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Briefs: Megachurch Reflection, February Sankofa

Smaller Ministries the Focus, Not ‘Mega’ Growth

IRVINE, CA (September 16, 2011) – OCWeekly features a cover story on David Gibbons, pastor of Newsong Church, and his decision to switch the direction of the ministry when it was on its way to becoming a megachurch.

The Evangelical Covenant congregation was started in Gibbon’s living room with seven individuals and now regularly attracts 2,000 people on a weekend. Rather that trying to grow the church larger, however, the congregation now emphasizes planting smaller ministries.

Gibbons says the critical moment came during an Easter service the congregation held at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2005. As he waited to preach, he looked out and saw with a new perspective the strobe lights, the rock-styled band singing a song by Creed, and the multi-platform stage.

“I was like, ‘Wow, this is a production,’ ” Gibson tells the magazine. “I started thinking, ‘Is this what our church has come down to? A consumer-orientated presentation?’ I wondered, ‘What the heck am I doing? Is that what I’m supposed to be about?’ ”

The congregation has started numerous ministries across the area, many of them focused on what Gibbons refers to as “misfits.” The congregation also has launched locations in Mexico City, Bangkok, London, and India.

Click here to read the entire feature.

Registration Begins for February Sankofa Journey

CHICAGO, IL (September 16, 2011) – Registration is now available for the Sankofa Journey scheduled for February 3-6, 2012.

Sankofa is a West African word meaning “looking backward to move forward.” During the four-day bus journey, participants are paired with someone of another race and travel through historic sites of importance to the civil rights movement.

Cost is $425 for participants from Covenant churches and $475 from non-Covenant churches. A completed registration form and $200 must be submitted no later than January 6, 2012.

To register, click here. To view a video from a previous trip, click here.

About the Author

  • Marianne Peters is a freelance writer, master gardener, and environmental educator. She lives in Plymouth, Indiana with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two mischievous ginger cats called Fred and George (after the Weasley twins of Harry Potter fame). From 2008-2013 she wrote the Creation Care column for Covenant Companion magazine. In 2011, her family decided to downsize by half, a decision that led to the publication of her book Declutter for Good: Share Your Life and Reclaim Your Life. She blogs about green living and gardening at www.freshwordswriting.com.

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