The official grand opening of New Life Community Church in Rogers Park just days away. Countless hours and thousands of prayers have been poured into the launch of our 15th location. We have invested financially by inviting the community. We have also invested in more practical ways through purchasing the sound equipment, chairs, children's ministry materials, signage, projectors, and much more- everything is almost ready!
I was talking to someone a couple of days ago who is planning and praying towards the launch of a church in another Chicago neighborhood. The community where he is planning on planting a church is weary from the number of churches that already exist. They have basically told him, "not another church, PLEASE!"
The conversation helped me remember why we are planting another location of New Life in Chicago with the goal of planting a total of 40 new locations by 2020. Here are the top 7 reasons that quickly come to mind:
1) The population has grown incredibly over the last 100 years, but there are less churches in the city. The reality is that there are over 45,000 households within a 1.5 mile radius of where we are starting New Life Rogers Park. Within a 5 minute drive there are over 300,000 people. The amount of churches people have to choose from are very few. And if even a tenth of the people decided to go to church that shares the good news of Jesus every Sunday, there would be no where for them to sit.
2) Some estimate that only 5% of the area goes to church on any given Sunday. There are several churches doing a great job of reaching out, but we need more people reaching out in this NE corner of the city.
3) Different churches reach different kinds of people. Our desire and vision is to be a multicultural church. Music styles and communication methods differ based on our cultural background. Our desire is to reach out to youth and seniors, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, those who are dark skinned and those who are light skinned, those who were born in other countries and those who were born here. We know we won't be able to reach everybody, but we do we believe there are people we can impact that others might not be reaching.
4) We need to make more room because God is answering our prayers! We fast and pray for our family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to come closer to God. We have seen hundreds of lives changed. If we believe God is going to answer our prayers we need make more room for those who are going to come. Instead of spending millions and millions on building a huge arena, we prefer to reach out to communities across the city and multiply our existing locations.
5) We have a unique philosophy of ministry that allows us to make an equally unique impact. When I was a youth pastor on the southside, our youth were greatly touched by the generosity of a northsider who helped us build a gym for children and youth. We are not 15 separate churches independently trying to survive. We are one church in 15 locations that cooperates with God and each other in seeking to make a difference citywide. As we are starting New Life Community Church in Rogers Park, we know that we are not on our own and are thankful that 14 other locations and thousands of people are praying for the Rogers Park area!
6) God has led us to start a new location in the Rogers Park area. He first put it on our hearts to pray for this area over the last two years. Without any marketing or any strategic effort other than prayer, we have had over 50 people from this area start coming to one of New Life's locations. Through a clear open door from God, we have been able to rent from the YMCA. Through many different reasons, we are confident God has led us to this neighborhood and we are simply just following His lead.
7) We love the Rogers Park community and surrounding areas! We live here. We love the diversity. We love the urban feel. We love the lakefront and we love the restaurants. We can choose to live anywhere, but this is our home community. We have people coming that live in Evanston, Skokie, and other surrounding neighborhoods that are less than a 5-10 minute drive away. We look forward, not to sucking up the community’s resources, but giving back to the community and serving here. Some of the people who drive from other neighborhoods come because this is where they grew up. Others who come are here because they love the nations represented in the neighborhood and want to serve this community. We look forward to discovering how we will be able to best serve the area and be a light here for God!
Our dream is to be a group of people who live out their faith and make a practical impact on this area of the city for God. We don't want to be served, we want to serve. We are just getting started and can't do everything at once, but our hope is that we would be able to make a positive difference in the name of Jesus Christ.
Our prayer to God is that we would not be just another church, Please God!
"Angel In My Arms"
Father Daughter Banquet
Fri, June 24th; 6:30-10:30 pm
Wishing Well Banquet Hall
5838 W. 26th St, Cicero
Fathers & Daughters of all ages are invited
Night includes Fellowship, Meal, Music, Dancing, Picture for each family, & Prayer of blessing from Pastor Mark
Space is limited
Cost for each Father is $25
Cost for each Daughter is $20
Questions? Call Midway office at 773/838-9470
On Line registration open only thru June13th. Registration at New Life Midway, Cicero, Berwyn, & Little Village on Sundays thru June 19th or online by CLICKING HERE