(1) Was the decision to add a second worship service made quickly?
No. We have been talking about this for several years but did not think it was something we could achieve very easily at Oakbrook. But as the architect of this building listened to our teaching goals, missions goals, and debt goals, he designed a facility that could best meet our needs through two services. In other words, to build a structure so large that a second service was not needed would have required greatly increasing our debt and significantly reducing our missions giving.
(2) Will creating an additional service “split” the church?
Among the highest priority of elders is to protect the church from harm. Therefore, the above question is very important to us. We believe that creating additional opportunities for people to worship does not bring harm to the church. However, what would harm the church is to continue with one service while new people are turned away. A body of water that does not move will soon become stagnant. An additional worship service will create a very healthy movement of new seekers, worshipers, and servers.
The DNA of Hope Point (and any strong church) is the spirit of service among its members. The thing that most unifies believers is serving Christ together. We believe that an additional worship service will deepen the unity of the church as it increases opportunity for service. Some people who have never held babies or taught Scripture to children will now have the opportunity to do so. Yet now they will be able to serve in this capacity without forfeiting the opportunity to be strengthened through music and teaching in a worship service as well.
(3) Has the leadership planned for everything that the church will encounter as we add this additional worship service?
No, we have not thought of everything. That answer may sound irresponsible, but it is true. We have discussed and addressed everything we know at this time, but there will always be areas that need to be adjusted after we begin the 8:45 worship service. Every church leader we met with has basically told us the same thing: “If you wait to get everything perfect, you will never begin.” God has wondrously put us in this position. To follow Him in this new direction requires walking by faith. He will direct our steps but not until we take the first one.
(4) What can I do to help as we move forward?
Pray. Adapt. Serve. We are grateful for the many new ways in which God is blessing us. But even positive change in life (ex. new marriage, new job, new parents) can produce unique stress. We are aware of the new challenges that Hope Point is facing during this season of growth. The only way we will meet these challenges with joy is through the unifying blessing of the Holy Spirit. So, we ask that you would renew your devotion to prayer so that His spirit of peace would accompany us during this journey.
In addition to prayer, we hope that you will ask if there are any adjustments you could make during this time. God may not ask you to move across the ocean, but maybe He would lead you to attend the 8:45 service. We are a church that values “living on mission.” We are excited for every missionary spirit that will help us launch this additional worship service.
In addition to praying and adapting, we hope this will also lead to a new season of serving. Hope Point Kids is a one place to plant your life. A new worship service will open up new opportunities to serve children and their families. How grateful we are to make it possible for our people to experience the joy of serving in one service and worshiping in another.
In addition to the children’s ministry, another worship service opens up many other opportunities to serve (greeters, parking lot, audio visual, etc.). Would you ask the Lord if He would have you join the team of those who see the Lord’s day as a chance to both worship and serve Him?
(5) Until we are able to implement the additional worship service, what are we doing now to accommodate the growing numbers of people?
(a) We’ve moved each of the rows closer together in the worship center which allowed us to add fifty more chairs. (b) We have also made the overflow room (far left side of the lobby) to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible (ex. softer lighting, better sound control). (c) We are intentionally asking Hope Point members to choose a Sunday where they will worship in the overflow room in order to make their seat available to a guest in the worship center. To make this more appealing, we are asking that entire groups of people who know each other (ex. a particular home group) to take one Sunday in the overflow room. Of course, we also welcome any individual to the overflow room as they desire to adjust their Sunday as part of living on mission.