Rise is Multiplying to Two Services
This is an exciting season in the life of Rise! We have been growing rapidly over the last year or so and the time has come for us to make strategic moves towards the future. Back in August of 2016, we shared that we were taking steps towards finding a 24/7 facility that will be a new home for Rise. The team that will lead our church in these next steps is already gathering together, planning, strategizing, and praying for Jesus' provision and direction. Our hope is to find, fund and move into that facility in the next 18-24 months.
One of the steps that will get us to our future destination is to continue making the most out of our current gathering place. As we seek to raise up disciples of Jesus, and as we continue in our vision to see our city saturated with the Gospel, we need to press hard into what God has for us over the next 18 months: To continue to see people meet, follow, and grow in Jesus.
In order to do this more effectively, the leadership of Rise has prayerfully determined it is time to move to multiple services. On Sunday, March 12th, Rise will multiply to two evening services. It's poetic that this will be our first service after turning three years old as a church. It's also symbolic that we are in the middle of our Rise Up series, and we are seeing so many people raised to new life in Christ through his body the church. And it's timely that this shift for Rise will happen during a time-shift for everyone—daylight savings.
So we want to share five vision-driven ideas as to why we believe this is the right move at the right time.
We Are All About Jesus.
Jesus said he would build his church, and across the world, even in areas that are especially hardened to the Gospel, Jesus is doing just that. We believe that Jesus has a gospel movement for our city. So we will not slow down in our calling as Christians to declare, display, and experience the Gospel. And this Gospel, this Good News, is for EVERYONE.
So by multiplying to two services, we are increasing the on-ramps for you to invite and invest in people who are disconnected from Jesus' church. We hope to see more over the next year. More people hearing the truth of Jesus through his word. More people experiencing the community of Jesus through City Groups. More people saved by Jesus because of the Gospel. More people adorning Jesus through worship. More people giving to Jesus—the one who gives all. More people declaring their faith in Jesus through baptism. To Jesus be the glory in the Church throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
We Love Our Kids.
Children are a precious gift from God. We believe we are called to make little disciples—not merely babysit children. Because of this we want the safest, most fun, most Jesus-honoring experience for all of our little ones in Rise Kids. And as we are running out of space in our gatherings, we are also consistently pushing our size limits in the classrooms. If we don't do something soon, we'll have to start turning families away on a regular basis. That's not ok with us.
Adding a second service will allow us to more intentionally disciple the kids that we have each week. And that is a huge win.
The other aspect of Rise Kids is that our kids volunteers are the only ones who have to miss the gathering on a regular basis in order to serve. This limits what we ask of these volunteers and is one less opportunity for connection to the body of the church. We want to greatly care for these volunteers as they greatly care for our kids. Adding a second service will allow the Rise Kids team to serve at one service and attend the other.
Community is Too Valuable.
As Sundays get bigger and bigger, we all feel a tension—excitement over all the new faces yet a fear of feeling unfamiliar with our growing family. Going to multiple services is one way to fight for a known community in the midst of God-honoring growth. Yes we want to reach more people for the Gospel, but we also want to share life, be known, and fulfill the New Testament's calling to "love one another" in the local church.
With two services, the 45 minutes in between will allow us to have the community interactions we crave. But even more important in this move is the need to get plugged into a City Group. We believe Sundays are a great time to learn together, serve together, worship together, laugh together, and be hospitable together. But when it comes to community, Sundays are just the tip of the iceberg. To really be known, to really be connected, and to really know Jesus, we must make every effort to gather together over meals, conversation, and prayer with the other people of Rise. We must all find our tribe.
We are called to raise up leaders.
As we all learn to follow Jesus as his disciples, raising up and serving his church is a huge step in our personal growth. In fact, it is all the members of the church, not merely the leaders, who are called to "do the work of the ministry." So if you are ready to call Rise the place you belong, now is the time to step up and start serving. You will grow like never before as you allow Jesus to use you to serve his Church, love his people, and help guests understand that they matter to Jesus.
Multiple services will open more opportunities for the people of Rise to step into volunteer service positions. We'll need more people helping kids learn about Jesus, more people making guests feel at home, more people preparing our space and returning it to how it was, more people praying, more people making this entire gathering possible. You are one of those people.
This Is A Step Towards the Future.
And lastly, we know this is a step towards the future for our church. One day soon, we will be in our own home, and this will help us get there. We always want to be opening new avenues for people to come and belong at Rise and this will help get us there. We want City Groups to spread the love and truth of Jesus throughout neighborhoods, all over our city and this will help get us there. We want a future filled with leaders stepping up to their calling as disciples to advance the Kingdom of Jesus, and this will help get us there.
We believe in the mission and calling that Jesus has laid before this small, local body of believers, found in this moment in time, at this specific place. We believe Jesus is calling us to trust and follow him obediently. This is just one small step of obedience, but we take it by faith. We take it together. As Moses said to God when leading his people in their next step "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us." In this, as in all things, we ask that God's presence would lead the way, and we would faithfully follow Jesus as his disciples.
For God's glory, our joy, and others' good,
Rise City Church