I wanted to send a note to our church family about what happened on Sunday.
It wasn’t anything terrible, but it was something we must consider. We experienced the highest attendance in Rocky Creek’s history (of which I can find metrics) that wasn’t on an Easter Sunday. While we’ve been seeing higher numbers, Sunday neared recent Easter numbers.
And it was a typical Sunday. I honestly thought it would be a low-attended Sunday due to a holiday weekend and cold weather. We did have a few extra guests to see some baptisms, but we reached a pretty high milestone. On the second Sunday of the year, we baptized 8 people, and 19 joined the church.
We don’t broadcast attendance because that isn’t the goal, but I felt the need to share this post to help our members and guests think through some items.
#1. Don’t take what’s happening for granted. You are sharing the gospel with people. People are accepting your invitations to church. Lives are being transformed. The water bill is high due to baptisms. People are parking in the grass. Disciples are being made. We are seeing some incredible days.
#2. Consider how we can alleviate some of the growing pains. These are exciting days if you’ve been at Rocky Creek for some time. We prayed for these types of problems. God has been so gracious to us. But we also must think through how to grow well and not stifle the opportunities for others.
Experts say that people stop coming when a sanctuary or parking lot is 80% full. We are nearing that at the 9:00 service and have blown past that in the 10:30 service. Our Espanol service at 10:30 is growing significantly. What do we do? We don’t want to turn people away, but there’s not a quick fix either. Some intermediate steps could help, but that will require some of you.
These steps are small, but they might pave the way for more to connect in the coming months while we configure a more long-term plan:
- Park as far away as you are able. The front parking lots are full, and people are parking in the grass. There are still spaces in the back, which will help you get some steps in on Sundays. If you are able, please consider parking as far away as possible.
- Take bathroom stops away from behind the sanctuary. In your travels through the campus, I encourage you to stop at the Fellowship Hall or the 3rd-floor bathrooms. Adults should not use the bathrooms on the children’s hallway. Worshipers, please don’t go in and out of the doors beside the sanctuary platform during worship. There are bathrooms in the back of the room, in the vestibule, and you can help minimize distractions by using the bathroom before the service or through the back doors of the sanctuary.
- Sit in close. We are having to ask people to scoot in more at the 10:30 service. Please help us by moving in and showing ushers where seats are still available.
- Sit up close. It is much easier to bring people to an open seat if it is in the middle or the back. Please fill in the front sections first, and that will help not have to parade people up front looking for seats.
- Consider a different worship hour. I’ve been attending a pre-lunch Sunday service all my life, but that doesn’t mean it is the only hour. We have more room at 9:00 and lots of room at 5:00. These are all the same service. I’m preaching, the band is leading, and we give it our all. If you can, it would help make room at 10:30 if some of you would consider moving your worship time (and possibly your Gospel Group time) around so that we make room for those behind us.
- Be willing to surrender a seat. I heard of some folks who sat in overflow voluntarily the last few weeks because they didn’t want anyone to leave when they couldn’t find a spot. That goes such a long way!
If God continues to bless our efforts, what happened on Sunday might happen again. Let’s do all we can in the meantime to help people connect here. We have much to consider in the coming months, but could you help out in any of these ways for this Sunday?