Ok, so there are some frequently asked questions about this venture. Let's talk about them. Please use the comment field to put any other questions or thoughts out there. Thank you for indulging my cute little Koala. You know it is a secret internet tactic to use cute animal photos to garner attention.
What? When, Where?
We are hoping to launch a new church in West Chester, somewhere on the 202 corridor between route 1 and route 3, by the beginning of 2018.
Aren’t there a lot of good churches in West Chester?
Yes, there are many faithful churches and even a few large churches between Glen Mills and West Chester, however, compared to most regions the area is quite barren spiritually. Missiologists suggest that the saturation point for churches is about 1:1000 people and to that number, the area falls significantly short.
In fact, new churches are 5-7 more effective at reaching unchurched people than established churches. The growth of new churches often comes much more from the unchurched population than other churches. So, even though there are good churches, a new church will not be in competition with those already meeting. Additionally, most churches are most effective evangelistically in their first ten years. There have not been any newly planted churches in this region in the past ten years.
Will this be another Willowdale Chapel campus?
Many effective churches are more committed to the principle of multiplying versus the actual form of multiplication. So in recent years, growing churches are expanding in a variety of ways, through campuses, church planting, adoptions, mergers, etc. Often a driving factor in what determines the form of multiplication is the leadership available. I am, in particular, excited and feel ready to be a Lead Pastor, not necessarily a Campus Pastor.
How will this church be related to Willowdale Chapel?
Though the church will not have a governmental tie with Willowdale Chapel, it will be a daughter church, will forever bear the “genetic” reflection of Willowdale Chapel yet it will also need to become mature and independent of its mother church. Willowdale Chapel as its mother will share in each of the successes of this new church, just like any parent takes personal pride in the success of his or her children. The two churches will likely find opportunities to partner together in various ways as opportunities present themselves.
I hear there is a partner organization involved. How are they participating?
Stadia is the partner organization involved. They are NOT involved in the vision development, but rather the resourcing of a leadership team. They will, among other things provide:
A project manager
Resourcing for the management team
Stadia’s expenses will be paid back to it once the church begins to meet for regular worship services. Along the way, other churches will also be invited to participate by sharing resources, whether that be financial, human or equipment. Our hope is that this new endeavor brings as much of the Body of Christ together as possible.
Who is in charge of this thing?
A management team of 4-6 individuals will be formed as a set of trustees over the new 501c3 organization. This is not an elder board but a short-term group of people who will hire Marc as the church planter, oversee the budget, use of funds as well as the progress of the new church. They will be in place until church completes its second year of worship services. At that time, it will turn its leadership over to a local elder team.
Who is encouraged to go?
A Launch Team is being formed and will be made up of people from Willowdale Chapel, Celebrate Recovery, and others we meet along the way. Other churches will be encouraged to send their people also. For those who are a part of Willowdale Chapel, it is good to remember that 'going is the way of Willowdale Chapel.' Discipleship is the way of the rescue boat. This will be a great opportunity for those in the Glen Mills/West Chester area to take a next step in their faith. Establishing a church that has never before existed is an amazing challenge and opportunity. As you have a fresh opportunity to be involved with your friends in church, you will know that you will be establishing something that will have benefit to the community for many years.
Where will the church meet?
The church will meet in various ways from small groups to worship services. We expect our first worship services to be in a temporary location, like a school. We endeavor to have a less temporary, short-term location lease type location early on as the church establishes itself. We are looking at strategic locations along the route 202 corridor between route 1 and route 3.
What is the timing?
Think three stages. Spring and summer will be the time where the Launch Team is gathered and developed and together we train on the vision. This fall, we will launch groups and ministries. Then this winter we will tour different churches, and launch practice and preview services with a Worship Service Launch on Super Bowl Sunday, 2018.