I heard a rumour yesterday that I bought the old Canadian Tire store in Orillia to start a church. That’s news to me. I haven’t got nearly enough Canadian Tire money for that.
You may have heard a few rumours flying around about what’s happening at Trinity and what might or might not happen with Connexus, the church our team will be leading as of November 1st. I know many of you are asking this question: if Connexus can’t buy Trinity’s current facility, what will happen next? Well, there is a plan. Want to hear it?
The plan is to launch a Barrie campus and Orillia campus in December (Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet in Oro as our current facility is already the largest venue in Oro). We are in the final stages of research on several stellar facilities in both Barrie and Orillia (we’ll keep you updated). We would plan to hold our grand opening in south Barrie on Sunday December 2nd, 2007, and in Orillia on Sunday December 9th, 2007.
Under this plan, Connexus would launch immediately as a multi-site church, with Bracebridge coming on-line in September 2008. All sites would feature live music, lives hosts, stellar kids ministry and probably an "upgrade" to the experience we currently have. The preaching would be done live at the Barrie site and video-cast to Orillia and, later, Bracebridge on a one week tape delay (the message from December 2nd in Barrie will be used in the other campuses one week later). The quality of the video we are planning will be top drawer. Obviously, with the week tape delay thing, special arrangements will be made for Christmas and Easter where a week delay doesn’t make much sense. As for mid-week, staff would gather in rented space and community groups would, as always, be based in people’s homes. Other environments would use space we would find elsewhere. Renting is actually quite reasonable when you are used to paying a mortgage!
Our team is totally pumped about this option. While we’re doing our best to secure a deal for the current facility, there’s a growing sense in which we feel that not getting the building is probably not the loss we all feared it might be. It would be great to keep it, but God has a way of providing. While bringing relevant church to two nearby cities would mean a drive for the people of Oro (hey, we do that anyway!), it also means for the majority of people in this region, church would be much closer to their front door, which makes it so much easier to invite friends.
So…there you have it. Contingency planning as it’s happening in real time, and it has nothing to do with Canadian Tire. Whatever you hear tomorrow, check back here for the real skinny. In the meantime, keep praying that we stay closely tuned to what God is doing and that He uses whatever we offer Him in powerful ways.
P.S. The articles of incorporation for Connexus (it will be a charitable, not for profit corporation in keeping with Canadian law for churches) were delivered this morning to Industry Canada, and we anticipate that Connexus will "exist" legally within three to four weeks. We’re thankful.