On a recent trip to California, I went to visit Sandals Church. This amazing group of people showed us around their building & shared their stories of what they are doing to see people come to know Jesus. Here are a few things that I learned from our visit with them.
1. Their average weekend attendance is 5799 people and in 2014 they had 3890 first time attenders. They run 7 services at 2 locations each weekend.
2. Their kids and youth area were themed in a way that was appropriate for each age group, yet it all tied into the look of the whole building.
3. They have some creative people on their kids staff who write their own songs & make videos for their kids worship. It was fantastic! (Shout out to Andrew & thank you for giving me a jump drive of your videos at CPC. You rock!)
4. They had bulletin board for their volunteers where they communicated “stuff” with their volunteers.
5. Kids got a button on their birthday (just like at Disney!).
This past weekend, we had the Grand Opening of our new church building which has been under construction for over a year. We built a new kids area, renovated our office space, and built a 2nd auditorium that seats 300 people.
Having a Grand Opening creates an opportunity to invite people to come and see your facility & experience a little bit of what your church is like. Here is what we did for our Grand Opening.
Saturday Open House: (drop in format & people could stay as long or a little as they liked)
Kids Entertainment. We had 7 activities or shows happening at various times throughout the kids area which included:
- Birds Of Prey Show – a Raptor Conservatory that brought live birds for everyone to see
- Kids Music Entertainer – did 2 interactive shows for families
- Disney Princesses – 6 teens/adults dressed in costume and looked a lot like the Disney Princesses that you would see at a Disney Theme Park. Families could meet & greet & take photos with the princesses.
- Indoor Playground – our newly installed playground was open for families
- Craft Room – tables, chairs, supplies & craft examples for families to make together
- Balloon Animals – volunteers made balloon animals/shapes for kids
- Interactive Electronic Puppet – a software program we purchased from Little Mountain Productions.
Food – Several areas throughout the church had food stations for people to pick up a snack.
Decorations – We ordered punch balloons that had our logo on it. We started a few days before grand opening to blow up all the balloons. We used a tree stump as a base, and then attached a pole to the base. We put the punch balloon elastics over the poles to create balloon pillars.
Give Aways – Kids could take a punch balloon home with them on their way out.
Other Entertainment – The youth band, and a drum circle did several shows in other parts of the building.
Ministry Displays – Many of our ministries made a display for people to see. This helped give people an idea of some of the programs that are offered at our church.
Sunday Dedication Service – We had a service to dedicate the building. We invited the trades who worked on the project as well as dignitaries from our area. We also included a ribbon cutting in the service.