16 Jun We Moved, and I’m Proud of Our Church (@cccwhitemarsh) – The Backstory
Our church (Community Christian Church) recently moved into a new building (new to us, that is). Some of you who read this blog are fellow attenders of CCC, but most readers are church leaders from all around the country. We learned a lot in the process of moving from one building to another, and Lisa Molite and I plan to write a series of blog posts to share our thoughts about moving into a new space (for environment planning purposes).
But, until then, I just want to write about how proud I am of our church. First, a little history.
When I say our church, I mean the people who call CCC home. Not the building. Speaking of buildings though, for the first 8 years of our church’s existence we met in a leased office space. Last year we purchased an office building in the same business park and made plans to renovate it and move in early this year. The original plan was to have our first services in the new space on March 2. That would be good since our old lease ended February 28. There was an extra month built in to the schedule for delays.
Like many construction projects, it went long. Real long. Like, Lord of The Rings extended movie edition long. Our backup plan in case that happened was to rent our previous space for however long we needed. But, before we were moved out the property management company had already leased it to another company starting March 1. They weren’t interested in renting it to us, so we quickly became a portable church.
Saturday Night Services
Once we knew the delay would be more than a couple weeks, we explored dozens of options for how to hold services until the building was ready. There were very few options, by the way, and no great ones. The best option turned out to be meeting on Saturday nights at a partner church of ours just north of us. We had 2 services (after having 3 at our old site) at 5PM & 6:30PM.
The hope was to meet there for a few weeks until the building was ready. A few ended up being 9 weeks, all of March & April, including Easter Sunday (or Saturday for us). Each Saturday we saw about half the number of people that were previously attending on Sundays before we moved. We knew it would be less, but we didn’t expect half.
The new target date to open the building at that time was May 4. That, along with schedule issues on Saturday nights, led us to end our Saturday night services in April and look solely to opening in the new space in May. Delays continued, however, and it was essentially a week-to-week situation throughout May. We ended up not having services throughout all of May and on June 1, before having our Grand Opening in the new space on June 8.
To say it has been a challenging few months would be a huge understatement. In the midst of everything that happened a bunch of people stepped up in some huge ways that really made me proud. I’ll share some specifics in the next post.