1 Church with 3 Campuses.
This is the step forward for Zion, Lodi, Immanuel, Jackson and Foothill, Valley Springs, as it looks to reach those in the Central Valley and surrounding foothills.
So, how are they doing it?
Pastor Matthew Duerr (Zion) and Pastor Tim Huber (retired but serving Immanuel and Foothill) came together with the question, “How are little churches going to make it?”
That conversation led to starting the process of setting up a corporate deanery or churches that have a joint constitution and finances as well as sharing a pastor, but keeping their present locations. They would accomplish this with Pastor Duerr traveling to a different congregation each week (with help from Pastor Huber) and a live stream of the service being shown at the other two locations. Involved elders and deacons at all three sites. In addition, time is spent weekly by pastoral staff to attend to the onsite needs.
“Everything kept falling into place. There was unity at every moment,” Pastor Duerr said. “A process that we thought could take 4-5 years took 11 months.”
The process culminated with a unity service with all three congregations in attendance at Zion for this year’s Palm Sunday. More unity services are planned in addition to Bible studies and outreach events on a rotating schedule.
Attendance has been up and has provided a new perspective for the members.
“It is a different viewpoint of ministry. It is the Lord’s Church,” Pastor Duerr said. “And the members have been wonderful.”