I think we can consider Streets of Bethlehem a success. As stated Sunday morning, I would have been pleased with an attendance of 200 for the weekend. I underestimated the popularity of this event by about 1,100! If you can do the math, you know we had right at 1,300 for the weekend. Throughout the weekend, we made adjustments based on crowd size and reaction.
I want to give a big thank you to all the performers, construction crew, food preparation team and most importantly, Sunny Yeatts. Sunny has dreamed of this event for many years. Just after I arrived, Sunny began pitching this idea to me. Last year, I gave approval to begin the project. Sunny took that approval and went to work preparing a budget and enlisting workers. What we experienced this weekend is just the beginning of this endeavor. Although we made adjustments on the fly this weekend, Sunny, myself and leaders of her team will work on adjustments for next year.
Beyond the total number of attendees, one major aspect of this event really caught my attention. Given our understanding of the demographics of Sanger, one major goal of Streets of Bethlehem was catching the attention of young families. Each showing of Streets brought many young families to our building. The first showing each night was especially loaded with that target audience. Even better, I had the opportunity to personally speak with numerous young families who are not attending church anywhere. This shows that unchurched young families want to experience with their children the reason we celebrate Christmas. FBC Sanger gave those families the opportunity to do just that in a manner appealing to them. Great job church family.
Christmas Eve is just around the corner. The Pastoral Staff talked briefly this morning about the unusual calendar for this year. We are fine tuning our plans for Christmas Eve and will roll that out this weekend.