It’s amazing how time flies! I can’t believe it’s been over three years since we first began the site at Lee-Scott. What started as a dream has been fully realized through hard work, dedication and commitment to reaching people with the love of Jesus Christ. The result is a high-functioning, healthy site with great leadership and a desire to see more done for the Kingdom of God.
Over the last several months our church’s leadership has been working with the Lee-Scott lead team to create a path forward into the future. This is the time in the life of any multi-site situation that a solid plan be produced for the continued health of the church and expansion of the mission. So our Executive Team authorized a sub-committee to work on that plan. That team consisted of myself, Josh Agerton (Lee-Scott Site Pastor), Jack Fisher (Cornerstone Director of Operations), John Sweatman (Cornerstone Trustees/Lee-Scott lead team) and Charles Bruce (Cornerstone Finance Chair). After several weeks of meeting, planning and praying for direction, we came up with a plan that was unanimously accepted by our Executive Team.
1. Permanent Location:
Continuing to worship in the gym at Lee-Scott Academy is not a viable option for the long term future of the site. So, part of the plan is to secure a permanent location for the site to worship, meet and be a home for the staff. There is a team of people at Lee-Scott dedicated to finding that location. Worship services will remain at Lee-Scott Academy for the next 2-3 years while this search is underway.
2. Office Space:
The Lee-Scott leadership has secured a space at Oak Park Independent Living Facility where the Lee-Scott staff can have offices of their own. We are starting the remodeling process on June 15 and will be operating there by July 1.
3. Transition to Church Plant:
Originally our Lee-Scott site was launched with the strategy to replicate the exact experience of our Hamilton Road campus. Early in our existence we sensed the need to allow for more flexibility and contextualization of ministry within this multi-site framework. This involved moves like the development of a site-specific leadership team, a shift to live preaching, family worship experiences, and local leadership over both the volunteer teams and small group movement. With these moves the site began to naturally develop it’s own identity and culture, something that brought greater health and vitality to the Lee-Scott body. While this contextualization was good and healthy for Lee-Scott, it also presented challenges to the internal structures and processes of the original multi-site model. Making a transition at this point to a church plant will empower Lee-Scott to more freely express vision and mission according to the unique context of their size, personality of the body, and giftings within the local leadership – we believe ultimately leading to greater kingdom impact.
Obviously this last part of the plan is a big one! It’s exciting to see how God has been opening the doors for this transition to take place. Even our District Superintendent and Bishop are both very encouraged to see us multiplying our church’s mission and DNA in this way. It fits right into an important part of the strategic plan of the United Methodist Church to grow into the future by planting more churches (of course, we at Cornerstone already know the value of that strategy!).
This transition will take place over the next six months as we work through Lee-Scott becoming a new church. They will launch in January under a new name but with the same spirit of Cornerstone to reach this community and the world for Jesus Christ. This new church and Cornerstone will continue to be partnered in ministry in several ways. Josh and I will continue to discuss, plan and vision together for our respective ministries. We look forward to this new church relationship acting as a witness to the community of ways churches can work together for the Kingdom.
Please pray for all that has to be done in the life of the Lee-Scott church family over the days and weeks that are ahead. We want to see God’s spirit continue to move in new and powerful ways among us.