What a crazy few months it’s been at Substance! Even though the staff and I are tired, it suffices to say that we’re also refreshed by all of the fruit we’re seeing. Church: I’ve never seen so many radical conversions in my life. Almost every week we’ve gotten a pretty radical God-story coming out of the Substance community. It could be because, we’ve gotten over 550 new people involved in a weekly ministry in the last 6 months. But I also believe it’s because, in the last few months, our small group ministries have been exploding (which is a huge sign of church health for us).
I’ve always dreamed that we’d have 24-7 prayer at Substance. (So, watching our Tuesday Deeper experiences stay packed out has been really encouraging). I’ve also dreamed that we’d have a small group devoted to every single book in the Bible… as well as a small group devoted to every imaginable spiritual discipline & outreach. (So when I saw our 10-week live-internet streaming Apologetics class totally packed out, I was again encouraged).
But remember church: This is just the beginning! This year is going to be a radical shift in terms of small groups and mid-week discipleship experiences. In fact, I believe we could easily quadruple our number of small groups in the next 9 months alone. And that’s what I talked about in last week’s “State of the Church” address.
In fact, if you haven’t listened to last week’s “inside scoop message,” please take an hour to get clued in. We are launching some amazing new programs that will alter Substance as we know it. So, go online and watch the video… http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/5320450 …or, at least, get the audio download on itunes or at http://www.substancechurch.com/podcast/.
So, it doesn’t surprise me at all to see our weekend numbers starting to swell. When we launched a new campus in Northwestern’s 1300 seat auditorium, we had no idea that we’d be launching a 2nd service so quickly. We still had a couple hundred seats left over. But, after shuttle-bussing over 500 attenders to our service the other week, we realized that it’s time to change.
So, I’m excited to say, this week we’re adding a 2nd service at our Northwestern Campus! (Our 5th Service!) So, here is the newest break-down of our weekend services:Saturday evening at the Operation Center / Coffee House: at 5 pm.
Sunday morning at Fridley High School: 9 am (live) & 11 am (video venue).
Sunday morning at Northwestern: 9 am (video venue) & 11 am (live).
Again, I’m going to preaching live at least once a weekend at each of our three campuses; but, once you see our “dual-feed” high-def-video-screens at both Sunday campuses, you may actually prefer the video venues (like many hundreds already do at Fridley).
So, many of you are probably thinking: “Pastor, how can I help out with all of these changes?” Well, my answer is three-fold: (1). Pray for all of these changes! (2). Watch the State of the Church address ASAP. And finally (3). If you already attend Northwestern, commit to our 9am service for 4 weeks! I know it sounds weird; but, for 2 services to work at Northwestern, we need about 400 people to voluntarily attend our 9 am service for a temporary period of time. If, after 4 weeks, you want to switch back, then that’s perfectly fine. However, if we don’t free up seats at our 11am service, then our unchurched friends will be the first to stop coming. Make sense? But, never fear: We’ll have extra coffee available for you! And we also have a few fun surprises planned for those of you who attend our video venues! So, get ready Substance!
But, in the meantime: I love you guys! This is so much fun! Honestly, there is nothing more fulfilling than pursuing the Lord together. So, let’s know him & make him known! Amen?