Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Service at TLC Mishref

Last year, I was invited to go to out with friends to a very special dinner.  There was a new Texas Roadhouse restaurant opening up in Kuwait relatively close to my house, and my friends had tickets for themselves and for us.  The best part about this dinner was that it was free, which is one of my favorite words in the dictionary!  Because the restaurant was brand new, they wanted to try out the food, the staff, and the service on people before it went to the public.  They wanted to take care of any issues or problems that might occur before in a smaller, more contained environment.  This is what is called a "soft opening." I can't really get that angry about my steak being overcooked if I'm not paying for it, right?  Actually, everything went really well that evening, I had a lot of fun with my friends, and we had so much extra food that we had to take some home.

In much the same way, we have been having some "soft openings" for a new service at TLC Mishref.  Thankfully, the main service at the Mishref campus has grown a lot over the summer and has gotten even bigger with the return of many people from summer holidays and the recent outreach that we had.  So, now we are nearly reaching the capacity of our service each week, and the leadership has been talking for a while about opening another service at 8am. 

The leadership team decided to open the new service on October 3, but also wanted to have several soft openings to make sure all the bugs and glitches were worked out before we announced it to the entire church and the public.  We also started these soft openings so that if people from our 10:30 service wanted to come to the 8am, it would relieve pressure on the amount of people who are attending our main service and will allow more and more visitors to attend.

Our first soft opening for the 8am was on September 12th, and we didn't have any one running the sound or worship in the beginning, so I had to learn very quickly how to use a sound board and some of the controls.  It was also quite small, with about 10 people not including the worship team and other people who were serving in the service.  It was strange looking at all those empty chairs, but all new services have to start somewhere.  The original Mishref service also started at around 10 people over five years ago, and it stayed that way for a long time before it began to grow. 

The second soft opening was the next week on September 19, and it was a significantly improved church service.  There were plenty of people to run sound and media, a great worship experience, and pastor Mark, the primary pastor at both services, preached a really good sermon. We also had nearly 40 people that attended the service, not including volunteers.  It was a much improved crowd and I was surprised that so many people came.
We have one more soft opening on the 26th of September, and then we have our official opening of the service on October 3rd.  We plan on having breakfast cakes and snacks on the 3rd as a way of blessing the people who come to the official opening, and it should be a lot of fun.  Please pray that this new service would be blessed by Jesus and that we would have new growth.  We would prefer that new people come to this service who don't go to church, rather than people who are merely switching services out of preference.  It should be a very exciting event! 

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