Monday, March 29, 2010

Changing Directions

Every new venture comes with risks. Launching Reveal as third worship service in January of last year brought with it new difficulties and different obstacles to overcome. No matter how well planned you are, there are always unforseen issues that arise once you begin.

With that in mind, we announced yesterday that we will be ending Reveal as a third worship service on May 2.

Let me give you a little backstory to the issue and then catch you up-to-date on where we're headed. Almost from the moment we began our pre-launch services in September 2008, the time of Reveal became an issue. Even back then, when we were finishing at 12:30 or 12:45 some Sundays, we realized that families with young children were going to be at a decided disadvantage should they choose to be a part of Reveal.

In fact, within a month of beginning the pre-launch services, one of our launch team families approached me about dropping out because of it. So when we launched in January, 2009, we weren't completely caught off guard when we weren't reaching a ton of families with young children. What did catch us off guard were the number of singles and college students who visited but told us that same thing - the time was an issue.

While the time was an issue, for the first 10-12 months, it didn't seem to hurt us tremendously. But slowly late last fall, we began to see a slow decline in attendance and participation. In the past few weeks, we began discussions about possibilities for Reveal. Steve, Will and I all had a tremendous desire to see Reveal succeed. We looked at changing times, changing places, changing days. We talked about taking a break for the summer and re-launching in the fall. Throughout the process, we prayed a lot about the future of Reveal and the people who had become a part of it. At the same time, as we looked at the time and energy that was going into planning and producing Reveal, we wanted to make sure that we were being good stewards both.

Our attendance in late February and early March had gotten to about 50 people each Sunday. While new people were coming each week, fewer were coming back long term. Finally, it was decided that we would end Reveal as it is currently constituted on May 2. The plan is to look for ways to incorporate more elements of Reveal in the 10:30am worship gathering as well as to explore bringing a Reveal-type service back in the Fall on a monthly basis.

As I talked to people yesterday about Reveal, most were saddened by the developments but happy to have been a part of the Reveal experiment. Almost all had a positive experience because of Reveal and the connections that were made through Reveal.

There is sadness as we grieve. That's ok. But let's not linger too long thinking about what might have been or what should have happened. Reveal is not the central point. Reaching people for Christ is. For some time, Reveal was a part of our journey. But the ultimate journey is the journey we take with Christ and there's no telling where that journey will take us.

Thanks for the prayers and the support over the past 20 months. I remember even before we knew that Reveal was coming, we just had Things changed quickly and will continue to do so.

Remember, we will still be in the Apex at 11:55am until May 2. We would love to see you drop in at least a few more times.

-- Peace, Jamie

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