Well ... this past Sunday the dream became a reality for the first time on a "normal" Sunday! (Not impacted by Easter or Christmas "crowds.")
We had 1,017 people gathered on this first weekend in November at our three campuses of Sonrise! So we actually had "Over a Thousand Tongues to Sing" - seventeen over to be exact!
Again, the best part for me was that I wasn't even "in charge" at any of our sites! We had three great teams leading the praise, and three awesome preachers! I get to "lead" through others!
I'm very proud of our new North Fort Wayne Campus team led by Brandon Risch (Campus Pastor), Justin Sommer (Worship Leader) and Lauren Kirkland (Family Ministries). This Sunday was our "public launch" at Cedar Canyon Elementary School with 145 people! Great start team!
Our Roanoke Campus continues to grow and make an impact in their new location in partnership with Monson Chapel under the leadership of Randy Samuels (Campus Pastor), Brad Thomas (Worship Leader), and Diane Samuels (Family Ministries). This Sunday they had 85 people present, an increase of 60% over the same week last year!
In addition to these two new campuses, 787 people gathered to worship our great God at our our Southwest Fort Wayne Campus which was actually over 26% above the same week last year! We have a great team in place here, with Scott Greene (Campus Teaching Pastor), Jeremy Woodall (Worship Pastor), Mark Hammond (Youth Pastor), and Shandra Hathaway & Coliss Wallace (Family Ministries)!
For those who like to know more about the numbers ... we had a total increase of 342 people over the same week last year - a 50% increase from 2009 to 2011! This is another example of the power of being a "risk-taking mission and ministry." The more willing we are to take the risk to follow the promptings of God to reach new people, the more ministry we are able to do! That's amazing grace!
As we've "sent" folks to help start two new campuses in the last two years - the Holy Spirit has continued to send new people to join our first campus - and bless our efforts to "reach up to God, reach around one another, and reach out to others with the Good News of Jesus Christ!"
O, For Two Thousand Tongues to Sing of our Great Redeemer's Praise!