South Campus in 2016
South Campus in 2016
Over 5 years ago we launched our South Campus with a heart to be stretched outside of our one campus model and with a passion to extend the love of Jesus to the South side of our city. Both of those things have definitely happened and are still happening.
As we approached 2016, the leadership team and I felt like God was leading us towards a transition. Many things were considered, including giving and attendance at our South Campus, but those were not the deciding factors. After prayer and deliberation, we feel clearly led that now is time to intentionally and dramatically adjust our strategy. Sometimes we cannot see what God will do on the other side of change until we step out and make a change.
God is stretching us, once again, to act outside of our existing models. As a result we are preparing to let go of our lease on our South facility at the end of January. Looking forward, we feel that this challenging decision allows us to re allocate the energy and expense from facilitating a second weekend service location in Bend, into exploring innovative and relevant ways of extending the life and love of Jesus into our community. We are so excited to see what God has in store as we intentionally create this space for something new. Pastor Gary Burton is staying on staff in Pastoral Care and Expansion, as is Melissa Blackett in our Westside Kids ministry.
As we look forward, it’s good for us to pause and look at how far we have come. We started our first weekend services at Elk Meadow Elementary, and held community outreaches of Easter egg hunts, summer BBQ’s and back pack giveaways. We moved to our present location next to the Giving Plate food bank on Third Street, and continued our community efforts with warm socks for the homeless, Easter Kids events, and partnering with the Giving Plate in Christmas giving and school supply giveaways. The South side of Bend definitely knows that we care about them.
South Campus has also been integral in our Westside Church growth as a whole- preparing us for new areas of expansion that we did not see coming. We have seen our Beyond ministry- both locally and globally- become an intentional and effective ear- and voice- into our community and world. We started an Online Campus- extending into people’s homes and work places, retirement communities and even other countries. Our South Campus set us up as a multisite church, which enabled us to be ready to adopt Sisters Campus at just the right time. We have learned to develop and send leaders and have recently become a resource church for the Burns community.
Change is always challenging- even when it’s also exciting. Our heart is that every one of our South Campus families will find Gods voice to them in this change, and that they will continue to see themselves as a part of Westside Church. We have always been one church with the same mission, vision, and DNA- and we are looking forward to South Campus and West Campus linking together for weekend services!
With Much Love, Appreciation, and Anticipation,
Pastor Steve Mickel