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but what about the rest of us?

No matter how bad I want to see a movie, I will never go on opening night. I tried it once. It was uncomfortable. Maybe that’s the lazy, isolated American in me talking, but at least I’m being honest!

In fairness, I used to know the owner of a movie theater, so the night before a movie opened (at midnight) he’d open up the theater and invite his employees and friends to come see it—that was awesome. Now I’m just too old to stay up that late on a Thursday.

Nonetheless, there’s empirical research out there demonstrating how I’m not alone. For the vast majority of Americans (the research is different in Europe) when you walk in to a theater you intentionally leave that “buffer” seat between you and somebody you don’t know. Just for the record, the same is true in restaurants. You want it full, but not too full…

Why is that? I don’t know. I’m not a brain doctor. But I do know this, the same phenomenon occurs in church (I’m sort of a church doctor—I created a license and everything). When somebody walks in to a church for the first time, they want it full, but not too full. They want to be noticed, but not harassed. They want to feel comfortable, but not contained. Generally, people like space. They want to feel safe trying things out.

For some people, in our community right now, the thought of going to church is just as foreign to them, as the thought of going to a mosque is for you. It’s for this reason, among others, that we are adding another service here at New Anthem. We want people to feel safe, comfortable, and calm when they walk through our doors.

Now I understand the thought of adding another service might cause the opposite reaction in you. I fully acknowledge, this can be scary and/or intimidating, but I hope you realize while the future is unknowable, it’s not unimaginable.

I imagine the result of this is a win. A huge win! I imagine relationships will be better, ministry will be greater, and connections will be stronger. How?

Oh, because you can actually now serve more consistently (with greater impact) all the while not missing the service. We call it serve one, sit one. You can now have more flexibility, so if you need to go to grandma’s for lunch you can still come to the early service and make it there by 10:30 when old people generally eat. I call that 2nd breakfast, or brunch, but whatever. This gives our guests more opportunities to check us out on a weekend as well.

Hopefully you know our vision is to be a church that unchurched people love to attend. When we launched New Anthem nearly 5 years ago we knew that there were plenty of churches for church people, but what about the rest of us? I never really felt comfortable in church, so I wanted to create a place where I knew I could invite my friends and not wonder, “Is today going to be weird?”

So it’s with eager anticipation that I announce the addition of another service and new service times. I can’t wait to see you at 9:00 or 10:30 starting September 9!