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A few weeks ago on Liberty Church’s one-year anniversary, it was announced that a third community will be launched in Brooklyn in 2013. Yesterday I sat down with lead pastor Paul Andrew to get some more details on the exciting news.
When was the idea for a Brooklyn community born?
Well, Andi and I live in Brooklyn. When we first moved to New York we fell in love with Brooklyn, and for a while we thought first community might be there. When we launched Tribeca I figured our second community would be in Brooklyn. So, the truth is that Brooklyn has always been in our heart for Liberty Church. I walk around our neighborhood every week and see the need for more local churches to be pioneered. We’re meeting people all the time that we’d love to invite to a neighborhood church, and we’re excited for the Brooklyn community to be just that.
What is the vision for the Brooklyn community?
If Brooklyn were a city on its own, it would be the fourth largest city in America ahead of Houston, TX. It was also once called “The City of Churches,” but sadly today in my neighborhood many of those beautiful churches have been converted to apartments or office buildings. From the outset, our dream has always been to reach this diverse city by planting church communities in different neighborhoods and that each could reflect the people who call it home.
I do think that the Brooklyn community will wind up looking and feeling different than our communities in Tribeca and Union Square. Right now we’re one church in two communities. Even though they have the same DNA, the Tribeca and Union Square communities already reach different types of people, have a different style and personality – like two siblings that are part of the same family. I have no doubt that when the time comes to launch Brooklyn it will be a unique expression of the vision of our church in the context of the new community.
Who would have thought that in such a short time – by the grace of God and the generosity of our volunteers – we’d be in a place where we can begin preparation for our third community?
So, what now?
On our first anniversary celebration in January we announced our hope to launch the Brooklyn community in 2013 (click here to watch the video). We asked the church to pray with us for God’s wisdom and direction in terms of the timing, leadership, and exact location of the future Brooklyn community. Beyond that, right now we don’t have a lot of specifics. I do know we’ll have to continue to grow our volunteer base and to believe God for both the financial resource and the pastoral leadership we’ll need to see this new community launch in strength.
What can Brooklynites do now to connect with Liberty Church while preparations are being made?
First of all, they can of course get connected with either of our current communities. Secondly, we have Connect Groups that meet in Brooklyn so it’s already possible to get connected and be part of the family even before we have Sunday services in Brooklyn. Thirdly, sometime later this year, it’s likely that we’ll begin to gather a launch team who will pray and plan together. If you’d like to be part of that team when it forms, you can email [email protected] and we’ll make sure to contact you when we’re getting ready to build our volunteer team.