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Ministry Impact Story: The Capstone UMC, Tuscaloosa, AL

Meredith Mahon Morris December 10, 2013

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Planting churches isn’t easy. Most church plants fail. Church planters burn out, and great dreams turn to nightmares, but church plants that survive change the world. Church planting requires dedication to prayer and planning.

river marketThe United Methodist Convention discerned the need for a new church in Tuscaloosa, AL. Founding Pastor Wade Langer, a graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, is building a Christian community where unchurched and dechurched people can experience Christ through faith, reason, and action in a local community center.

The church is a little over a year old, and 50 to 75 people gather every Sunday morning at their new location at the Tuscaloosa River Market to join in this vision. They are committed to thoughtful prayer and meticulous planning.

Starting a church in a college town isn’t easy, but God is moving and helping this young church plant grow. 50% of their people are in their target demographic of 18-35 year olds. God has used Capstone to reach people who say, “I haven’t been in church since I was a kid, but this is something I can be a part of.”

Ribbon cutting at The Capstone UMC

Ribbon cutting at The Capstone UMC

Moving to their new location, the catalyst of their current growth cycle, was the perfect opportunity to make some changes. They began several small groups and introduced a new church management system, Realm. Their small groups are taking off and Realm is making things easier.

Right now 3 small groups are meeting and growing. They didn’t want to start these groups until they were able to successfully track their people. They didn’t want their groups to get too big or mismanaged, and see people fall through the cracks or fail to get their needs met.  “We wanted to position ourselves to handle the growth we’ve been praying for faithfully.” -John Fleischauer

Realm was recommended after quite a bit of research. It had a lot of benefits. There was no server hardware to purchase or maintain, they could provide online giving, and they could consolidate their various systems. They were using one database for people and another for donations; now, they have one system.

With Realm Check-In, people feel comfortable knowing that their kids are safe. The leadership team is pulling information from it. They’ve set up their custom queries, and it’s easy for them to reach out to first time guest and third time visitors. Their data helps them make better decisions.

Please, remember this young church plant in your prayers as they seek to establish an outpost for the Kingdom of God.

“It’s really cool to not just feel like it’s going good, but now we’ve got the data to back that up.” -John Fleischauer

 

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