Bishop Ed and I are excited to announce and invite you to support a new faith project focused on young adults, ages 18-35.
For some context, my father, Bishop Ed transferred the lead responsibilities of shepherding the church to me in the early part of the pandemic. Because of covid, we were unable to host a formal ceremony to celebrate the transition and honor the foundational work of Bishop Ed and, my mother, First Lady Vanessa. We’ve postponed that ceremony to October 2022. Save the date!
In the meantime, we are still doing the important work of transition, which not only involves Bishop and I, but also the rest of the congregation. Namely, many of the men and women who have served alongside Bishop in Zoe’s early years are now entering into new and exciting phases of life. During this time, they are giving more and much deserved attention to their families, health routines and post-retirement activities.
In turn, Zoe must give more attention to emerging leaders and has identified the next 5-10 years as a critical time to do this. This means shifting much of the spiritual and financial weight of the ministry from people born before 1960 to people born after 1960.
This in no way diminishes our ministry engagement with our long-standing members. On the contrary, we are planning a host of ministry activities in the coming year that focuses on people 55 and older, helping them to engage in both life and ministry with new vigor.
At the same time, we are excited to make a significant investment in new leaders in their 20s and 30s. Our campaign is titled, “4G: Invest in the Future, Honoring the Past.”
The 4G concept is simply this: we measure our success by the fourth generation. This means that we invest in our children in such a way that our great-grandchildren serve God. It means that we disciple people with such integrity that our disciple’s disciples have disciples. It means that we plant churches that commit to planting churches that plant churches.
Our faith campaign is to apply the 4G principle to young adult ministry. Our goals are very simple:
- 50,000 Disciples
- 5,000 Kingdom Leaders
- 500-Year Vision
This seed money will help us to jump start the young adult ministry over the next 18-24 months. It is primarily a people investment, which includes the hiring of a young adult pastor, a young adult ministry support staff, and an internship program.
The emphasis of our young adult ministry is discipleship. We are focused on creating Christ-centered communities committed to life-long learning within the context of one-on-one and small group relationships. Over the next 5-10 years, we would like to see 50,000 participants.
5,000 Kingdom Leaders
For our purposes, kingdom leaders are 3 or 4G leaders. They are people whose disciples have disciples of their own. They could be people with a 50-person discipleship network. They could be church planters whose church plants have church plants. They could also simply be grandparents or great-grandparents whose children or great-grandchildren are actively serving in the local church. Over the next 5-10 years, we plan to see 5,000 of these kinds of leaders.
Our commitment is not only to the current young adults but to adults who have yet to be born. We are not only instituting a program but forging a characteristic that will be a permanent part of our church culture. Should Jesus tarry, Zoe will continue to do kingdom work 500 years from now.
We’d like to reach our goal by the end of 2022 and secure half of the investment ($250,000) by the first quarter of next year. You may pledge or give here. By God’s grace and your generosity, we are confident these goals can be reached! Thank you in advance for your support!
Dr. Joshua D. Smith, Lead Pastor
Bishop Ed Smith, Founding Pastor