, we saw many new faces and everyone who was there seemed to enjoy themselves and feel welcome. The church really came together to make this event happen - we had church members helping at every station, working hard to keep the buffet stocked, playing music, being interviewed, setting up, cleaning up...you name it. It was wonderful to see what a team effort it was.

The biggest answer to prayer, though, was to see new faces in church Sunday morning - people who had
visited on Saturday and were still curious. Most of these people came to the open house because of personal invites and relationships with people in the church, which is often the case and, in my opinion, the best way to reach out. But there were also a few faces of neighbors who simply wanted to know more! And what's more, Nate preached a wonderful and challenging sermon Sunday morning for these guests to hear, a sermon that he has gotten wonderful feedback about over the last few days. Another answer to prayer.

Thank you to the many of you who were praying for this event. We continue to pray that the connections from Saturday would continue and deepen. God is working in our new neighborhood and we are excited to see what is to come!

Book table

Buffet. Full of treats and drinks all day!

Crafts

The face painting was a huge hit!

One of our deaf members, talking about our church's thriving deaf ministry

Inflatable soccer activity

Kids, watching the puppet show

Our music team

Ping pong

Ellie sitting on my lap, watching the puppets