Well, the Connexus story starts in earnest this weekend. Months of hard work, long days, long nights, and years of prayer and visioning begin to gel into something real for the community this weekend. It's so amazing, and so exciting that the day is actually here.
This weekend we soft-launch the Connexus Barrie Campus. For many of our volunteers, that means being at the Galaxy tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. (you know who you are) to meet the incredible PCI team who is hauling all our gear across the border tonight. We'll spend six hours tearing up and setting down for the first time tomorrow.
Then Sunday we gather again at 6 a.m. for the real deal…set up and tear down in preparation for our first 8:30…okay, 8:30ish…service for "us". No public invite yet (although we won't turn people away), but we've got a full band, full video crew and I'm preaching a new two week soft-launch series called "Leap". That's a lot, isn't it?
Here are some bullet highlights:
- Sunday's soft launch is open to any and all Connexus people. We won't turn others away, but it's a chance to learn the ropes and even sign up to serve if you haven't already. We do need a congregation at both services, but we don't want to be overwhelmed with guests while we work out the bugs! You are welcome to join us, especially if you don't mind glitches and want to be involved.
- Soft launch weekends feature two services as will be the norm: 8:30 and 10:00.
- Orillia's two week soft launch kicks off next weekend. Woo hoo!
- PCI, who is bringing in all our gear, rocks! Thanks for doing all you can to make this happen. Thanks to our web designers (you'll see their work next week), our data base people and many more who are working so hard to launch Connexus.
- There are still places to serve on both campuses. Come Sunday and you can sign up.
- We finally are ready for people to give. We're so grateful. Our goal of $600,000 in over and above giving before March 28th 2008 was exceeded a week ago, when a total of $688,000 had been committed. Wow! Thank you, and thank God! While that was good news, we realized that most families have not had a chance to participate (only 130 families gave that amount), so we set a secondary goal of an additional $200,000 in over and above giving before March 28th. That gives everyone a chance to participate, and it will almost eliminate our debt in the first year of operations and put us in a strong position as we approach the opening of our third campus in Muskoka in the fall of 2008. So if you haven't had a chance to be part of this yet, please pick up a pledge form and give.
- On the giving front, I can promise you that my wife Toni and I have never given at this level in a six month window — not even close. We were fully (trust me, fully) trusting God to provide as we gave. Let me just tell you that when you release the money God entrusted to you for His purpose, you give Him a window to provide. Toni and I have seen God provide in fresh and amazing ways after we gave our gift. Can't wait to tell the story one day….all I can say now is that I don't want to deprive you of the opportunity to be part of what God is doing.
- Finally, please pray for your friends and invite them out for our opening Sundays on December 2nd and 9th. God is moving, and your personal invitation to them will mean more than anything we could print, buy or distribute.
I am also keenly aware of how many of you are praying daily for this. Hey…it's all about creating environments where people can move into a growing relationship with Jesus. And we can invite, but only God can draw people to Him. So grateful for all of you and the wider Christian community that writes in every day on email and on our blogs…it's amazing.
See you Sunday!