Posted By: Tim Mannin
INTRODUCTION: This is entry one of eighteen in a writing series that we are doing about OKC Community Church. We wanted to write about some of the things that sort of lie underneath the surface of our church. These writings include various thoughts – some things are very minor in the grand scope of things, but seemed important enough to share…and some things are huge and foundational to who we are.
It’s sort of funny to watch the habits and rhythms of groups of people. One of our habits has become to officially start our Sunday worship gathering at 10:37. We obviously communicate that we begin at 10:30. We are sure this drives some people crazy. How many times have you heard someone say, “If you are going to say 10:30, you should be a person of your word and begin at 10:30!!”
Why do we do this?
This is a simple answer.
Community. We actually want people to show up at 10:15 or 10:20, in order to have 15 or 20 minutes of conversation with people in the church. However, even if you are a person that habitually shows up at 10:32 for church that starts at 10:30, well you’re still going to get about five minutes to get a few quick fist bumps and hello’s.
This is huge for us. We want to make it difficult for people to come to OKC Community anonymously. This isn’t a gimmick, a growth engine idea, or some bait and switch. This is an authentic and genuine hope for people to feel loved, accepted, and open to receive.
This is what we believe…
- We believe learning names moves people from Strangers to Acquaintances.
- We believe conversations move people from Acquaintances to Friends.
This is why we start 7 minutes late.
And by the way…this is why we have 7 minutes of conversation in middle of our worship gatherings. We make room for relationships. We make room for God to work through conversations.
This is for the purpose of creating a culture of community.