Sundays are awesome....consider checking it out. But Sunday's are a small part of what we do. We are doing the work of community development in the Jackson Neighborhood. There is no such thing as a vibrant church in a crumbling neighborhood. Our neighborhood has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the city and 71 percent of our neighbors don't have a high school diploma. We aim to see our neighborhood improve and peoples lives transformed by Jesus.
We are a weekly gathering where people can respond to biblically based preaching, a small business employing neighbors with barriers to employment, and a family of non-profits meeting specific needs with specialized care in the Jackson Neighborhood.
This has been an incredible few months. WE sense that the holy Spirit is leading us in profound ways. HEre are some highlights from december-February 2017:
- 125 people attended our first birthday party! There was a great sense of celebration, loads of stories, fun for the kids, and a real sense of unity and vision for the future.
- We launched The Platt House, Neighborhood Church's first ministry house. This house will become a ministry hub in the Jackson Neighborhood.
- In our effort to provide biblical teaching and increase our capacity to proclaim Good News, our preaching team has grown to 5 people who are being developed as preachers at Neighborhood Church.
- We gathered a record number of neighbors to begin a discussion about starting a Neighborhood Watch program in the Jackson Neighborhood. We are sensing that more and more neighbors feel a sense of responsibility for our neighborhood's well-being.
- The staff-team at Neighborhood Jobs has grown to 5 students and the workers continue to learn job-transferable skills each month. In January they learned how to pour a concrete slab in preparation for a concrete job in April. The website continues to be useful tool to request jobs: neighborhoodjobs.info
- Set Apart Squad (SAS) kicked, our high school youth ministry, kicked off a Love and Relationship series at Roosevelt High School and creatively advertised to the students by walking around during lunch asking them two fill in the blank questions: Love is__? And, You know its real when_____? As a result, we gained a better understanding of how students define love in order to show them true love comes from God.
- SAS held an anaconda burrito-eating contest--boy varsity basketball vs. girls varsity basketball. The girls won! The purpose of this event was to introduce SAS to the student body attempt to bring more students into our core group. Over 125 students showed up and we established many new relationships.
- God continues to provide well-needed volunters for SAS & Neighborhood Ninos!
- We established key connections with the staff members at Roosevelt and established a collaboration which will provide an Easter egg hunt for the Jackson neighborhood during spring break.
- SAS also hosted a Christmas party with 30+ students in attendance. It was a great time to build relationships and community.
- We have taught (and continue to teach) our junior high students how to use SHAPE so that they can read the Bible on their own.
- The Neighborhood Church worship team has grown since launch day to 8 people, all of which are Neighborhood Church people.
- Roosevelt Aquatics, though ultimately a RHS program, hired Lawrence as the head coach for swim and water polo. This past year 2 RHS athletes began to get plugged in at NCF.
- In 2016 NCF saw God be provider in incredible ways! We ended the year with a positive income of $8k. Praise God who provides all our needs!
- We have seen connections/relationships grow with other city worship leaders. One way NCF is getting involved in this way is with City Summit worship. This gives us opportunities to be a part of the reconciliation that God is orchestrating in the city of Fresno.
- Our Sunday afternoon pre-service prayer time has grown to 6 people weekly. We gather together to learn how to pray and listen to God together.
- Kids have been learning to hear God’s voice as they complete their very own kid-appropriate SHAPE journals.
- In the last few months, Neighborhood Ninos collaboratively wrote their own psalm of praise and many have memorized Mark 12:30-31. They were so proud!!
What We've Achieved in 2015-2016
- We successfully launched a Sunday Gathering at Jackson Elementary.
- We grew by 87 people who are connected to our movement in the last 18 months
- We catalyzed 19 ministry initiatives which serve the neighborhood almost every day of the week.
- We partnered with 2 non-profits to address specific needs in our neighborhood.
- We helped catalyze two non-profits dealing with housing needs in our neighborhood.
- There's so much more we could say....!