I recently got to go visit several of our clients. It was an awesome trip; such a cool opportunity to connect with passionate, kind people, and also to see what’s happening in these churches. One client I got to visit on a Sunday morning was True North Church in North Augusta, S.C. True North is a dynamic young church. It’s been meeting for 8 years at North Augusta High School, and plans are in the works to soon break ground on its own building.
Getting smaller while you grow
“We’re a growing church, growing by leaps and bounds,” said Jay Knotts, Executive Pastor at True North. “As any church gets bigger, we always hear that you’ve got to get smaller at the same time. Well, The City is doing that for us. And not only is it doing that, it’s bringing a cohesiveness among all of our departments here at True North Church. It’s uniting all us together.”
The church added The City earlier this year, and it’s taken off like a rocket. The vision for The City at True North is boiled down into their motto, emblazoned on the church Web site, on banners on campus, even on staff T-shirts on Sunday morning: “The City: Everything True North. Every day.” As Jay said, “We’re a 24/7 church. It isn’t just about what happens on Sunday.”
One of the primary benefits the staff at True North Church point out is the The City’s usefulness as a two-way communication tool. Right now, the church sees more than 1,500 individuals every weekend. As the number of attendees grows, True North wants to assure that the attendees feel they have a way to communicate back to the church. Currently, about 75% of the regular church attenders use The City to engage – both with church staff and with each other.
“We call it a church movement tool.”
“The City is that strategic way that we can connect with our people, get them engaged in ministry, get them engaged in community as we go larger,” Jay said. “We call it a church movement tool. It’s like we’re on this battleship together standing shoulder-to-shoulder out there in a battle for the Kingdom. So we’ve got to stay unified. The City is that platform that’s going to help take us there as we prepare for the future.”
Bringing missions back home
Recently, True North Church saw a big impact using The City when it sent a mission group to Haiti. “They were blown away by all the devastation and brokenness that they saw down there, and they wanted everyone back here to feel and know and experience what they went through,” Jay said. So one of the individuals on the mission created a daily diary of the experiences in Haiti and posted photos and even videos.
“Our people were able to see it in written form, but they could also feel it and experience it the way they did down there in Haiti. So now, that desire to serve the missions and support the missions has just spread. We’ve got a lot more desire to go down there and people wanting to be a part of these missions teams. We think that was pretty cool. It’s like we say: inform, engage, equip, unite. That’s True North on The City.”
You can learn more about The City, and about best practices for digital communication, by downloading the free ministry guide Building Disciples Through Engagement.
I want to hear from you! What does your church do to stay small as you grow larger?