"ElementChurch began around a table with another married couple who were seeking to not only learn the bible, but to find out if there wasn’t more to living for Jesus than just “going to church”. In our small town of nearly 4,000 people, you’ll find some of the most amazing, hardworking, goodhearted people on the earth….but you’ll also find a distrust in church, a disenchantment with Jesus, and a slight empathy for the Gospel. It was for this reason we began our journey with Converge Great Lakes to plant, what is now, ElementChurch in the Summer of 2012.
My wife [Karlee] and I went to assessment and was given the “green light” to begin to raise support immediately. By this time our kitchen table was too small to seat the now 25-30 people who had began to gather at our house weekly to learn the scripture, talk about Jesus, and discuss how we can practically apply the gospel to our lives. Things were moving fast…and we weren’t sure what God was doing.
Our support partners were coming in slowly, but that all changed one Thursday night at our house when -a couple we had recently met- decided to come to our Community Group; they wanted to see what God was doing in the lives of others. After everyone left, this couple lingered. They expressed that they were amazed by the group and what they saw God doing. They continued to tell us that they wanted to help ElementChurch begin…immediately. That night they wrote out a check for the remainder of our support we needed…a check with a lot of zeros!! We couldn’t believe it, we cried, we worshipped, and that night we came to the reality that God wanted ElementChurch to exist.
ElementChurch didn’t begin like most Converge church plants; core groups, launch teams, soft service, pre-launch, and then main Sunday service launch. We began with people in Community Groups... learning Jesus, learning the Gospel, and how to apply both to their lives and to the lives around them. We would soon have two Community Groups and felt the need to have a Sunday Gathering ONCE a month so that our people could worship, learn, and experience life together. For nearly a year we only had ONE Sunday worship gathering. Eventually, we moved to 1st and 3rd Sunday gatherings and in January of 2016 we moved to gathering every Sunday.
ElementChurch gathers in a school that we partner with every Sunday. We stress to our people the importance of learning how to live like Jesus, how to live among the Body of Christ in Community Groups, and how to actively pursue the lost in our community with the hope of Jesus! We are a multi-generational tribe, full of people with checkered pasts, messy presents, and unpredictable futures….and that’s exactly what we want. Yes, people are being saved. Yes, people are being baptized. Yes, people are being discipled. But, we’re not doing it from a programmatic posture, or with cool music, big buildings, and lights. Nope, we strive to do it from the context of relationship, because we believe NO ONE should do life alone.
Where are we now? We’ve grown to approx. 100 people in our Sunday Gatherings, baptized over 50+ believers since we began, and continue to multiply our Community Groups in order to give more people a chance to hear the Gospel, learn Jesus, and build relationships with others.
We’re moving forward. We’re taking risk. We’re reaching out. We’re infiltrating our city, for the glory of God and the good of others."
-Wade Bishop, Lead Pastor of the most awesomest tribe around!