Why are we moving to two gatherings? (and FAQ)
News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett
This Sunday, March 29th, is a big Sunday in the life of DCC. Not only are we moving locations, we are also moving to two gatherings, 9am and 11:15am. Last week I answered, “Why do we want a new building?” Here I will answer, “Why are we moving to two gatherings?” and address a number of other frequently asked questions. A move, with many implications, can create many questions. I hope to answer those here and alleviate potential concerns that any change is bound to bring. Some of us love and embrace change, while others among us run from it. The former is not “good” and the latter “bad”, just different, and my deep desire is that you all feel cared for in this important transition. This move, and all it brings, is a tremendous evidence of God’s grace and provision to us. It would be a shame if we were so concerned with the sea walls on either side of us, that we miss the fact that he’s opened up a way through the sea itself! (cf Ex. 14) Let’s rejoice together and prayerfully approach this next season with expectation. Please know that your pastors, deacons and leaders are available if you have any questions. So, with that, let’s turn to the questions:
Q: Why are we moving to two gatherings?
On a very practical level, we are moving from a theater that seats 550 to a new space that seats (maybe) 350. We just won’t fit together in one space any longer.
Q: When will the gatherings be? When will this start?
Starting this Sunday (March 29th), our gathering times will be at 9am and 11:15am at 2333 Western Ave, located in the Belltown neighborhood.
Q: What are the benefits of going to two gatherings?
There are many benefits of going to two gatherings given where we are as a church. First, two gatherings will open up more seats and, therefore, more space for people to know, and grow, in Jesus. Second, two gatherings will create smaller gatherings where we can actually recognize and get to know those around us (unlike at AMC). Third, two gatherings will create more options for Sunday morning worship and, therefore, greater flexibility. Fourth, two gatherings will ensure that no one needs to miss a gathering because they are volunteering. For example, if you volunteer with Cornerstone Kids or Security you can now volunteer during one gathering and participate in the other. Fifth, two gatherings will give more people the opportunity and joy of stepping out in faith to volunteer and serve in significant ways. Sixth, moving to two gatherings will prepare us for a similar dynamic that will take place when we send out our first church plant. All told, this is a really good move for us.
Q: Why don’t we start a new church instead of starting a second gathering?
We would love to plant a new church. We still plan to, Lord willing, many times over. We just don’t have anyone ready to lead a plant (yet). However, we are actively training men, saving money and praying to that end. It’s only a matter of time. If you’re interested, talk to me.
Q: Why do you keep referring to them as “gatherings” instead of “services”?
I promise I won’t be a stickler on this, but what happens on Sunday is a gathering not a service. We take our cars in for “service”, but we “gather” with Jesus’ people. Even more, what does that even mean? Is that talking about our service? God’s service? Who’s exactly being served again? The whole point of Sunday is not merely serving, or being served, but gathering together (after being scattered all week long) with Jesus’ people for worship, prayer, scripture and song.
Q: Who will be preaching and leading in song at each gathering?
Both gatherings will have the same preacher and band.
Q: What will be different about each gathering?
Generally speaking, apart from the Spirit moving otherwise, the overall flow and feel of both gatherings will be the same.
Q: Will we have enough volunteers?
The slots are filling up, but we still have volunteer needs. If you call DCC your church family, we highly encourage you to participate in the life of the family by serving in some capacity. Please visit the Connect Desk on Sunday or email email@example.com to get signed-up.
Q: Will this hurt our attendance, or lose momentum, by going to two gatherings?
No, actually, in time we expect the opposite.
Q: Won’t this create two churches in the same building? Will we lose unity?
No. We are one church that now gathers across two different times, on the same day, in the same building. The reason we exist is to build a great city, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God. That is not changing. We will remain vigorously Jesus-centered, gospel-saturated and Spirit-led. We will remain committed to declaring the gospel (in word) and displaying its implications (in deed). We will remain primarily focused on people. We will continue to put our energies into cultivating disciple-making disciples. In a word, we are still DCC, just with a new home base.
Q: Where will I park?
There are three primary places to park on Sundays. First, families, first-time visitors and those with any special needs may park for free in the two lots adjacent to our building (see map below). Second, for everyone else, you may park in the Art Institute parking garage and we will validate your parking. Again, unlike when we were at AMC, parking validation will now be for everyone. Just be sure to get a stamp on the way out. Third, for the time being, all street parking downtown remains free on Sunday. So, if you’re able to snag a spot near the building, have at it.
Q: Where will I drop off my kids for Cornerstone Kids? Can I pre-register?
Families can drop off their kids, with an adult, at the Cornerstone Kids entrance in the alley behind the building (see map above). There will be signage and volunteers directing the way. The CKids space and registration is just a short walk into the building. More information is available on the Cornerstone Kids group on The City. To expedite the check-in process, you can pre-register HERE.
Q: “Um, but I won’t see the same people any more?!”
There’s truth to this. We won’t see all of the same people any more on Sunday. But, here’s the question: isn’t this already happening? It is for me. I rarely get to talk to everyone I want to on any given Sunday. I want to, but there are just too many people. Per above, creating smaller gatherings will actually enhance, not diminish, our ability to be in relationship with one another. Even more, a major function of our Cornerstone Communities is to create smaller, consistent relationships around Jesus, his Word and his call to live sent lives together. If you’re not yet in a community, now could be a good time to make that transition.
I am humbled by Jesus’ goodness to us. I hope you are too. He didn’t have to provide this space, but He did any way. Let’s revel in His grace and ask Him to do something in this city that only He can do. It doesn’t have to be “business as usual” so let’s pray and labor to that end. Let’s ask Him to do something awesome here, for the glory of his name, and the joy of our entire city.
For Jesus’ Fame,