Thanks to the
hundreds of volunteers & staff who so generously shared your gifts of time and talent to make these services go! It really is a team effort, and we really are better together!
Thanks to you, too, Hope - because you brought thousands of unchurched people to church this Easter! Attendance was way up ... 29,000+ people at all Hope campuses (21,000+ here in West Des Moines alone) ... that's between 5-6% of the
total population of Dallas & Polk counties!
We celebrate those numbers with enthusiasm because they count real people, and God frequently brings life-saving faith to real people when they show up in his house!
It's true ... Easter traffic can be tricky, depending on which service you attend, and many end up sitting in the overflow rooms for worship. But the resurrection of Jesus is the best reason I can imagine for parking lot congestion, and a slightly less than ideal seat to celebrate his victory over our sin, darkness and death!
Still, as church leaders, we'll keep trying to get back to
Wells Fargo Arena for Easter (like we did in the past). Schedule conflicts with home games for the Wild and Energy on Easter Weekend have kept us away for several years, but we remain hopeful things might work out next year! Our plan would be to have an Easter Service in the arena, with live simulcast at all Hope campuses for those who prefer to worship in their familiar (and less crowded) church buildings.
Plan B would be for someone to build a new 30,000+ seat indoor stadium within driving distance of Hope - please let me know if that someone is you! ;-)
Looking ahead ... I'm excited for our
new 5-week sermon series
You Asked for It
, based on common questions asked by religious skeptics. It all starts this weekend - Pastor Andy and I will address the question,
Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
This is a great weekend, and a great series, to invite your unchurched friends to come back to church, particularly those who think faith is irrational. Come to think of it, this series isn't just for spiritual seekers, it's also for the already convinced who love to drink from the deep waters of history and Bible-based discipleship. Come & see!
P.S. Throughout 2017, our theme at Hope is
To (be) Know(n)
, based on 1 Corinthians 13:12. We want you to have every opportunity to find Christ-centered relationships within your church family. To that end, if you don't already have a Life Group, I encourage you to attend
Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 pm in The Bridg
(big community room). It's an easy and non-threading way to connect to a group - you'll hear the vision for Life Groups, watch a short sermon recap video and then discuss the sermon in small groups. Those same
sermon recap videos and discussion guides
are also available for existing groups - email
for more info. Get a group, get connected and discover the joy of doing life together!