I promise you that I'm really going to try to keep doing these on Wednesdays to keep up a regularity, but for now - it's Thursday and here's what's going on with the Northeast campus:
- Much of my days these past couple of weeks have been filled with meeting with people, getting ready for my message next Wednesday night, and trying to heal from my injuries from my fall. Somehow, by God's grace, I've been able to get a lot done while being somewhat of a cripple. =)
- I talked with the principal at Dr. Nixon Elementary, and he sad he just really does not feel comfortable about the idea of us or anyone besides teachers using the classrooms. That leaves the cafetorium, and adjacent meeting room, and a gym/community room out by some portables for us to use. So we'll have our adults meet in the cafetorium with the babies/crawlers in that adjacent meeting room, and the grade school kiddos meet out in the gym/community room.
I do think, based on what Rick, Kristin, and I saw at Community Christian Church's Romeoville campus, that it will be doable having the grade school kids in a separate building than the adults and babies/crawlers. We'll just have to be sure to be very intentional about how we welcome people and how we explain the setup, and take people to drop off their kids rather than just point them to where the kids are at.
- The biggest news about the Northeast campus is that we've decided to postpone our launch until the beginning of next year, instead of launching this fall. There are many reasons why, like where we're at globally as a church, facing a big construction project and seeing explosive growth that is causing us to needing to start a 3rd Sunday gathering and expanding our missions programs. Also, things are taking longer than we had anticipated as far as financing and enlisting volunteers for the NE campus, so basically it came down to this: we can launch lame this fall, or we can launch LARGE in the new year.
- One our unwritten values at Del Sol is excellence, and so whatever we do, we want to do it well thus pushing back the launch date to January. I'm looking at the calendar and thinking and praying it through, but our new launch date will probably be either January 10th or 17th, 2010.
- Our staff will still come on board most likely next month and will begin working alongside our East campus staff to prepare for the Northeast campus and to really get indoctrinated with the Del Sol way of doing things.
- For this Summer GrowGroup semester, I'll be leading a GrowGroup at a home in the Northeast and will try to really get to know, in the context of community, several of our people who live out in that area of the city. When we launch the Fall semester of GrowGroups, I hope to have raised up a leader out of my Summer group and with a couple of other leaders, have 3 or 4 groups this Fall and meet together once a month or every 6 weeks as a way to bring the groups together, reminding them that we're part of Del Sol Church and that at that time, we'll be preparing the launch the Northeast campus.
- I think the Lord has led us to push back our launch date to give us more time to build up a following in the Northeast and have a better launch in January.
- I've been thinking through how to recruit volunteers, and what I think we'll do is ask for short-term commitments of 6, 8, or 12 weeks, and at the end of that term, our volunteers would have the option to stay and serve for another term or move back to the East campus - no guilt, no hard feelings. I got this idea from Chris Mavity at North Coast Church in the San Diego, California area, and I think we'll probably get a much better volunteer response doing it that way, rather than asking for long-term commitments like I had been planning on doing before my teleconference with Chris.
- Since we've been having such a hard time finding a kids ministry director, I'm even thinking about asking making that a flexible commitment, maybe asking someone to commit for 3 months at a time and have someone apprentice under then, and then after that, they can stay on or we can have their apprentice take over. I don't know ...still thinking that through.
So you can see there's a lot going on, so there's a lot to pray about, but here are a few ways I'd like to ask you to pray for me and for the Northeast campus this week:
1. Pray for my right ankle and knee to heal quickly and fully, as this injury has slowed me down quite a bit. It takes me a lot longer to walk, it's harder to drive, it's making my back hurt now, and it's totally disrupted my sleep cycle so I've been very tired this past week.
2. Pray for open doors in the Northeast community, and especially that this Summer GrowGroup will go well because how it goes will be a crucial measuring guide of how the NE campus will likely go. Ask God to send people to the group and to raise up new leaders for the Fall semester, as that semester will also be crucial for a successful launch.
3. Pray for First Wednesday (next Wednesday, May 6th) as our team leads the worship through music and as I preach and cast the vision for the NE campus. I'm going to be asking people to take their next step by either partnering with us in prayer or expressing their interest in volunteering - or hopefully, both! Please pray God will let many catch the vision and be interested in praying AND volunteering.
Thanks for your prayers! I truly believe they do make a difference.