When Christ Lutheran discussed expanding our ministry to include two more campuses, we were very clear of the reason why:
It was not for bragging rights
It was not to make Christ Lutheran bigger
It was not to do something cool
It wasn’t because we couldn’t leave well enough alone.
We were very clear about the reason why we boldly launched these campuses. The biblical mandate compelled us to go out beyond our walls with the Good News. Lost people mattered to God. Life with Jesus is better than life without Jesus. And. . .and. . .and if we could figure out how to do multiple campuses well, we could be a teaching congregation for the reason of the country to train other to do the same.
Step One: We had to do it well.
Christ South is one of the fastest growing new starts in the country for the ELCA. After about 2 and a half years, we are averaging about 150 in worship--stunning for a denomination that has been losing members at a rapid rate. By connecting that campus to the larger Providence campus, we have been able to share resources, leadership, vision and finances while at the same time allowing for diversity in worship and programming. The result? We are reaching people who would otherwise not hear the Gospel. Well done.
Christ Concord is a new way of doing ministry. By yoking a small, struggling congregation to Christ Providence, we have infused a new vitality, vision and future that was not possible two years ago. Today, worship attendance has doubled and there is a renewed sense of mission with new people eager to share the Good News with others.
Step Two: We had to train others.
That second part of the vision is coming true the end of February as I am leading a conference with Pastor Doug Hill from Denver, Colorado, of about 40-50 people throughout the ELCA to share the vision and logistics of being an Anchor Church with multiple campuses. The training has three aspects. First, there will be a two day mini conference where we will work with leaders face to face. Second, Pastor Hill and I will conduct a monthly training session on line for nine months. Third, we will be available for individual coaching as these pastors establish multiple campuses of their own.
It’s a lot of work but to see this vision materialize is life giving. And as we launch this training for others around the country to follow this ministry path, I want to thank again the faithful response of the good people of Christ Lutheran who believed in this ministry, supported it with your prayers and shared in the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples.
To God Be The Glory,