Saturday, June 6, 2009

Future Tense

Have you ever looked forward to some big occasion for a really long time? Maybe you marked your calendar and counted off the days. When the big moment finally arrived, did you have a sense of overwhelming joy or a sense that the whole thing was somehow anticlimatic? For several years now, my church (Waters Edge Church -- WEC) has been planning to move away from being a portable church using rented facilities to one with their own building. Construction started less than a year ago (in about August 2008) and Sunday May 31, 2009 was the big opening day, the first services in our new building. Our lead pastor, Stu Hodges, commented that he had gotten two types of feedback from folks in recent days. Either the building, the grounds, and the experience brought euphoria and awe, or it brought some level of disappointment. I'm quite sure that the folks who expressed disappointment were not upset in the least with Waters Edge having a place of its own. Perhaps it was just with small architectural decisions, or color palette choices, or opinions on layouts, or location, or the modest size of the structure, or the selection of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies for the lobby hospitality area. It seemed the responses where either a 1 or a 0, nothing in between. I suspect that some folks just object to change. They get used to things being a certain way, and if they vary even a little, they are conditioned or programmed to gripe. Well, these contrarians need to stifle themselves (as Archie Bunker used to say). They probably were not there each week to set up and tear down the church when we met at the YMCA on Sunday mornings or to set up and tear down the church when we met at the Yoder Barn Theater on Sunday evenings. A huge amount of work, requiring a sizeable number of people. As for me, the experience of being in our new building, being a part of the process and the moment, was a total thrill. Our service felt so natural, our presence in this new locale seemed so organic. The band sounded great and the lighting was an exciting new element. Stu was on top of his "game" and gave a great first talk, and WEC was very much WEC.