A New Church for Greensboro

crossfellowshiplogoWe are pleased to announce the official launch of another healthy church, on Sunday, February 2. Led by pastors Jeremy Cooper, B.T. Burke, and Woody Taylor, Cross Fellowship Church is a new gospel-centered church in Greensboro, NC. The launch service was held at the Boys and Girls Club of downtown Greensboro and was attended by over 170 people. Attenders included a large number of community residents, as well as guests from the NACPF Board of Directors, members from ministry partners Open Door Church (Raleigh), Stafford Crossing Church (Stafford, VA), and Mt. Ararat Baptist Church (also in Stafford). As with every healthy church, the start of Cross Fellowship was a family affair, reuniting many Christians and churches who have worked and prayed to start a new church in NC. B.T. Burke noted: In preparation for the launch service, Jeremy, Woody, and I focused on three things. Preparing the Place – We hold our worship gatherings in the gymnasium of a Boys and Girls Club. This Boys and Girls club is an old building with a lot of wear that is scheduled to be torn down in about 3 years. As we moved towards the launch date we undertook projects to enhance the appearance and atmosphere inside the club for our Sunday morning worship gatherings. This included painting projects, creating a “front stage” area, replacing the chairs, putting up signs, creating and printing church information literature and several other aesthetic improvements.

Preparing our people – We had a really good size core group leading up to the launch and we wanted to lead them to fully embrace our vision and values. Leading up to the launch we talked a lot about our vision/values and began to implement them through small groups, community outreach events (ie Soccer Nights) and discipleship groups. We also wanted our core group to be ready and committed to serving.

Preparing the Public – The launch was the time when our church plant went public. Leading up to it we tried hard to find ways to make connections with people in the city that we could invite to the launch service. Some of these connections were impersonal such as the development of our website, google ads, a billboard we rented next to our meeting place and a postcard invitation that we sent to all the new homeowners in the area. Other connections were more personal that we made through our outreach projects and with neighbors and co-workers.

While none of these stand above the rest, the launch was significantly impacted by

    1. Energetic service from the launch team, 2. A large number of church partner guests in attendance, 3. Visitors from the community, 4. A welcoming time of fellowship after the service , and 5. A well-planned, gospel-centered worship service.

In addition, the team found personal invites and a thoughtful online presence were the most effective in drawing new people to the launch service. Finally, a careful evaluation of the launch service provided helpful insights for future church plants. Jeremy, B.T., and Woody found these points especially true:

    - Partnerships are important – It was encouraging to have partner churches and the NACPF send people to attend the service. - Relationships get new people into the church – The bigger and more impersonal advertising did little to bring new people to the launch service. - The launch service is important – Very little will change from what the core team did before the launch and what they will do after the launch. However, the launch Sunday was a time at which the new congregation could point to the core group and to partner churches as a key to enjoying a great celebration of God and what they want to do for Him in our city. The developing congregation, along with their leaders, were able to accomplish much leading up to the launch, because it provided a deadline to have the location, service, and ministries in place and running properly. It also gave the partners something to talk about and to be excited about. It allowed everyone to see what it looks like to have the worship area packed out with people praising God!

Yes, praise God! Cross Fellowship Church: We’re glad you were born!