By Jada Fisher, Staff Writer
“We’re pretty excited about the future of the church,” said George Wolff, over Strategy and Communications at College Church of the Nazarene University Ave (CCUA). New things are happening and have already happened just across the street from campus. A lot of it has to do with the vision for the future.
Senior Pastor Mark Quanstrom explained the vision in two aspects: One in accordance with the mission of being a disciple making church (Matthew 28:19), the other as being a church for the community and the college.
The strategy for fulfilling the vision concerning discipleship is committing to the apostles’ teachings, fellowship, worship and prayer found in Acts 2:42. For Quanstrom, discipleship is not only about the spiritual growth of the people within the church walls but outside as well. Being more missions-oriented locally and globally is a key initiative for CCUA. Just last year, they raised $100,000 for Global Missions.
The strategy for being a church for the community and the college encompasses being inclusive, accessible and hospitable. Quanstrom and Wolff want community members and students to come. They know that students want to attend a real church with ministries, not just a chapel service on Sundays, and the older adults like to be around students. Further, Quanstrom asserts that CCUA is not a top-down organization but bottom-up, meaning that the community has a highly welcomed and valued say in what they want their church to be. Sometimes we learn what God’s will is by listening to the people, Quanstrom said. “They have thoughts and ideas we won’t have.”
Being more accessible is a priority in terms of having more fellowship space and making the facility more ministry-friendly for everyone. As well as being a place that students can go just to study. The staff has already met with an architect. In the next six months there will be sketches for the new foyer. Those things will also help CCUA to be more a hospitable church.
They know that students want to attend a real church with ministries, not just a chapel service on Sundays, and the older adults like to be around students.
A “whirlwind of activity” and progress has been made within the last six months. The introduction of “Second Sundays” focuses on narrative and testimony. The “Ten Weeks of Prayer” initiative and two new adult Sunday school classes have also been added. There have been facility improvements such as glass installed in the main doors, an added conference room and pastoral care office, new software installed, new Starbucks coffee system and a new air conditioning unit for the sanctuary.
Being financially healthy has also enabled many of the new facility improvements, said Wolff.
CCUA is a newly reorganized church since separating from College Church North Campus (now Gathering Point). The church land was previously purchased by Olivet, and leased yearly for only a dollar. They are starting a lot of things from scratch, said Wolff. But the first concern is for what Christ wants in the church.