Texas is known for its vast land. But even though our church is located in Texas, we still have problems with space. Our parking lot is not large enough to accommodate the attendees of both worship services at the same time. So there’s congestion between the two services.
We stopped serving lunch after the first worship service to try to alleviate the parking problem but it didn’t help. House church members starting bringing all kinds of food – doughnuts, rice rolls, boiled eggs, steamed sweet potatoes – and sharing them with house church members after service like they’re on a picnic. We make an announcement at 11:20 asking people to leave the fellowship hall and empty the parking lot for the 11:45 service but they don’t budge.
The problem seems to be getting worse. A shepherd posted on the shepherds’ board about bad experiences people have had in the fellowship hall. Many people posted comments and made suggestions. Some suggested building a bigger fellowship hall. Others suggesting adjusting the worship times.
Attendees of our 2-week House Church internship program said that they were impressed by our church members’ willingness to serve and make sacrifice. So I’m convinced that if there are problems in the fellowship hall, they must be few in number and caused by a handful of people. Expanding the fellowship hall will cost money and changing service times will require a lot of adjustments by many ministry teams, especially in the children’s department. I believe taking these measures is overkill.
I think the unpleasant incidents will be reduced if we do the following:
- Let’s start by being thankful rather than upset. Few Korean churches have a fellowship hall or parking lot as big as ours, either in Korea or in the U.S.
- When eating, invite members from other house churches and share your food. At the very least, be willing to share tables. We are one family after all.
- Since the number of seats in the fellowship hall is limited, put your belongings on the tables instead of on the chairs so that others can use them.
- Before taking empty chairs, ask the people who are near them if they’re being used.
- When the announcement is made to leave the fellowship hall, be respectful and leave immediately to make parking spaces available for those attending the second service.
- Consider joining the ministry team we’ll be creating to supervise the fellowship hall and help make our fellowship hall a more pleasant place.
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