–> We should know in 15 days if Connexus will be able to purchase the facility currently used by Trinity. But if not, the big question is, where will we meet?
You already know we’ll be moving to two campuses in that scenario, one in Barrie and the other in Orillia. We’re happy to announce that the Sunday morning home of Connexus will be at the Galaxy Cinemas in each city — on Commerce Park Drive in South Barrie and at West Ridge Place in Orillia.
It was so cool to move through these cinemas last week with our staff, elders and some consultants who specialize in portable church. Rich Birch and Nadine Russell, two of our staffers, have incredible passion and imagination when it comes to creating irresistible environments, and as they walked around with the consultants, the theatre became transformed in our minds’ eye into environments which actually are as good or better than our current facility (see the quotes at the bottom of this post). It’s hard to describe all the things you can do with the right resources and the right people on the job. I wish you all could have been there, and quite possibly, in 7 weeks, you might be! Best yet, we can grow to an attendance of over 1000 people in each location each Sunday.
Some of you remember our days at Guthrie Public School when load in and load out for a much smaller church took a while. No more. Rich Birch has a long relationship with PCI (Portable Church Industries) and we would engage them in these environments so we can completely construct our Sunday environments (tech, kids, foyer and more) in about 75 minutes and tear them down far less time. Watch this video to see what that process will be like. It’s amazing. Our e-team will be in charge (that stands for environment team). If you want to be part of one, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midweek, we’re still looking for space for environments like KidStuf, student ministry and Christmas eve, not to mention office space. We’re ready for the staff to hang out at my place for November if need be. 🙂 But those spaces are much easier to find than weekend space, so that should come together shortly.
Financially, believe it or not, it’s a wash whether we stay here or hit the road. It will cost us about $500,000 to buy our current facility (plus upgrades), while the cost of launching Barrie and Orillia will be $250,000 each for all the equipment, including our video stuff. The rent for our environments will end up costing a little less that what we currently pay for heat, water, hydro and interest payments on the mortgage at Line 7. Although the costs are about the same we are adding around 50% more capacity to invite people to church! (People have kept asking . . . you’ll be able to contribute early in October.)
Imagine having premium environments in two major cities where you can invite your friends. How cool would that be? Plus, people associate going to the movies with good times, unlike schools (not everybody liked/likes school) or other facilities we might have rented. Just about everybody knows where the theaters are, too, so that just makes an easier invite.
Right now, we’re absolutely laying it all before God, but it’s good to know we’ve got some places to go that we’re very excited about no matter how this turns out.
Connexus Community Church
P.S. Here are some quotes from some of our team who have toured the theatres that we would use:
“I think that it would be an incredible opportunity to go where no church in this area has gone before in an effort to reach people who otherwise have no other chance. The theaters are not a step down, and in fact may very well be more effective in reaching those who don’t like church.”- Pat Dryburgh
“The Galaxy theatre facilities will definitely open up an incredible range of possibilities. It will mean a new venue of course, but it will also provide exciting points of connection with people who have long lost interest or trust in ‘church’. We have found the Cineplex management team very helpful, and looking for ways to help maximize our experience. This is shaping up to be an amazing partnership. I believe that embracing a ‘portable church’ model will initiate a new era in team building among our staff and volunteers. We will develop a greater sense of shared investment, and really get to know and depend on each other in a whole new way. I’m excited about the future that God is forging for us both in terms of extending our reach and intensifying our sense of community. Connexus will bring a courageous and relevant ministry to both the Barrie and Orillia regions. I have no doubt that it’s going to capture your imaginations.” – Patrick Voo
“When I told my granddaughter that she might be doing church in a theatre, she thought that would be great and so would the popcorn, sometimes when you see things through the eyes of a child it puts everything in prospective.” – John Atkinson
“I didn’t think that movie theatres would be able to host our Sunday environments because I wasn’t sure that we’d be able to transform them fully into UpStreet, Waumba and Xtreme. But after looking at them much closer, I am so excited for this potential future for our church. I think these locations will help us create irresistible environments for our friends and family!” – Rich Birch