Can’t get away from this…
Earlier this week I came across a verse that has really stuck with me. It’s made me grateful and hopeful. It moved me to reach out in gratitude and has caused me to pray more deeply. The writer of Philippians in the New Testament concludes his letter to the church he started by thanking them for their financial partnership in spreading the Good News of Jesus.
“As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.” Philippians 4:15-17
When you start a church in downtown Las Vegas, you’re not doing it for the money. And when you start a church that has a new strategy for gathering and reaching people, it can be difficult to find other churches that are willing to support the vision. At least this has been our experience at Downtown Faith.
We have had several churches both local and from around the country send very important one-time gifts and special project donations. These financial gifts have allowed us to carry the vision further and reach new goals as a new church. We are very thankful for those churches and church leaders.
New Church has partnered since day one…
When I think of Paul singling out the church at Philippi as his “only one” supporter I cannot help but extend my gratitude to New Church in Winston-Salem, NC. This church has partnered with us financially since day one. They have been consistent in their partnership. Without them we wouldn’t exist, at least not as we do now.
I thought I’d take some time to show my gratitude and honor the pastor and church that has been so critical to our mission and vision in downtown Las Vegas.
New Church began in January 2011 with the hope to…
“Help people belong, so they can become new through Jesus!”
They do this as well as any local I’ve ever seen. Their love for people and their ability to make people feel welcomed is unparalleled. They have a fantastic kids and youth ministry that serves the families from the area in a fantastic way. There are tons of young families in this booming mid-size city.
Recently, they have had the opportunity to purchase 25-acres in a key area of the city. They are hoping to move from “portable church” to a permanent facility in two years. With this in mind they have begun a capital campaign unlike any others I’ve seen. Through this campaign they will continue to help Downtown Faith, as well as significantly help other churches get started. Also, they will up their commitment to local partnerships within their city. This campaign will help them build a building for church and community gatherings as well.
One of the most important aspects of this new #MYNC campaign is their efforts in racial reconciliation. One of the most unique characteristics of New Church is how racially diverse they are for a church in the South. They see this as a gift from God. Early on this church had influential people from the young, black community in leadership and consistent involvement.
This has helped bridge a racial gap in the community, one present in churches all over the country on Sunday mornings. Their pastor, TJ Ward, wants to be an example to other churches and leaders of how the white and black community can come together to worship, serve each other, and create a new kind of racially diverse community.
I’m so excited for this “sister” church and their trajectory. I’m so grateful for their financial backing and friendship and encouragement and support of all kinds. If you’d like to know more about their #MYNC campaign you can go HERE!