Live Oak Christian Church in Bluffton, South Carolina, dreamed of having a home of their own. Originally, the congregation met in a local school and later moved to the Bluffton School of Dance, but they had a bigger dream. They wanted to build, and that’s where the story takes an unexpected turn. They decided not to build a church. Instead, leaning into the heart of their mission and the needs of the community, they planned to build the Live Oak Performing Arts Center (LOPAC) in the Cultural Arts District of Bluffton Village, the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
If you were to drive by the new site of Faith Assembly Walterboro in Walterboro, South Carolina, you might think this was simply a church that had taken over an old grocery store and adapted it into sacred space. You’d be partly right. Faith Assembly Walterboro is a story of three different congregations joining together to form one new faith community in an abandoned grocery store. Church mergers can be tricky when they involve two bodies joining to become one. For three congregations to merge successfully is an amazing work of God.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Guest post by Karl Vaters The church is not dying. It’s in fine shape. Jesus said He’d build it, and He is. Relentlessly and beautifully. But individual congregations, denominations, and ideologies? Now that’s another story. While the church of Jesus around the world continues to move forward, chasing away the darkness with the light of Jesus, many local expressions of the church are watching their candles flicker in recent years. I believe the next decade or two will be critical for the Western church. The culture around us is experiencing a once-in-a-millennium shift right now—a recalibration of the way we think about everything from morality to sexuality, identity, and theology.
As a leader, you’ve never experienced a season like this one. Even before the pandemic, the pace of change in our culture has been ever-increasing for the past 10 to 15 years. The current generation of leaders are the only generation that has had to lead in a context where the pace of change is so rapid. Not only are you managing and leading through the tactical work, making plans and working in details, but there is also the emotional stress of change followed by change and then more change again.
During COVID, the opportunities for ministry impact have increased along with the complexities of how to offer an engaging and safe worship experience. Church leaders have wrestled with what to offer and how to offer it. How can you deliver high-impact, engaging worship services in the midst of constantly changing circumstances? How do you incorporate additional campuses if you’re a multisite church? How can you make the most of your facility during a time of varying usage?