We have a huge announcement.
Beginning Sunday, August 14th we are moving to a new worship location!!
Fortunately this should be a relatively simple transition since we are moving out of the Fellowship Hall at our current location (2269 Chapel Road) all the way down the hall, and into the main sanctuary. We have utilized this space for special events in the past like our Anniversary Service, Night of Worship, and Carols by Candlelight. So in a sense, we are moving without really having to move!
So why this change? Here are 5 simple reasons.
1) This move makes room for the new people God has brought
If you have looked around this summer, you may have noticed something. We are growing. Over the last 3 years we have grown from a small group Bible Study of around 15 adults to where we are today with around 130 people gathering regularly in Community Groups and for weekly worship. Just this past week we completed our very first VBS and had 71 children. Ya’ll, 71 KIDS!! Over the past couple of months we have seen almost 20 new families visiting with us for Sunday worship. That’s kind-of nuts. There are churches that don’t get 20 visiting families in a year!
God is doing something here, and we want to care well for those He has given us to shepherd. Part of caring well for these new families is in making room for them.
2) This move makes room for the new people God is continuing to bring
We do not seek to assume or presume upon God. He will do what He will do and He will move wherever it pleases Him to move. But we believe that God will continue doing a unique work among us for the following reasons:
- God is committed to growing his church. His nature is to draw people to himself and to call a people to be his own.
- Our area of Western Hoover is booming. New residential growth is the major topic during this election cycle. You can’t drive very far without seeing whole new neighborhoods being built. These new residents are either A) worshippers looking for a church home or B) non-christians who the sovereign God of the universe is moving into our neighborhood so that they might be brought into the Kingdom.
- Our neighborhood is getting younger. Many of the existing homes in our area are being purchased by singles, newly weds and younger families. These young families are often buying homes from older retirees or long-term residents, meaning that households of 1 or 2 are being replaced by young families of 5 or 6. Often times these younger residents are looking for smaller, more “local” opportunities to worship alongside neighbors rather than driving long distances to the mega-churches their parents built.
- The diversity of our neighborhood is growing. Hoover was one of many suburbs founded in the late 60’s as a haven for “white flight” during the Civil Rights era in Birmingham. As a result, many of the early churches in Hoover were founded with a heart to reach these local (and largely white) residents. Today Hoover is Birmingham’s largest and most racially diverse suburb. But many of our local churches are having great difficulty changing a 50 year pattern of reaching one particular group of people. We believe that God has placed us as a new church in Hoover “for such a time as this”.
3) This move allows us to grow while also staying in our neighborhood.
This one is simple. We want to reach many more of our neighbors with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But in our desire to reach more, we don’t want to move further away from the very neighbors God has called us to live among and love. Moving from the fellowship hall to the sanctuary in our current location gives us the best of both worlds. We get to stay where we are while also making room for those He is calling into our midst.
4) This move frees up the current fellowship hall for expanded uses.
There are many opportunities to utilize the space in the current Fellowship Hall.
- Future Children’s ministry options
Did I mention that we had over 70 ids at VBS last week? Freeing up the Fellowship Hall on Sunday evenings will allow us to utilize this space for larger children’s ministry gatherings, maybe even adding a children’s worship element or a large group teaching time through drama.
- Second Sunday Supper
For one, this Fall we are planning to begin a regular “Second Sunday Supper”. This will be a monthly family meal held on the “second Sunday” of the month immediately following our evening worship time. In trying to do similar things in the past, we would always have to break down the room and then quickly try to set up for the meal to follow. This was chaotic to say the least.
5) This move greatly simplifies set-up.
- 4 simple words, “No more folding chairs.” Hallelujah!
Yes, change is hard. I personally am going to miss the warmth and intimacy of the smaller space. Although it may be nice to worship in a space where my preaching is not competing with crying from the nursery down the hall! 🙂
It is totally okay to mourn what we are giving up. This simply means that we acknowledge God has been good to us here. But let us not forget to celebrate what this means as well. God is continuing to build His Kingdom right here in Hoover. And He is pleased to use us in that plan. That’s crazy grace!