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Breaking the 200 Barrier Renaissance Church in Decatur Illinois

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Church seeks to meet the needs of the un-churched and de-churched.

My church, Renaissance, is located in a small Midwestern city with around 100,000 people living in the county. It began as a Sunday night Bible study in the home of our pastor. Once his living room was outgrown, the church began meeting downtown at the local Arts Council building once a month. It wasn’t long before a more permanent home was found and after months of remodel, Renaissance began meeting every Sunday night at 6:00 pm. Steady growth over time soon filled our room’s capacity so that 140 chairs were no longer enough to seat everyone attending, and the decision was made to launch a second Sunday gathering, the first of which was held on Easter in 2014.

Growth continued over the next year and in the Fall of 2015 we added a third gathering, this time at 9:00 am, moving our 10:30 am gathering to 10:45 am. At present we have reached a point where an average of 500 people (including 130-150 children) attend our three Sunday gatherings. This presents us with many challenges in a building with a main room that seats only 140 people. We are presently under talks to purchase space that will quadruple our current square footage, making comfortable space for those already attending and room for more to join us.

This growth was sought unintentionally as more focus was placed on relationships and excellence in presentation than on numbers and growth. We have always wanted to care for and do life with the people who come, and Renaissance has always been a community where people feel comfortable inviting their friends. It seemed that the serious thought, intentionality, and preparation put into every song, sermon, announcement, and media presentation helped frame our message that life exists because of Jesus and you ...

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