Mt Paran North’s Coming to Canton

Sunday Pastor Mark officially announced the launch of a new campus of MPN in Canton, to open in January 2012, and that Corrie and I will serve as the Campus Pastors there. A congregational letter was mailed last week that gave more details, and you can CLICK HERE to see some preliminary info on our church website. He and I are going to present a lot more information on Sunday, June 26th and allow people the chance to respond and get involved at both locations.

With that being said, I thought I would utilize the blog to talk a little about this process for us as a church. Here’s what we aren’t doing:

We are not planting a new church separate from Mount Paran North.
New, autonomous churches are needed, and we have started/supported several over the last few years out of North. However, that is not the purpose of this process. We are launching a new campus of our existing ministry. In essence, under the same umbrella we are multiplying and expanding our efforts into a brand new community. A win here, is a win there. Something to be celebrated there, will be celebrated here. We will leverage the resources of both campuses to reach people within each respective community.

We are not going to Canton because there aren’t good churches already there.
We are going to Canton because there are 85,000 unchurched people there. We know there are some good churches in the area who are doing really good things. We pray God continues to bless them. We are going to Canton to be a part of the God story He wants to write in people’s lives.

We are not launching a new campus because something in Marietta isn’t working.
God has really blessed our church. Our people are faithful to attend and give to support ministry. Our attendance is up pretty substantially over last year. We have more people in small groups. More people serving. People being saved and baptized. God is good. This is not a defensive move. This is offensive. I’m pumped to be a part of a church that is on the offensive to reach lost people for the Kingdom!

What we are doing…

We are attempting to respond to what we believe God is saying to us.
This started with our Pastor believing that God was calling us as a church to make a more concerted effort to reach people we weren’t reaching. It spread to a team of people looking at different models of ministry (including multisite) and making a recommendation. It has continued to spread to our staff, leaders, elders…all along the way there is a sense that this is what God has for us. As we move forward we will continue to seek God’s will and wisdom to discern what He is saying to us.

We want to mobilize more people for ministry.
Multisite by it’s very nature requires us to mobilize more people for ministry. We almost have to duplicate our serving teams from day 1 so that we can better live out Ephesians 4 and “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” We won’t have the luxury of a large paid staff in Canton, so we will rely heavily on volunteers. This means that those who feel a tug to join us in Canton need to understand that we can’t afford to have non-invested seat takers. We have to have co-laborers. As some feel called to Canton there is still work to be done in Marietta. So we need those who attend but aren’t currently serving in Marietta to find a place of ministry and join the team.

We’re going after lost people.
We’re not going to Canton so it’s an easier drive for current MPN attendees though we look for many from the Canton area to join us in this new endeavor. We’re not going to Canton so people from other churches will move over to ours. We want to fill empty seats with empty hearts, and present them with Jesus. That’s the only reason this is worth doing.

We covet your prayers.

We’re in for an amazing ride!