Two Indiana United Methodist churches have launched a third campus this fall–Barnes UMC in Indianapolis and Sonrise UMC in Fort Wayne.
Below is a recent blog entry from Sonrise’s senior pastor, Rev. Stan Buck, regarding his church’s effort…
I’ll even say it backwards … woW!
Sunday was an exciting day – perhaps one of the most fulfilling days of my leadership in ministry. Though it was a VERY BIG day for Sonrise Church – I actually had very few real responsibilities – I didn’t preach, I didn’t lead singing, in fact, my most important role was to “encourage” other leaders – and it was a blast!
I began the day at our “first” campus in Southwest Fort Wayne, the one we started in 1987. I was able to attned our 8:30am Worship Celebration where Pastor Scott Greene was leading our largest site and preaching on Acts 2 about the “UPSIDE of Being Together,” the “BYPRODUCT of Being Together,” and the “DOWNSIDE of Being Together.” (If you want to hear his message, you can find it here.) In our three services there were 725 people gathered together!
By 10:00am I was at our newest campus in North Fort Wayne at Cedar Canyon Elementary School where our launch team had set up and was well prepared thanks to the leadership of Pastor Brandon Risch to hold our first preview worship celebration for this new site. It was a GREAT beginning – with nearly 100 people present! (There were 98 to be exact – but I’m not sure we counted the custodian – and there might have been a pregnant mother present!) With this kind of start, we appear ready to set our “public launch” for the first week of November!
I finished the morning at our Roanoke Campus – where Pastor Randy Samuels was leading our ”second” campus in the dedication of the newly built KidZone area at Monson Chapel where we are partnering together with this historically small country church. It was a record setting day there with over 115 present for worship, including 40 kids – probably the most children that have been in this church building in years!
Combining the attendance at all three campuses – we had 938 people gathered to worship our great God! This is 145 more people than we had in worship the same weekend last year – an increase of nearly 20%! And I was basically just an observer! I love it!
I’ve been serving this church for over 23 years – but I think the best is yet to come – we are now making THREE TIMES the IMPACT – and in the weeks ahead, I believe we will surpass the one of my early dreams inspired by the Wesley Hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” – which I share more about here.
I love leading leaders – and I love the impact that we can make … together!!
Note: The Indiana Conference encourages the development of such new congregations because they are an excellent way to reach unreached people.
A couple years ago the former North Indiana Conference gave Sonrise UMC a Church Development grant to help it start its new campuses. Applications for such grants are available at the Indiana website www.inumc.org. Contact your Church Development staff person for more details.