Greetings from 1st Church, the dynamic outpost of incredible ministry in the name of Jesus Christ! As we are in the final stretch towards August 5th, our First Sunday in the new Sanctuary, I am absolutely amazed at how much has been accomplished by God through you the people of First Church. It was just over a year ago when I put a vision before each of you I felt God was leading us as a community to fulfill. In my newsletter article from last June, I wrote how I wanted us to dream together of
Letting God re-awaken within us at First Church the pioneering and apostolic spirit this church was built upon so we can share Christ-centered Oikos(Community) with the people of Downtown Memphis and beyond.
As I let myself look into the horizon and see the Oikos God is building I see these critical building blocks:
- A community of 200+ persons gathering together weekly for engaging, dynamic, and Spirit-filled worship.
- 5-6 missional family groups of 15-20 persons each learning, praying, and doing ministry together.
- A staff designed to support, equip, and free up the members of First Church to do the ministry of the church.
- A completed new sanctuary and a welcoming campus that serves the future of ministry at First Church.
Our goal for the next year was to pour ourselves into number four and do all we could to build and move into the new sanctuary. As incredibly daunting as that was, you all sacrificed time and money to make this happen. While we still have more to be done in the sanctuary for it to be considered complete, we are having our First Sunday of worship in the new Sanctuary on August 5th, 2018!
I believe now is the time for us to begin shifting our focus towards growing our worshiping community to at least 200 persons each Sunday in worship. I am not exaggerating when I say there are thousands of people in the downtown area of Memphis who were not a part of any worshiping community in 2017. Every single one of us needs to view ourselves as missionaries to the people of downtown Memphis.
This time last year, I knew God desired for us to be able to worship in the new Sanctuary but I could not fathom how we were going to be able to raise the money to do so. You, the people of First Church, were faithful as well as others in responding to God’s lead and look at what has happened in a year!
In order for us to be able to increase our worshiping community to over 200 persons each Sunday, we will need to:
- Personally invite as many people to worship as you can as often as you can. There is no marketing in this world more effective than personally inviting someone to join you.
- Commit to attending more regularly. If everyone who attends First Church were to attend each week, our guests will experience a much more dynamic and inviting time of worship.
- See yourself as a missionary on Sunday morning and not a consumer. In the coming weeks, there will be a number of ways in which you can sign up to be apart of a Sunday Morning ministry team.
- Worship! There is a distinct yet impossible to define feeling to a service of worship when the people present are truly opening themselves in worship to our amazing God.
I truly believe God has led us in building this sanctuary because He wants to build in us a growing and dynamic worshiping to serve those outside our doors.
Grace and Peace,