Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great Lakes Church 1st Preview Service

Week 1 of life in Kenosha was expectedly chaotic. Tony and I were anxious to meet the local members of the launch team and help any way we could. Dave has done a phenomenal job of sharing his vision of Great Lakes Church to anyone who would listen, so it’s no surprise the people that are already a part of the team have so much enthusiasm.

We were fortunate to get into Mahone Middle School on Saturday for a few hours to set up for Sunday service. There was quite an energy as we worked together to figure out where everything belonged and what we still might need. Fortunately, several families who have kids brought some great toys and baby items for us to borrow. We did as much as we could for a sound check, although Tony would have spent all day in that room trying to get it all just perfect. We spent the rest of Saturday running errands, doing whatever we could to take care of the last minute details.

Sunday morning arrived, for me at 3am. I could not sleep. I sprang out of bed realizing, “WE HAVE NO PRODUCER!” For those of you that haven’t been a producer, or worked near one, the Producer is really responsible for running the service, especially the timing, on Sunday mornings. Certainly neither Tony nor I had ever been in this role before, but we did our best to exchange notes on what we could remember about the Producer Role, so that I could do it/recruit someone to do it.

By 7:30am, the members of the music team were in our living room practicing the music for the morning. It was surreal that this team who had only practiced once before were so cohesive and so receptive to Tony’s direction. Tyler and I just stood by and watched for a bit, enjoying this behind the scenes look at what was about to happen. We arrived at the school just before 9am, hoping they might open the school just a tad early for a few more preparations. The whole team was there on time, if not early, ready and eager to work their tails off. It was incredible! By 9:30am, everyone was ready and in their positions praying and hoping people would actually show up. Pretty soon our guests started to trickle in.

I’ll share with you the teams impressions of the day as well as what some of our guests said in the surveys we sent out.

GLC Team Responses
Q: What went right?

• I guess everything went ok since all the cars got in to the lot unharmed!
• friendly people, Dave's "talk," weather, enough help, positive attitudes, the list goes on and on...
• The coffee timers went off as planned and my child was kept alive in the nursery.
• In my humble opinion, I think almost everything went right. Like I said yesterday, it almost seemed like we had been doing this for 5 years already.
• The Kids Workers did a great job keeping up with the kids demands. I think we had a great amount of toys, and things for the kids to do. I didn't hear any of the Childrens workers say there wasn't enough to keep the kids occupied. I think that's a great Feat right there!!!!

Q: Overall Impressions? Any Good Stories?

• I was very impressed that we FILLED the parking lot, only the handicap spaces were left!
• I couldn't be more thrilled with the opportunity to help out with Great Lakes Church!
• I am biased because I have been waiting for this church since we left San Diego, but I thought it was Outstanding!
• I thought everyone did a great job and worked well with each other. I feel like we had great feedback from the guests in that they felt very welcomed and the service was easy to follow.
• GREAT! I think it was amazing to see all the team members pitch in and help in ALL areas, not just the areas they were responsible for!
• The kids were fun, and I cant wait until next time
• It was great and exciting and I can't wait till next time
• Better than expected Preview Service. The “kinks” were not noticeable by those attending. Everyone was super friendly which made for a great atmosphere. Dave’s message was killer.
• Everyone was sooooooo helpful and friendly!! I was going to fill my car up at the end and literally 10 people showed up and started carrying my stuff to the car for took us 3 seconds to pack my mini-van!! Go team!!
• I remember a friend of mine came up to me and said she invited a friend of hers that used to be friends with another one of our volunteers but because of some issues in the past they had not talked for over 6 years and when her friend walked into the auditorium and was greeted by (other volunteer) with the bulletins, they hugged for about 15 minutes and made up after 6 years! It was so awesome for me to see the joy on these girls faces after that.
• I thought it was so cool Dave's mom had jeans on! My wife is more on board now!
• My boys were in "sunday school/kids' church" for the first time IN THEIR LIVES (without mom or dad), even though they've grown up in the church, and they talked about it all afternoon and are so excited for November's service!

Guest Responses

Q: What did you notice first? What was your overall impression? How can we pray for you?

• It’s been years since I’ve been to church. Please pray for healing from the past.
• I noticed lots of people waving when we pulled up. I had a good time and most importantly, my kids want to go back.
• I am wanting my whole family to be involved in the same church and I believe this is going to be the one.
• I noticed the friendliness of parking attendants and greeters. Great Job!
• The whole service was great for a “first run”. Dave is an awesome speaker and the band sounded great. We will be praying for you and will return on the 9th for the second service!
• I liked the greeters – very helpful. Dave is a good speaker.
• I am so excited that you are doing this in Kenosha. I have been living in K since 1989 but we attend a church in Zion. I love my church, but there are almost no young people (20-30’s). My kids (23 & 21) have all but stopped coming. I think this might be the church to reach them again.
• I noticed the parking guys smiling and waving at us. Everyone was very friendly and enthusiastic. I love the message and my kids loved “Mr. James”!
• I noticed people in JEANS!!!! Everyone was friendly.
• Please pray for my son… he doesn’t like music at the church we are attending and uses that as a reason not to go. He came with us to your service on Sunday and he said he liked the music!
• It was very friendly and down to earth service. I loved the amount of volunteers you had helping with the service! I am not too fond of most churches, but I will definitely be back to this one.

We had a total of 174 in attendance, including volunteers and kids. That is far and away more than we could have hoped for. As you can see from their comments, it seemed to go well. Now we just pray that we can be good stewards of this momentum, help people get involved and connected, and really help accomplish for this community what we believe God has already started.


natalie said...

That is amazing! I am so excited for you guys.

Mike said...

This is going to be awesome! Great work out there to everyone and I cannot wait to hear what this Sunday is going to bring! Praise God! If you guys need anything at all, please do not hesitate to ask your Seattle family!

Darin said... excited for you guys and God's work in Kenosha. Thanks for the udpates!

Anonymous said...

Hey T&M,
Seems like yesterday we were eating, vsiting and playing Ladder Golf in Kevin's backyard.
Enjoyed reading your trip itinerary, very familiar ground I've coverd a time or two myself. Yellowstone is AWSOME! Nest trip West, head for Glacier Ntl' Park.
Hearing about "Opening Sunday" @ Great Lakes Church was quite nostalgic and made me long for those early ECC days in some ways. You have a real adventure ahead, and God will surely richly bless you both. Give Dave a Hello! Jimmy

Mrs. Butler said...

SO exciting. I got a little teary eyed reading the comments. Love the jeans theme. Love that you were up at 3am, Michelle. love that tony will never be satisfied with the sound. love you guys.

**Nancy said...

Oh I'm so Proud of you guys!! Sounds like it went AWESOME! Good work. We're all still praying for you and missing you like crazy! xoxo

Michelle said...

We love you, too, Mrs. B.
Jimmy, Natalie, Mike, Darin, Nancy - it's comments and encouragement like yours and others that will keep us going :)

Thanks for reading. We miss you all!

Matt said...

Freaking awesome. It's amazing to see God working through everyone!

Becky said...

Sounds like you guys are off to a great start bringing our accessible God to the mid-West! We miss you but are glad to know you are doing great things.

C.Unique said...

aaaand...I'm crying with joy. this is so RAD!!!
And sounds ALL TOO FAMILIAR to what we heard each week when starting ECC here in the NW. Praise the Living God! He is moving & it will be HUGE.
Much love to you all in Kenosha!
May His blessing & light shine on you each day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm so glad that you included this space on your email to me. It sounds as though you all are doing a great job and WI is welcoming this new church. I'm glad I "get to go too" ;)

Love you,


Anonymous said...

aw yeah!! I love it! God is so great - he can do so much with willing hearts, it's obvious in your blogs. keep on keepin' on, GLC is in my prayers!
love ya,

Anonymous said...

i can't believe it's taken me this long to read the blog about the 1st service - this is amazing...LOVE reading what people thought of the service. praying for you. love you and miss you so much.