When you have a sign by the front door of your church, like we do, that says, “Everyone is welcome here. EVERYONE” it changes the life of our church. It means we have to be open to everyone who wants to come, no matter who they are, no matter what they’ve done. We love living this out. It defines who we are. It also means that we need to have enough space for everyone who is coming. And there’s the challenge.
At our Peter’s Creek Campus, we are totally out of space. We use every chair we have on Sundays and still can’t fit anyone else in. Our children’s ministry is overflowing. Our Waughtown Campus is almost as full. We consider ourselves very blessed that God trusts us enough to bring us lots of people who are broken in every sort of way (aren’t we all, really?). But with all these children of God comes space issues.
We have been praying for a long time about what to do. None of the options have been great. There’s no way would ever say “we’re full” and not welcome new people. We can’t afford to buy or rent a space as big as we need (we would never spend that much money on a building – we’d rather spend it on feeding hungry people, giving the homeless a place to sleep, and teaching kids about Jesus’ love). There’s not another church around that’s big enough that we could partner with to use their space. In other words, we’ve been trapped. That is, until God stepped in. Again.
About a month ago, a group from The Children’s Home and The Crossnore School (who is taking over The Children’s Home) came to us about starting a new campus in the center of The Children’s Home campus. The Children’s Home is on Reynolda Road, just northwest of downtown Winston Salem. It’s very close to Reynolds High School. They want us to be the spiritual center of the new, revitalized Children’s Home, and the spiritual center of the West End community. The Children’s Home campus is a 200 acre campus with a sanctuary, a gym, ropes course, auditorium, and lots of housing where eventually over 100 kids in need will live. The community around The Children’s Home is very diverse, with lots of wealth on one side, and poverty on the other. They believe that New Story can be the bridge between The Chidren’s Home and the community around it, and a bridge between the wealthy and poor communities. This is music to our ears because we’ve done the same thing at our Peter’s Creek and Waughtown Campuses. They also wanted a church that would do lots of outreach with the children on campus. Perfect! We love children at New Story!
After lots of prayer, we are proud to announce that we will be starting New Story West End on The Children’s Home campus on September 11, 2016. We’ll move our Sunday morning worship from our Peter’s Creek Campus to the Chapel at The Children’s Home. At the same time we’ll start full children’s and youth worship in the auditorium, and have tons of space on the campus for cookouts and fellowship. It’s truly a gift from God and we believe God’s hand has been with us every step of the way. Both the Children’s Home and The Crossnore School have been great to work with and wildly welcoming. All of us are excited about the great things God will do in the future.
What about our Waughtown Campus? Nothing will change at our Waughtown Campus. We’ll still feed hundreds of people from the community on Monday nights and have worship at 7 p.m. on Mondays. Our ministry there is so important we would never think about leaving.
What about our Peter’s Creek Campus? We will still have our homeless shelter, recovery meetings, and other outreach at our Peter’s Creek Campus. We will not have Sunday morning worship, but in September we will start a Thursday night worship service called Java With Jesus. We’ll set up a coffee bar in the worship area, bring in barstools and tables, and create and awesome environment to have a different kind of worship service. We’ll have an acoustic guitar for music, and instead of having a sermon, we’ll have more of a dialogue on where spirituality intersects with our daily lives, current events, and the like. It’s going to be awesome. Each Thursday after the worship service we’ll have something special – a band, karaoke, a video or something cool. We’re still early in the planning stages for this and we’d love to hear your ideas!
We’ll have lot more details about this in the coming months. For now, please be praying for us. If you or a group you’re with would like to be a part of what we’re doing, please contact me at gro.hcruhcyrotswennull@ttocs. We’d love for you to play a part in any of the great things we are doing. An easy way to follow what we’re doing is on our Facebook page at New Story Church
We’re New Story Church and we believe EVERYONE deserves a New Story.