19th November 2014

Moving to a new Sunday venue (part 2 of 3)

What is the thinking behind the decision to move to one Sunday service at Harris? Four key areas have influenced our thinking.

We want many people to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and be added to the church. No doubt you would love to see many of these people come from your own friends and family.

When we started the second morning service at Drummond it helped us move from an average of 250 people to around 300 on a Sunday morning, which was very encouraging. However recently our numbers have plateaued and we believe
moving to a larger venue with more space will help us start growing again.

Sunday attendance is not the only way we should measure growth but it is an important indicator.

During the week our connect communities and groups are meeting together, praying, reading the Bible, encouraging each other, sharing food, reaching out to those around them and generally loving one another. This is fantastic and we want to see even more as we strengthen and expand our connect communities and groups in all the areas where City Hopers live.

When people from the same connect group attend different Sunday services, this can hinder the sense of family and community we are building through these connect groups and communities. By coming together in one service we will join up our mid-week community activities with our Sunday services. This is a good thing! When we launch our initial local Sunday congregations we will ensure our connect groups, communities and Sundays remain ‘joined up’ and pulling in the same direction.

Even with the two factors mentioned so far, it wasn't until we felt God was speaking to us that we seriously considered moving our Sunday services.

First, God spoke to Dave Nunn through a picture of Drummond being restricted by a large band, tight around it. Trying to grow was like pushing against this band and only served to tighten it. Dave believed God was saying we should leave the building and then the band would fall off us and the restriction would be gone.

God also stirred Vic Wilson’s thinking in the direction of a move when contemplating our lack of Sunday growth. In light of other areas of positive growth in the church, Sunday numbers seemed to have got ’stuck’. Around this time Angela Kemm (an ex-staff member visiting the church) also spoke to Vic and said she believed we needed to leave the building to help us grow in number.

These three things led us to start thinking about moving our Sunday services to a new venue.

The final piece of the puzzle is that even with these three reasons to move we couldn't do so without a new venue, that would work for us.

It was Chris Nicholson who 'discovered' Harris Academy Bermondsey and after visiting with Paul Brown, felt it could be right for us. Since then we have had two Sundays there, most recently our Remembrance Sunday service and our Vision Sunday on the 28th September.

it is important to understand that even though the elders and some other leaders have been thinking and praying about this move since early summer, the final decision to go to Harris only happened AFTER our Vision Sunday. The decision was made at the feedback meeting with our Sunday team leaders on Tuesday 7th October.

Since then many people have been working very hard to 'spread the word' and inform as many people as possible about this next exciting stage of City Hope’s story. To help do this, Dave Nunn and Chris Nicholson have put together a brilliant video about the City Hope story and our long history of moving: ‘City Hope: the journey so far’

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