You may remember that back in January of this year we shared in a consultation weekend with the company MultiSite Solutions in regards to next steps with our North Campus. Since that time we also have held two, open town hall meetings to hear from folks in regards to the recommendations given by MultiSite solutions on the North Campus.
Throughout this process, our Lead Council has been listening intently to what was shared at the consultation weekend as well as the town hall meetings. After prayerful consideration, the First Church Lead Council recently decided to end our current North Campus worship service on Sunday mornings. The date of when this will occur will be determined by our North Campus leadership team but will be no longer than the end of the current school year.
As you know, the North Campus has been a special place for us. We have rejoiced in the progress we have made in developing “incarnational ministries” in the community around the North Campus through missional service days, connections with Cochran elementary school, prayer for the teachers, and movie nights to name a few. We have also celebrated the close-knit community that has developed with those who regularly attend the North Campus.
At the same time, one of the significant revelations from our consultation weekend was that we have been “in competition” with ourselves because of the close geographic location of our North Campus to the main campus and because the North Campus has not been able to operate in a completely self-sufficient manner. As a result, we have been spreading our resources thin in a manner that is not helpful to either the North Campus or our main campus.
From the beginning of this endeavor, we have approached our North Campus ministry as we do with any ministry opportunity… which is, “Lord… use us as you will. We are here if you wish to use us in this way and if you desire us to pursue another course of action we will do that as well. This is about you… not us Lord…” The folks at the North Campus have exemplified this spirit of humility and faithfulness in an incredibly powerful way.
We have learned a lot regarding our next steps as a result of what has happened at the North Campus over the last five years. In fact, it is abundantly clear to me that God has used the last five years to prepare us for the next five years.
While the current North Campus worship experience will be ending, we are still in a discernment mode as to how best to use the North Campus facility. In the weeks ahead we will be holding another gathering to hear from folks who have ideas and a passion to see new ministry possibilities emerge from the North Campus. Please be on the lookout for information about that meeting and please come if you are able to share what might be on your heart.
I ask for your prayers in this time of transition. I ask for your appreciation to our North Campus folks who have demonstrated the exact type of spirit and faithfulness we need to continue to grow in new ways. I ask for all of us to have spirits of humility and surrender as we seek not our will, but the Lord’s.
We know that endings are painful and can feel like “dark times,” but as followers of Jesus, we know that “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” I rejoice in the ways that the light of Christ has shined through our North Campus and truly believe that there is a bright future ahead for First Church as we take our next steps.
May we seek God whole-heartedly to discover all that God has in store for us in the days ahead.