Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Story of Vintage

Part One: What God Is Doing in Us
Part Two: Why Start a New Church?

Who are we trying to reach?

We are seeking to reach any person, but especially young families in Northwest Arkansas, who has grown disenfranchised with modern, traditional churches, but still value a relevant spiritual influence for themselves and their children (if they have them). These families are community-centered and technologically savvy. They are moderately successful, though they don’t want their lives to revolve around their jobs. Many are uprooted from their extended families and childhood homes, but they look back on their younger years with wistful nostalgia.

Where are we trying to reach them?

Arkansas? Yes, really – Arkansas. Some people might have the wrong idea about Northwest Arkansas. It is not the home of hillbilly hicks. Rather, it is one of the fastest growing and most innovative parts of the country.

Northwest Arkansas is a global crossroads. The Apostle Paul chose strategic locations in which to plant new churches in the New Testament days. Cities like Corinth and Ephesus were major intersections of commerce in the ancient world and therefore were key locations for church planting. With major corporations like Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt located there, the modern world intersects in NWA.

NWA’s unemployment rate is 2.4%, well below the national average. Some have even recently suggested that the rate has dipped to 1.9% in NWA. According to Ozarks Monthly, “A Milken Institute study showed that Fayetteville (along with the rest of Washington and Benton counties) was the top metropolitan area in the U.S. in terms of job creation, growing economies and business success. More recently, a complimentary report from the AARP cited Fayetteville as one of the 10 best places in the U.S. to live.”

Northwest Arkansas is a leadership matrix. Not only aspiring corporate leaders make NWA their base of operations, so do students at the University of Arkansas and John Brown University. Vintage Fellowship will have a unique opportunity to accomplish our vision and goal of using this strategic location to help train a new generation of church leaders.

Northwest Arkansas is a missional windfall. Though NWA is home to many good churches, we believe that there are many yet-to-be-reached families in this region. According to the American Religion Data Archive, 48.1% of families in NWA are unchurched. Additionally, the church membership growth rate in the last decade has not kept pace with the overall population growth of NWA.

Some NWA Links:
Northwest Arkansas
NWA News
The Morning News
NWA Tourism

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