My experience and research has led me to believe that those who think about the future the most are also those who are able to create a desired future the best. The daily whirlwind quickly and stealthily consumes our time and energy that could be spent on discerning a preferred future. At 801South, we try (although we are not always successful) to be intentional at continually carving out the space and time to be future-thinkers.
This past Sunday, we invited all who have been serving through 801South to attend a gathering and hear what our leadership is discerning about where God is calling us NEXT. We titled it, creatively, 801South NEXT.
So what’s NEXT for 801South?
We are most excited about our Community Launch on Sunday, September 7th. All of our expectations were exceeded with the Invitational Launch on April 27th of this year so it is with great expectation that we prepare for extending our reach and opening our doors wider early next month!
My prayer for this season is that our current crowd, which has averaged over 250 people each week, will continue to be ridiculously invitational and hospitable. I expect those who have been a part of the growth will be using a phrase regularly between now and early next month.
What’s the phrase? It’s easy. “Come and see.” That’s it. A simple invitation to those who you know are disconnected: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, teammates. Hey, why don’t you “come and see” this new thing with me.
And what has our growth looked like in 801South? In a snapshot, over these past nine months, 801South has grown from zero—to a group of ~50 interested individuals—to a launch team of over 80 teammates—to now a regular crowd of ~250 each week. And then there are the continually reproducing small groups. More on these in a minute.
As part of the NEXT level, we welcome Erik Langston as our first worship leader.
If it weren’t breaking my own rules, Erik might even fill the role of my newest man-crush! That’s how excited we are for him to join the Band and Creative Teams! Erik will be here this Sunday.
We have also been diligently engaging our local community and beyond with various channels of external marketing. You can hear or see 801South on multiple radio stations, print publications, online banners, and through other marketing avenues such as SEO (search engine optimization).
Take a look at some of the incredible promotional work spearheaded by our Communications Director:
Radio Spot for 91.9 New Life:
Radio Spot for Channel 96.1:
Promotional Video for All Pro Sound and Church Production Magazine
Charlotte Parent Magazine:
We are also in the middle of creating marketing material that will be featured in Creative Loafing, including their Best Of Charlotte edition.
I’ve also had the honor to apprentice our newest 801South servant as the first Small Groups Coach. Tracy has a very high capacity to serve in this ministry as a leader of leaders. She’s already put some effective systems in place and will be much better serving as a small groups coach than I have been. We love having Tracy, her husband, Matt, and their two sons on the 801South team.
We will engage in a big push for new small groups in September with these new groups launching in the first week of October. We can’t wait for you to see the new options and choose one of these intentional communities for yourself!
Sound like a solid NEXT level for 801South???
Whatever the NEXT level looks like, I can make some guarantees as we prepare:
We will ask for more.
We will engage people in community on a deeper level.
We will pray harder.
We will serve stronger.
We will resource other communities of faith to do the work of the local church.
We will continue to make an even greater impact in the lives of people in our community and beyond.
All in the name of Jesus and His Kingdom here on earth.