The Week In Brief(s) (5/17/09)

Every Sunday I’m sharing a recap on some of what happened that week. It will be quick (in brief) and I’ll write in my underwear (in briefs). Here ya go:

1. This week was a little different. First, I decided to take some extra time to be with God. Not that I haven’t been, but I felt like I needed some extra undivided focus. So I tried to take a little extra time each day, and a lot of extra time on Wednesday to hang with God.

2. Second, the week got even more different when my wife got in a car accident on Wednesday afternoon. She’s okay; my car is not great. But it meant I had to take some of Thursday to be a nurse. (Which I’m SO great at by the way.)

3. Some other stuff happened, and I did more (including getting to spend time with Jud Wilhite, Pastor at Central Christian; he is such an awesome guy) but I’ll just share one more thing this week. So here it is…

  • The Strip is a 4 1/2 mile “strip” of Las Vegas Blvd, and is home to about 26 casinos and lots of restaurants, bars, entertainment, tourists, traffic, you name it.
  • One thing we’ve learned is that to reach people who work on the Strip, we can’t be ON the Strip. People who work on the Strip don’t want to go back there. They don’t like the tourists, traffic, having to park in parking garages, etc.
  • We want to be a church “for” the Strip, and the people who work on and live around it. This makes it interesting, because if we’re ON the Strip it will work against us, but if we’re too far from it, we won’t really be a church “for” the Strip.
  • We have The Rave movie theater for our Sunday morning services, which seems perfect. It’s on Las Vegas Blvd, but about 1/2 mile down the road from where the casinos and traffic start. The cost of renting the Rave on Sundays is gonna be about $1,100/week.
  • The big work days on the Strip are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The big work shifts are like 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. That means lots of people can’t or won’t come on Sunday mornings. We still plan to have a Sunday morning service, but we’re also hoping to offer a service at another time – maybe Tuesday or Wednesday night at 7 p.m.?
  • This means we’ll need to rent a second location. Not sure what or where. It also means we’ll have to pay a second rent each week. Don’t know how much, but I’d guess $500 to $1,000.
  • That means $6,500 to $8,500 in rent a month!
  • Also, when we ask about the problems of people who work on the Strip, the thing we hear from everyone is addictions. Alcohol, gambling, drugs, you name it. So we really hope to be able to offer support groups. Unfortunately, we’ll have no place to offer them.
  • So … we were meeting recently with a guy who owns a drug rehab, and I mentioned that we’d love to offer support groups, and maybe someday he could help us with that. This guy said, “Sure. And if you had your own place, I’d help you pay your rent if I could offer a few outpatient recovery groups there.”
  • So I thought I should at least find out what the deal is with leasing space here, and had a friend find us a good commercial real estate agent. I assumed that there’s no way we could afford it – for instance, our office space in Virginia Beach is around $8.50/sq.ft, and that’s a good deal. Since we would need in the 8,000 to 12,000 sq.ft range, it seemed impossible.
  • The real estate agent sent a list of possibilities, some of which were as low as 69 cents per square foot!!! Almost all were around $1.00. Some are industrial space, some are in Strip Malls. They range from half a mile to two miles from the Strip.
  • This means we could potentially get a space that we’ll have 24/7 for as low as it would cost to rent two spaces for two hour long services a week!
  • I’m still not sure what’s gonna happen. We may not find the right space. It may end up costing too much. As we move forward we may determine that having our own space isn’t the best way to launch.

All of this is something I’ve been working on quite a bit. Driving around for hours looking for possible places to lease. Driving past options our real estate agent locates. Counting parking spaces. Trading e-mails back and forth with our real estate agent.

So please pray for wisdom for us. Do we want to lease space at all? If so, which space? Where? How close to the Strip is too close? How far is too far? And also pray that God brings it all together – the right space (if He wants us to have our own place), the money we’ll need, all of it.