Ever since we began as a church, we’ve looked for ways to effectively engage people throughout Columbia with the gospel. Our methods for accomplishing this are constantly evolving, since Columbia is a diverse place with diverse people.
During our |giv| series in 2012, we announced that we had plans to plant a church in the inner-city neighborhoods surrounding Allen University and Benedict College, as well as the Pinehurst neighborhood around Two Notch Road. Our goal from the beginning was to use the resources at our disposal to best equip this church to reach these areas of our city with the gospel.
It was this thinking that lead to forming our family of churches.
A FAMILY OF CHURCHES
Now, our family of churches looks something like this:
The goal is that each church in our family of churches would benefit from central resources that help them accomplish their mission at the local-church level. As a result, these local churches will be able to reach more people in their area with the good news of Jesus. This is our version of an approach commonly called the “parish” model.
HOW WE BENEFIT FROM A FAMILY OF CHURCHES
Some advantages of this approach are:
- Contextualization. Each local church has freedom to contextualize the gospel, church family, and mission in a way that makes sense for the people they’re reaching. Reaching a Downtown population looks different than reaching a Two Notch population which looks different than a suburban Lexington population. This model allows for each congregation to have their own personality while remaining true to our DNA of being a Jesus-centered family on mission.
- Central resources. Each church gets to benefit from infrastructure already set up. Necessary things like business, human resources, and communications can be taken care of by existing systems, freeing up local churches to focus on tangible ministry in their communities.
- Leadership development. This structure helps us to continue to empower people to do ministry and spread authority out.
- Best of both worlds. With this model of church planting, each church benefits from the resources of a larger church with the local, personal feel of a smaller church.
One of the goals in this process will be to keep each local church up-to-speed with what is happening at the other churches, so that we can all pray and celebrate together as a big family. Be looking for videos and updates from both churches as we continue our mission to be a Jesus-centered family on mission in the Columbia area.
For more information on our family of churches, listen to the audio from our August 2014 Family Meeting.
HOW TO CHOOSE ONE OF OUR CHURCHES
After all this, you may be wondering, how do I decide which church to be a part of? That's an excellent question, and we'd love to help you make that decision. Below, you'll find a brief description of each church with the goal of helping you decide where you fit best.
- Our Downtown church is the church that's been around the longest. It probably feels more "established" which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preferences. Our Downtown church is also focused on reaching the people within a five-mile radius of the Statehouse. So if you live in or near that area, or are interested in ministering in that context, Downtown may be for you. Find out about our Downtown Gatherings.
- Our Two Notch church Our Two Notch church was planted in 2013 with the goal of reaching the neighborhoods and communities, and schools in and around Two Notch Road. Where there is poverty, above-average crime rates, and below-average education, our Two Notch church desires to bring the gospel. If you're drawn towards ministry in an inner-city context, Two Notch may be for you. Find out about our Two Notch Gatherings.
- Our Lexington church was planted in August 2015 with the goal of reaching the greater Lexington area. It meets in the neighborhoods and suburbs of the greater Lexington area. If you live in the Lexington area and are interested in building relationships with people in that context, Lexington might be a great fit. Find out more about our Lexington church here.