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Disney and Dice

In February, while it was cold and snowy in Michigan, my family travelled to Florida and spent a week at Disney.  At one of the parks there was a ride in a haunted hotel.  The ride was inside an elevator that mysteriously rose and then suddenly dropped to a random floor then rose and fell and rose and fell until your insides couldn’t decide whether inside or outside your body cavity was the right place to be.  My bride loves rides like that.  Me…not so much.  I know the ride will even out and we’ll step off the elevator to a nice, calm stable ground until the next ride, but…not knowing if the floor was going to drop out from underneath you at any moment – or whether or not you’ll surge upward causing all the blood in your body to fill your toes – these are not my favorite things.

Church planting can be like that ride.  We’ve been keeping track of attendance to give us a good idea of where we are and what the reality on the ground is.  One week it’s up to 93 then 48 then 78 then 67 then 80 then 54.  I’m in that ride all the time.  When there are 93 or 80 our space is too small, and it’s time to have two services.  When there are 48 or 54 we are fine in our renovated office space.  It can be frustrating for me not having an calm, smooth even uphill gradation of numbers.  Granted, summer in Michigan is spotty at best, and every pastor I talk to (even in an established church) has the same struggle.

Difference being that I am trying to lead our church into the next chapter of our story.  When someone walks into a room and there are no seats for them, what’s to keep them from saying to themselves, “Selves, there’s not room for us here” or “Selves, I don’t think they need us here.”  On those weeks one of those statements is true, the other not.  We don’t have room on those days, but we do need them.

The answers lay before us: move to a bigger space and risk having 60 people in a big old hollow space on a given week; move to two services and roll the dice (not a very reformed thing to say) with what happens.  I am leaning toward rolling the dice because I know who’s rolling them, and he already knows (in fact commands) the outcome.

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