–>So…we would have to launch the first campus of Connexus during a blizzard, but that didn't seem to stop what God wanted to do. I snapped this picture after lunch…a Connexus trailer and a huge snow plow…how quaint. (By this point, the snow had turned to a steady stream of freezing rain.)
We were so thrilled with how the morning went. So many of you came out anyway, working through the snow, slippery roads and howling wind to be part of this really amazing thing God is doing.
Here's what I am so grateful for coming out of the morning:
- So many of you brought friends and family with you for their first taste of relevant environments. Wasn't it worth it? Our leadership team is convinced that 30% of the people present were first time attenders. Amazing!
- We have the most awesome people. The fact that it was miserable outside didn't stop our incredible staff and volunteers from getting up even earlier and making sure everything was in place for 8:30. That's so cool. Honestly, I couldn't imagine doing this with another group. You are the best!
- It felt like a breath of fresh air to talk about a new vision of church — getting us out of the way, and getting people into a growing relationship with Jesus. I am honestly just blown away by the thought of how the next generation might respond to environments that really make a place for people to grow into a relationship with Jesus.
- The sense by mid-morning that this was all really happening. To hear so many people singing, see so many people engaged, so many lives in the process of being connected with God and each other blew me away.
- The age of the congregation. Think I saw more people in their 20s than I've seen in a long time. It's going to take all of us (every age) to reach that next generation…but when you see it happening, how refreshing is that?
- The sheer number of people. While we saw under 100 adults brave the first service, almost 300 packed the auditorium out for the 10 a.m. Orillia did great too (for the weather) on week two of soft launch. All tolled, with kids, we likely saw close to 800 adults and kids this morning between campuses. Not bad for a blizzard!
I don't really think I can convey this adequately, but I got an overwhelming sense in both services that relevant environments are exactly what this region has been waiting for. Getting to create engaging, relevant environments people can come to ask questions about God without being judged, stepped on, or made to feel inadequate juices me so much. I really believe Connexus is going to be just that — a series of relevant environments that will honestly help people discover how refreshing and powerful a growing relationship with Jesus Christ can be.
Can't wait for next weekend Orillia, when it's your turn to open the doors wide and invite your friends. Thanks to everyone who was part of this morning. This is genuinely exciting — and gratitude-inducing.