Fourth Community Frequently Asked Questions

What is this talk about a Fourth Community?

  • First Church has three existing communities: Downtown, Andover, and Offerings.
  • We are working to establish a Fourth Community in the Masterson Station neighborhood of Lexington.

Why are we starting a Fourth Community?

  • Jesus commands us as his disciples to go and make more disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • The mission of First Church is to make disciples across the street and around the world.
  • Based on research by Offerings Pastor Teddy Ray, the largest identifiable factor in the number of people in worship is the number of churches available.
  • Simply put, if you want more disciples, you need more churches!
  • People are more likely to find and attend the church across the street.

Why are we looking at the Masterson Station area?

  • The Masterson Station neighborhood experienced rapid growth after the year 2000, and now there are approximately 18,000 people in the area with only 4 existing churches (Southern Baptist, United Pentecostal, and 2 non-denominational).
  • There are no Methodist churches in the Northwest corner of Lexington.
  • There are no Methodist churches within a 3.5 mile radius of Masterson Station. (By comparison, all of New Circle Road can fit within a 3.5 miles radius!)
  • Our goal is to reach those who aren’t attending church today.

Where will you meet to worship?

  • We don’t have a building yet! The comment in the newsletter that “we know where” referred to the Masterson Station neighborhood, not a specific place to hold worship services.
  • We have identified possible places, but we are a long way from making decisions on our location.

What are you doing now and what is the timeline?

  • Gathering – Fall 2018
    • Meeting with people in each of our three existing communities
    • Recruiting a prayer team: people dedicated to praying regularly for the Fourth Community
    • Recruiting a launch team – people who want to help reach out to and shape a new worshiping community
    • Recruiting small group leaders – people who will meet weekly with those from the neighborhood who are likely either unchurched or have been away from church
  • Discipling – Spring/Summer 2019
    • Creating a plan to make presence known in neighborhood
      • Bold goal: That those who will worship with us will have seven positive encounters with First Church before we launch
    • Training small group leaders – late 2018/early 2019
    • Starting small groups – early 2019
  • Worshiping – Fall 2019
    • Worship location and style will be determined by the community
    • Launching too early is a common cause of failure
    • When we reach critical mass, begin worship

Who is leading the effort?

  • Mike and Carol Rudzinski (with support from their dog Doodlepunk!)
    • Second year seminary students at Asbury Theological Seminary
    • Members of First Church
    • Part of the Fellowship program at First Church
      • Mike served last year as the Andover Fellow
      • This year, Mike and Carol together fill the Fellow role for our Fourth Community under the direction of Pastor Teddy Ray
  • Mike and Carol need your help too!

How do I get involved?

  • Email us: miker@1stumc.org and carolr@1stumc.org
  • We are recruiting 3 teams:
    • Prayer team: people dedicated to praying regularly for the Fourth Community
    • Launch team – people who want to help reach out to and shape a new worshiping community
    • Small group leaders – people who will meet weekly with those from the neighborhood
  • You can remain a part of your existing community and serve on any of these teams!

Do we expect people to leave our existing communities to start the new community?

  • We are hoping that around 20 people from our existing communities will worship in the new community
  • We are not recruiting this group right now

Why aren’t you recruiting people to join the new community?

  • We don’t know what the new community will look like yet! Will it be traditional or contemporary? In a school or a warehouse? Do we expect 40 people or 200? We don’t know! We are letting the people of Masterson Station guide these decisions.
  • Once we have a better idea what type of community we are creating, we will look for people who are excited to be a part of starting it.
  • Do you want to help shape what this new community looks like? Consider joining our launch team or leading/hosting a small group!