God is doing some incredible things in our Family Ministry across our campuses here in RDU. Our North Raleigh Campus has recently made a big move for their entire Sunday night programming, and we’re really seeing some great things happen. God has been faithful as always, and I praise him for the leadership of Tyler English (Kids) and Jonathan Lenker (Students) in seeing it come into fruition. The following is an update from Jonathan Lenker on behalf of the entire Family Ministry at North Raleigh.
A couple of years ago, the North Raleigh Campus staff of the Summit asked the question, “Instead of asking North Raleigh to come to our church, how can we take our church to North Raleigh?” The idea was simple, seemed easy, but it could end up being revolutionary.
We began to brainstorm. Our message wasn’t going to change. And we were committed to doing some of our programs the same way. But what if we changed our methodology a little? In fact, what if we took all our family ministry programming offsite to a place children love and students want to invite their friends to? Could that even happen? And if so, what would it look like?
Like Newton discovering the law of gravity, in retrospect it doesn’t sound that creative. But at the time, it stretched us past what we thought we could do. First of all, there was no place in our city we thought could do this. We didn’t have enough volunteers. Our buy-in from families wasn’t high enough. We told ourselves all the little lies that keep us stuck in ruts. Meanwhile, God was laughing, asking us to trust him where he was leading.
The Lord provided, and New Life Camp opened their doors for us to do all of our Sunday night family programming on a 70 acre campus in the heart of North Raleigh. It is just like God to hear all our dreams and expectations in prayer and then blow them up because they were not big enough. On our launch date September 7th, we saw 123 children, 74 students, 50+ volunteers, and 40+ parents in parent small groups. This past weekend, we saw even more children, students, and parents. We want to be a church for our families, where godly parents raise up godly children in the community of people pursuing godliness. That kind of used to be a line. It’s not anymore. It’s real and it’s happening. And not because we are super-creative. If God had not responded to our prayer, we would still be copying and pasting a methodology that wasn’t working.The hero of this story is not us, it’s God. He is anxious to save, desirous to move in our churches and our cities more than we are. And sometimes it requires taking a risk. A risk like moving out of the facilities you thought were helping you but were really holding your ministry back.
What we are praying for in the coming months is that God would use our church to build healthy families, healthy students, and healthy kids. We want to see broken marriages healed, students far from Christ get saved, and children understand the gospel for the first time. Will you pray with us?