A “newhope” grows throughout Garner, Press Release

Check out what God is doing through Pastor Derek Mull and others at our first multi-site campus! Great job, Garner!! The newhope nation is growing in Garner… and continues with our 7th multi-site campus opening in Sanford this October!

Press Release: April 17, 2012

newhope church opened the doors of its Garner location in September 2010, a satellite campus of the multi-site church based in Durham. The vibrant and energetic ministries of newhope brought new faces to 2769 Benson Road every Sunday and, within months, newhope‘s staff and volunteers were pulling out every extra chair in the building to accommodate guests in each of the two services offered on Sundays. Those new guests didn’t just visit once, either. They came back every Sunday; they got involved in the church’s ministries and volunteered to be part of the welcome teams for new guests! Those first families that packed newhope have since become pillars at the church– most have become members, many of them baptized, many of them leaders of life groups in the church. And, the growth continues!


Easter Sunday, April 8th, newhope Garner opened an additional Sunday service to accommodate the ever-expanding congregation. Now “newhopers” and visitors can worship at the Garner campus at 8:45, 10:15 and 11:45 each Sunday. One might wonder, since, there are many churches serving the Garner community, why so much success at newhope?


In the words of Garner Campus Pastor Derek Mull, “newhope is the friendliest church you will ever experience, hands down! We encourage everyone to come as you are, whoever you are! We want you to experience God in new and exciting ways every week.” Mull and the Garner campus staff place a huge emphasis on outreach to the community. Hundreds of teens at local high schools have experienced Friday night tailgating with the church before football games and newhope Garner has a presence at Garner town events to extend that warm hospitality to everyone they encounter. On Easter weekend a free family event at the church brought in over 500 people for outdoor games and an Easter Egg Hunt. “The Garner community is one of high family values and a huge heart for service. It is full of people who can sink their teeth into our vision, live it and share it.” 


That vision is one cast by Founding and Senior Pastor Dr. Benji Kelley and his wife Pastor Amy Lynn. In the church’s ten year existence, the vision to Reach, Teach and Release has remained newhope‘s central focus and those three words can be seen posted on any newhope campus building. “We exist to reach people with the love and grace of God in Jesus, to teach them the Word of God and to release fully-devoted followers of Jesus to the glory of God,” says Kelley.


The newhope experience is truly a different one. From the moment guests pull in to the parking lot, they are greeted and welcomed. Parking is easy with traffic attendants pointing to the best spots available. Hot coffee and ice-cold sweet tea await guests in the lobby at no charge to take into the service. Dress is casual and the music is loud, live and contemporary. Most of all, the love and spirit of God are thick in the air. The messages and teachings of Pastor Benji are simulcast fromDurham to Garner for the congregation to view on screen each Sunday. “His genuine enthusiasm just radiates through the screen to us here in Garner. It feels like he’s right here in the room with us,” says Janie Deal, who has attended the Garner campus since it opened. “The experience here is just like visiting theDurham location.”


Kelley and newhope call their Sunday worship services “celebrations” and there is a lot to celebrate at newhope Garner. Over the course of Easter weekend, this Garner campus had over 1,200 people attend Worship and participate in Outreach! After the impressive growth of the children’s and students’ ministries, and after growing services to house the crowds – all of this in just over a year– it is safe to say that much more celebrating is to be done at newhope Garner!


The Church as a Rescue Ship!

{Some have requested that I post the last illustration that I used on January 22, 2012, to demonstrate the call of Christ upon the Church to actually be on a rescue mission.  This was my conclusion to the message.  Enjoy!}


ILLUSTRATION: Sinking of Costa Concordia – Did you see this?  Horrible tragedy off the coast of Tuscany, Italy.

When they make the movie about the Costa Concordia, and there will be a movie, there won’t be romantic tales about the events of last week or its captain. Italian authorities immediately arrested him on suspicions of manslaughter and abandoning ship prematurely. The ship went down and the skipper, the captain, jumped into a life boat and left it all.  Unbelievable.

TITANIC – It is fascinating to me that a century ago, this spring,  the Titanic entered its death throes and all those people died, as well.  Some of  you saw the movie.  Remember this: Leonardo on the bow of the ship! :) I have always wanted to do that on a ship.  This is the next best thing! :-)

ILLUSTRATION:  LOST AND SAVED – All joking aside, they have a list with the Costa Concordia, just like they did with the Titanic.  The list has two columns.  One is the LOST column and the other is the SAVED column!  Here is the deal… at the end of the day, there will only be two lists.  Those that are LOST and those that are SAVED!

ILLUSTRATION:  Church Architecture – Did you know…? Now you have thousands of churches in Europe that look like the inside of a ship, like Duke Chapel, but no one is in them anymore.  They have become monuments instead of missional movements! They believed the church was best represented as a refuge cruise ship if you will, in the midst of a chaotic storm.  They got one part right.

Both of these shipwrecks remind me of the same exact reality.

That is what Reach, Teach, and Release is all about!  We are NOT some comfortable cruise ship, crashing on the rocks of life and bailing whenever the going gets tough.  NO-NO, HELL NO, we are like a rescue ship, on a mission to save souls for all eternity.  There is a HUGE difference!

On a Cruise Ship, people expect to be served. 
On a Rescue Ship people expect to serve. 

On a Cruise Ship gratification comes from comfort and the beautiful scenery.
On a Rescue Ship gratification comes from participating in the mission.

On a Cruise Ship relationships are superficial.
On a Rescue Ship relationships are close-knit and meaningful.

On a Cruise Ship not much is expected of the passengers.
On a Rescue Ship every person matters and participates in the mission.

On a Cruise Ship the energy is put into those who are “on board.”
On a Rescue Ship the energy is put into those who are “out there.”

On a Cruise Ship you hear, “I like this” or “I don’t like that”.
On a Rescue Ship you hear, “How can I help?”

On a Cruise Ship the thrill comes from the food and service.
On a Rescue Ship the thrill comes from accomplishing the mission!

On a Cruise Ship individuals rejoice when they get to sit at the Captain’s table.
On a Rescue Ship everyone rejoices when one who is lost is saved!

God calls the Church to be on a seek and save RESCUE MISSION!  And there is nothing, I believe, that sets apart a church as an unstoppable movement of God– are you listening?– than acted-upon vision that cares about the same things for which God cares.  The mission of the Church is to rescue lost people.  And while a Cruise ship might seem more appealing, being on a rescue ship is far more fulfilling and thrilling.  To be engaged in a church like this, in my humble opinion, IS THE BIGGEST BUCKET LIST ITEM OF MY LIFE!

COMMITMENT:  Back to the neuroimagining!  Remember that proclivity we discussed in the beginning, to move from right brain adventure and risk to left brain logic.  Remember the cognitive gravitational pull that results in complacency, mediocrity, and is a downright insult to the God of Ephesians 3:20 – 21?

Can you imagine, what God can do with this church in the next 8 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20, 40?  Can you imagine? 

BANNER YEAR – some of you know, we have experienced a banner year! 2011 has been the most impactful and effective year in the history of this church! Check it out:

newhope in 2011…

* 1,214 Conversions/accepted Christ as Lord and Savior!
221 Re-dedications to Christ in the last year!
* 265 Adults and Students Baptized into Christ
* 1
73 % Increase in Attendance in the last year!
* 351 New Members in 2011
* Averaging over 3,000 people on Sunday since November! 

Now, I know this fires us up, and makes us feel good!  And it should.  We should celebrate the year we have had.  We are making hell less crowded and trying to pack heaven to gills! But hear me out, there is another number that should grab our attention today.  This is the number that still breaks the heart of God!

Central NC has a population of around 1.5 million people. Studies shown that about 33 % of those are be born again Christians.  Friends, that leaves:

990,00 people still left to REACH, TEACH, RELEASE! That is the number that breaks the heart of the Father! We love those other numbers, BUT God grieves over this number.

Are you in?  Ready for the next 10 years!?  Are you in for the next run! Our calling, our challenge, our blessing is to carry the vision forward as we follow a God who is:

“Able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20 – 21)

Are you in?  Seriously, can the God who is ABLE, able to count on you to carry the vision forward? If so, we are about to sing a song, called, Everything.  It’s awesome.  But listen, it is singing about giving Him everything!  Will you give Him everything through the movement of newhope church?

If so, there is a rock underneath your chair!  It is a rock with the Vision etched in the top of it! If you are in, in just a moment, I want you to reach down, grab that rock, and sing this song to the top of your lungs!

Let’s pray together!

Song: With Everything


First Press Release of 2012!

I just received this as our first press release by some local papers – to God be all glory and praise!



30 December 2011

This Christmas season, the newhope church community of faith gathered around, what newhope calls, the Tree of Hope to assist thousands of needy families throughout central North Carolina.  Together, the seven campuses of newhope church were able to bless over 750 families this Christmas. With an average household of 2.3 people, an estimated 1700 lives, or more, were touched by this generosity. Wrapped Toys, school supplies and personal hygiene items were piled high around the trees at the Durham campus, 7619 Fayetteville Rd, and the Garner campus at 2967 Benson Rd.

2011 made the 3rd year that newhope partnered with local organizations in the Tree of Hope to offer thousands of giving opportunities to bless adults and children in need. Some of the organizations participating included: A Helping Hand, Communities in Schools, Crayons2calculators, DurhamCares, Housing for New Hope, NC Correctional Institute for Women, Pregnancy Support Services, Samaritan HealthCenter, and Transforming HopeMinistries.

At the close of the 2011 Tree of Hope mission, newhope’s Senior and Founding Pastor Dr. Benji Kelley had this to say newhope members and attendees:  “I am so proud of newhope once again!  Your donations helped us fulfill the needs of so many and bless them with the love of Christ this Christmas season! In sharing your finances and gifts, God is demonstrating, through your generosity, just how much He so loves the world! (John 3:16) Way to go, newhope church! As I have said so many times before, you are the most remarkable and beautiful body of Christ I have ever known or served!”

For the second year, newhope has been named one of the fastest growing churches in America by Outreach Magazine.  Thousands attend Sunday services each week for the contemporary, relevant teachings of Pastor Benji Kelley. newhope church will celebrate its tenth anniversary on January 22nd at the Durham Performing Arts Center where doors will open at 9 am and worship celebration begins at 9:45am. All are welcome! 

More information can be found online at www.newhopenc.org.


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