Soft Launch Reflections

I sit here Monday afternoon still kind of in awe of everything that’s happening.   We just came out of the first soft-launch weekend for Connexus Barrie, and it was so great. You kind of plan for months and dream for years and work hard at things…but to see it all transpire is a bit surreal. 

Some Monday morning quarterback reflections:

  • I guess we really are trying launch relevant environments in two cities at the same time.  Every day, I hear from people who offer encouragement but then ask the question…so you guys are trying to do what in how much time?  I guess it is a little crazy to try to launch two campuses within a week of each other…but it actually appears to be working.
  • Without trying to be insincere or sound like some marketing campaign that no one believes, I can honestly say I have never ever worked with a crew of people who have been so singularly encouraging and positive as this Connexus crew.  It’s like we all just moved to a new level. The faith and sacrifice of this group is unbelievable…I guess when we really did make the leap together last month we stepped into something that was much bigger than we are.  Your energy, prayer, devotion and encouragement and sheer enthusiasm humble and inspire me.
  • The band was so great.  I so totally missed our Sunday gatherings, and can’t wait till they’re wide open on Sundays for everyone in December.
  • I’ve never believed in the vision as much as I do now.  I care far less about size and growth and far more about seeing people changed.  And if we get to do that a thousand times over, that’s great.  What fuels me is that we get to do this.
  • I’ve really got to get used to video preaching.  The cameras were not the issue…but the lights were literally blinding.  It was like staring into the high beams of a lexus.  What I missed eye contact with people (the lights literally blind you). For me, preaching really is a dialogue, and I am constantly watching and reading people while I preach to evaluate how the conversation is "going" and what needs to be said.  We’ll play with the lights again this weekend so I can see more people…or else I’ll have to learn how to imagine the weekly dialogue in my head.
  • I miss my family.  This week is a week of catching up at home on evenings (no meetings in the evening for a couple weeks…). As much as the wider ministry is great, not being on the road again for two months is great right now.
  • I’m so praying for who everyone is inviting, and can’t wait to have a wide open foyer December 2nd and 9th.  I can only imagine how God is going to move in the lives of your friends, family and in these communities.

Thanks for a great weekend everyone. 

What was memorable/significant for you?


  1. Nancy MacLachlan on November 21, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    It was very exciting on Sunday. My daughter,who is 13, definately became inspired to get involved and volunteered to get connected with E team and Kids ministry. This is a gal who does not like getting out of bed! Further more, she's making sure her weekend visit away still allows her to get back to Barrie for the launch. This kind of enthusiasm is God moving through us and is so encouraging and awesome. Great to be part of this exciting ministry and hats off to everyone involved with the first soft launch.

  2. Terra Fehrman on November 21, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I think the Soft Launch last Sunday went very well. I arrived at 8:30am. I expected to see stress and chaos, but was greeted with warmth and calmness.

    The E-team did a great job. The first service was a little behind schedule, but definitely worth the wait. It was great to be together again. I agree, the energy was contagious.

    Thank-you to Scott and Troy for your encouraging words and support (via video). It has been hard to leave our building and some of our friends.

    Thank-you to the Connexus staff for being so well-organized. Our volunteers have really been pulling together to make all of this work and it is a pleasure to be a part of it.


  3. Laurie McNair on November 20, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    This is so cool! I can't wait to see how everything fits together. I wish that I could be involved with the techie stuff but I live too far away for that–I need to leave at 6 am to make it for the 8:30 service time as it is.

    Stage lighting can so mess with the presenter. Your messages have always inspired me to dig deeper into my relationship with God and others. When I was starting to go into a "faith slump" one of your messages would spark that fire again; Whether it was in person (small or large venue) or online. We may not always agree on everything but I know for sure that you are being guided by the holy spirit.
    May God bless this ministry. Let's Kingdom build!

  4. Doris Schuster on November 20, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Yes, it was an amazing day on Sunday. From being overwhelmed by the number of equipment containers that had to be unloaded and set up early on Saturday morning, to seeing it all in place and functional on Sunday morning, we have to admit that "God is in this". Connexus Community Church is being launched by an amazing team of leaders and labourers. Even the kids and the youth are already involved in helping in great and unexpected ways. It's awesome! Come, Holy Spirit… We're ready!

  5. jay hardwick on November 20, 2007 at 9:44 am

    carey –

    this is just great! so exciting to see the wave of momentum the Holy Spirit is building through the people of connexus. i join you in great expectation of that "wide open foyer!"

    pullin for you from the dirty south! 🙂

  6. Tim L. Walker on November 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    "It was just a great day no matter how you slice it."

    My thoughts exactly.

  7. Carey Nieuwhof on November 19, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Great Tim…glad you heard it that way.

    The raw number of volunteers, the enthusiasm of the group and the new faces in the crowd really make for a powerful combination. Plus, God has a way of delivering talented people when you need them. I was amazed at how many techie types were not just willing hands (which are always needed), but how many actually have a background and some expertise in the area. That was cool.

    It was just a great day no matter how you slice it.

  8. Tim L. Walker on November 19, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Oh yeah, I hear you for sure. I'm still in a state of wonderment as to how we actually launched yesterday. Even as it hit 8am, we still had such a long way to go. I think the whole volunteer group did amazing on Sunday. As for lights & video – it's just a matter of finding a good balance that works for everyone – an adjustment for all. 😉

  9. Carey Nieuwhof on November 19, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Hey Stephanie and Tim…thanks. The buzz is kind of contagious.

    Please please don't hear the light comment as a critique in any way. I am still actually rather in shock that we went from no gear to a video'd service in 36 hours. That's kind of Guiness Book of World records stuff.

    I actually have spoken at larger conferences with big lights and I've noticed how much I actually feed off of personal interaction between the congregation and me (the communicator). My point was simply that it will be an adjustment for me. I love seeing people's faces…you can sometimes actually see God begin His work in people's hearts…read the stories He's writing.

    Plus, I don't think we could have a better tech crew.

    By the way, family time tonight was great. Thank you God.

  10. Tim L. Walker on November 19, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    We'll fix the lights… and the cameras, too. 😉 It'll take a couple of weeks, but we'll find a good balance between you, the cameras, and the lights – I promise. 😉

  11. Stephanie on November 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    The sheer number of people blew me away! You are right Carey, there was/is an amazing feeling rippling through the theatres. Although everyone was very tired the excitement was contagious and friendly faces were everywhere.

    It was also so neat to see containers full of stuff transformed into those relevant environments.

    Probably the most incredible for me Sunday morning was seeing all hands on deck…including the kids! How neat to see an 8 year old directing where the flooring went in Waumba Land…I am in awe!

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