The future is bright for Parker Hill Church! On November 8 & 15, Pastor Mark Stuenzi shared an exciting vision for the future of our church as we enter into a strategic partnership with LCBC Church.
2020 has brought into sharp focus what the purpose of the church is. Learn about what this year has taught us and how we’ve responded to God’s calling to serve our community.
As we enter into a strategic partnership with LCBC Church, you may have questions. The second message from Vision Weekends provides the information you should be aware of. You can also download a copy of our FAQ document or read them below.
Get to know LCBC Church and their lead pastor, David Ashcraft in this short introduction video.
2020 has been a challenging year for churches around the world. Churches have lost momentum and attenders have pressed “pause” on their spiritual practices of worship, serving, giving, and gathering together. It may still be many months, or longer, before we begin to see many people re-engage fully. We believe that the best way for us to move forward is to do so in partnership with a like-minded church. By collaborating and sharing resources, we can move faster and accomplish greater things. During our current hiring freeze, a strategic partnership will also lighten the workload for some of our staff members (including Pastor Mark).
LCBC (which stands for Lives Changed by Christ) began in 1986 when a local couple invited family and friends to come to their home to pray for their son, who was 16 at the time and had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. After a few months they began to talk about officially becoming a church but realized that the Lancaster area didn’t need another church like all the others. Instead, they asked the question, “What if there was a church where people far from God felt comfortable?” Senior Pastor, David Ashcraft, has been leading LCBC since he was called to Lancaster in February of 1991. About fifteen years ago, the LCBC Manheim campus reached capacity and township officials indicated further expansion was not possible at this location. The question was asked, “Are we finished introducing people to Jesus, or do we need to do something to be able to grow?” At this time the idea of multi-site – multiple locations for one church – was introduced. In fact, a team from LCBC met with us in 2005 to learn more about our approach to multi-site. Since that time, LCBC has grown to include 15 campuses, ranging in size from 5,600 people to 100 people in weekly attendance. For additional information about LCBC, visit www.lcbcchurch.com
LCBC and Parker Hill have developed an almost identical approach to creating churches that effectively engage the people of Pennsylvania. Like Parker Hill, LCBC is a church that understands the unique challenges of communicating the gospel to the people of Pennsylvania. We have remarkable similarities in mission and methodology. Our staff has enjoyed a close working relationship with the LCBC staff for more than 15 years. In fact, for the last ten years, Mark Stuenzi has met with David Ashcraft (LCBC’s Lead Pastor) on a regular basis for mutual encouragement and prayer. Our deep relationship with LCBC makes it easy for us to work together to advance the gospel in Pennsylvania.
There is no legal agreement or financial compensation involved in this strategic partnership. This is simply a framework for us to collaborate and share resources as both churches rebuild from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than both churches duplicating efforts, we will share ideas, systems, and ministry tools.
The most observable change will be sometimes hearing a message from an LCBC teaching pastor. Most of the other changes will be behind the scenes and will be in the form of systems and resources that will bolster our effectiveness. One thing that won’t change is our mission. We will keep doing what we have always done: help people find the way back to God. We will continue to provide a compelling worship experience (online and in-person). We will continue to help people get connected in authentic community, take next steps, and grow in their faith. And we will be a church that is for Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA). Our hope is that this strategic partnership will help us do what we’ve always done, but do it even better!
Our hope is that we can lighten the workload for some of our staff during our hiring freeze by allowing them to collaborate with LCBC staff and share resources. By joining forces with another like-minded church, our staff will be freed up to focus more of their energy on serving the people of Parker Hill and reaching more people with the gospel in NEPA.
As mentioned above, it’s unlikely that this partnership will have any direct personal effect on our church family. If anything, we hope you will notice that it strengthens our team’s ability to serve both you and our community.
Our Oversight Team has spent many hours evaluating the possibility of an eventual merger with LCBC. After many hours of discussion and prayer, they believe that a merger would be the best way for Parker Hill Church to make an even greater impact in NEPA. We see this strategic partnership as a time when God will either confirm our direction or close that door. Sometime in 2021, if we continue to believe that a merger is our best path forward, we will begin a series of conversations with our church about the details. Ultimately a merger would only be pursued with the affirmation of our Parker Hill members. For now, our attention is fully focused on rebuilding momentum through this strategic partnership.
During this season, please pray for Pastor Mark’s health, for wisdom and clarity regarding God’s future for Parker Hill, for strength for our staff who are working harder than ever, and for financial provision to continue making a significant impact here in NEPA.
If you have any questions about our strategic partnership with LCBC, just send an email to email@example.com.
In cooperation with orders from the PA Department of Health, and out of a heart of concern and care for our community, masks are now required for everyone ages 2+ while inside Parker Hill Church buildings.
For more information about what to expect while attending an in-person service, please click below.
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