(12.20.09)-Well, it’s been a while since we last updated our New Jersey Christian Church plant news. As I look back on what our Lord has done in 2009, I truly fall on my knees amazed and overflowing with thankfulness. Are we “there” yet? No, but God is on the move with this New Jersey Christian Church.
Just to bring some of you guys who are following us here up to speed, Oasis-Church-NJ.com is a church plant in Union County NJ who is planning on launching weekly services on September 19, 2010. So save that date now, ok? Yeah, we know it’s not a great area to plant a church from scratch due to stagnant population figures and low numbers of housing starts, but this is where Jesus has led us. We came to Mountainside in March 2009 with 8 people who live 35 min away, and a five pronged attack strategy consisting of:
- Relational evangelism-By training our launch team to reach out to their FRANs (friends, relatives, associates and neighbors) by inviting them to our small group gatherings and programs like ALPHA.
- Servant evangelism– By facilitating and conducting free felt needs seminars on topics important to our target (ie: dating and relationships, finances, parenting, career, stress management and custody issue) at strategic locations such as colleges, libraries, top corporation employers and singles clubs and events across the county.
- Saturation evangelism-A persistent and planned marketing strategy that consists of using every available resource to reach every available person at every available time, which includes aggressively using media such as mailings, posters, online invitations, signs, tv, radio, business cards, press releases and other media buzz.
- Internet evangelism-By using our popular singles site and church website to blog,
podcast and write keyword rich articles that will attract seekers and unchurched people. Since we get tens of thousands of weekly visitors already, we also intend to start an Online Campus before actual weekly services start.
- Personal evangelism- By reaching out to at least 20 individuals on a daily basis.
Why I Am Stoked About Oasis Church NJ
Why am I excited about what God is doing here?
- We have at least 4 prospering Connect Groups that meet weekly
- Since we last wrote we have put together what I think is a great worship band
- Our church has officially partnered with Christian Missionary Alliance, a denomination that cares a great deal about the Great Commission and Church Plants and Church Planters. (In fact, I am now an official licensed minister through them)
- Our first real preview service is not until Easter (4.4.10), but on 11.29.09 we decided to test our systems by beginning monthly Sunday morning gatherings without any mass marketing (outside of the internet) or any full time staff! We were overwhelmed when 181 people showed up (see above pic), many who were unchurched! This was amazing since so far we have only had opportunity to fully implement our first 2 prongs of our overall outreach strategy, It was a wonderful feeling as we had to scurry for extra seats since we only put out 80.Â Although changed lives in Jesus is the ultimate goal, our little TEAM couldn’t help but be psyched and thankful for what they saw happening right before their eyes!
- As of 12.31.09, I am leaving my full time job in Family Court to dedicate my life full time toÂ church planting. Yahooo! I was SO frustrated having only 15 hours a week or so to do church planting, but am now SO happy I can do what I love full time.Â I also wasn’t to keen on the idea of cracking up, which is where I was heading if I continued to work 2 jobs and church planting. Since I will now have time to do stuff like set up our online campus and actually spend time in the communities around our church (I live 35 min away), I can hardly wait to see what the Lord is gonna do next.
What Our New Jersey Christian Church Needs
Even though we have cool stuff going on, we do have some needs as a church plant. For starters, it seems we can gather unchurched and non-religious folk, but we are having a Dickens of a time attracting some Christian leadership to help fill in the gaps. Quite honestly, some of our systems just plain suck. We need more staff in the area of child care. We also could use some creative arts/worship arts guys or gals and a teaching pastor or two, although He has brought a few guys to us who have potential. If there are any of you seminary students reading this and you’re looking for an internship, just give us a holler and we’ll set you up.
Overall, I guess I’m gonna to start to rant, so I’ll close it up here by wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Please pray for us? Promise? OK. And while you’re praying for OC please also remember all the NJ church planters, and especially my new buddies at Relevant Church who are out there sacrificing everything like we are to bring others to Jesus. Stay Tuned.