Expansion: The Purpose

john-cameron-passion2This post is a continuation from the previous Expansion post. This post is a transcript of a second sermon John Cameron delivered on his vision to see the ARISE Church grow to the extent that it has a nationwide presence. The aim is to pursue a supposedly god-given purpose which is to “Build a church for lost people” so as to “Impact New Zealand God” . A link to the the sermon can be found here. (once again, apologies for the poor quality) 

 

Well good morning everybody, how we all doing? Everybody good? Who’s awake? Who’s alive? Anybody care about Jesus? C’mon. We are glad to be in church today and welcome to all of our ARISE locations around New Zealand and everybody that’s with us online. No matter where you are can you welcome somebody else to the service. Just give people a big clap; will be awesome. Just welcome someone to the meeting; will be brilliant. And we are gathered here together today on an amazing moment. We are on the eve of our ARISE Expansion Offering. On every seat, if you’re in a physical location, then we have one of these brochures. If you’re with us online, you’ll just have to kinda look and see mine that I’m holding up. But we have a beautiful brochure for you today. You can check it out. We’re in the middle of the motion. Got amazing photos of our ground breaking ceremony. Some awesome statistics on what we’ve been able to raise so far and some details and you can sort of check out some images of the building and it is our faith journey. A great page there. Really wanna encourage ya to take some time to read through it. Amazing photo kinda journey all the way through the ARISE Centre, from the time that we broke ground until now. We’ve got a long way to go and we’re just so excited about all the steps that we’re gonna be taking so check that brochure out.

But this is indeed, for us, an amazing time in our journey and I love this time of our year. I have a love/hate relationship with it. In fact, just in the build-up to this Sunday, I read through all of my messages that I preached in the month preceding our expansion offering last year and realised that there’s a lot of similarities. This is a time for me when I, I feel distinctly alive, really fired up about our vision. It’s also a time of year where I go,

“What on earth have I committed ourselves to”, you know. “What have we said?”

Ah, a time where I don’t sleep that much but I spend a lot of time in prayer. But we’re excited about the season because this time last year we kind of publicly stated something and in doing so I really traded in all of my chits as the leader of ARISE, you know. Over the years you kinda gain a few credits. You said you were going to do this and you did it. We said that we were going to start a campus and we achieved it. Well you know, we said that we were going to go here and we got there. And then I’m like,

“Okay, alright!”

So there’s a little bit trust right now, a few chits that have come my way. You’re all hearing that with a “c” and not a different letter, right? Traded in all my chits and I said,

“We’re gonna go all out and we’re gonna believe God to raise 7.4 million dollars so that we can fund the ARISE Centre freehold.”

Yeah. And then the moment I put it out there and, I was like, “Aargh! What have I said?”

But we have been seeing the most amazing thing take place. I was straight up that, you know, it would be miraculous if we were able see that. But what’s incredible is to get to this point in our journey and just seeing the most amazing progress photos of the ARISE Centre. And I want everybody to know that the greatest miracle probably so far is that we have yet to pay a cent of interest, yet to borrow one dollar, and we’ve been able to achieve so much already. I’d love you, no matter where you to give god some great praise. That is indeed, an amazing miracle. Yeah!

And we are halfway, nearly halfway to our goal. We’re getting so very close. In fact we’re already planning for a special celebration when we cross that halfway mark to all of the construction costs of the ARISE Centre being paid for. And, ah, you know, for myself and Gillian, the board of ARISE, all of our staff and team, we just wanna say today,

“A massive thank you to everybody who has given so generously towards the ARISE Centre, empowered this miracle, gotten us this far.”

C’mon, can we give a big clap to the many, many hundreds of people who have been able to make this thing happen. And we are so close to halfway as a result of last year’s expansion offering and at the heart of this whole campaign has been this thought: one seat, one soul, one year. Because we know from looking at how many people have found Christ in our ARISE campus’s throughout New Zealand; that for every seat we have in an auditorium we will see a soul saved every year. One seat, one soul, one year. And what’s amazing about that is it’s literally six thousand dollars to buy a seat in the ARISE Centre, and I don’t know about you but I reckon that’s a cheap eternal salvation, you know. And together we’re giving generously, together we are partnering in this amazing miracle because what an awesome thing to give to; to know that for the next decades of our church’s journey we will, we will see, based on thirteen years of evidence, we will see a soul saved in that seat every year for decades to come. Yeah, c’mon, if you believe that that’s exciting, can you give God some praise.

Um. And so we’ve decided to do something new. We’re gonna, we’re gonna put seat numbers on the seats in the ARISE Centre so that if you partner with us and you say,

“Well, I’m gonna buy a seat or seats in the ARISE Centre.”

You’ll be able to, you know, stop by there from no matter where you are. If you’re in Wellington you’ll be able to go out there and check it out and be able to see, “Here is my seat number, I paid for that seat.”

I’m praying, I’m gonna believe God I can fund rows in the ARISE Centre. I was suddenly sitting down this morning thinking,

“Maybe I could fund a section.”

I’m just gonna go after it. I wanna challenge somebody to beat me to the first section. And we’re gonna go on this journey and we’re gonna fund this thing and it is gonna be amazing and next Sunday we receive this year’s expansion offering. So what does this mean? Well firstly, first thing that everybody needs to know is that if everybody can give what they gave last year, we’re nearly there. So I know that a lot of people really stretched themselves to give last year. If you cannot do the same this year then don’t feel guilty. Please, don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel like I’m asking you to do that. I’m putting out the opportunity, the potential. I’m saying,

“If we could do it, it’d be amazing because we would then achieve the goal. So if you could come with us and you could do it then man, come with us, let’s do it!”

I also know that there are many hundreds of people in our church now that weren’t in our church last year. And if I can encourage you, could you join with us in this journey, could you do something new and together, if we can do that then all of the construction costs will almost be paid for. We will be so close if everybody can do what they did last year. The second thing is that we would love every person in our church to just take part some way, some way. You know, last year we kinda put out there and we said in our expansion offerings previously, that the maximum number of unique givers that we’ve had-and often a husband and wife make up one giver-but, the maximum number of givers we’ve had before was nine-hundred and forty four. And probably one of the greatest miracles of this whole journey has been that through last year’s expansion offering, we had seventeen-hundred and ninety unique givers. That’s nearly double. That’s incredible. We’ve gone from nine-hundred and forty-four to seventeen-hundred and ninety individuals or families that took part in last year’s expansion offering. That is amazing for me because not only is it evidenced in the amount that we’ve been able to…by the way, this church, no matter whether it’s pulling off the largest gathering of Christians, building a debt-free building, deciding that we’re gonna add, you know, hundreds of life groups to our church or pioneering new campuses. When this company of people decide that we are gonna participate in something together, we do the most crazy things for God, don’t we? We pull of the most ridiculous of miracles and I wanna just encourage every person, whether it’s…if you can only five dollars a week, that’s amazing. If you can do ten dollars a week, that’s phenomenal. No matter whether you can fund rows or seats or part of a seat, everybody is part of this thing. Let’s all join in together. Let’s partner our faith as one and let’s believe for the most amazing miracle. C’mon, who’s with me believing that we can, we can see God do something truly phenomenal. The harvest is ripe, the future is great. Jesus is building his church. There is no darkness that can overcome the light of our God. If you believe it, give the Lord some praise today. C’mon

Oh, man, I was reading the newspapers at the beginning of this week and I was just feeling really like, a little bit discouraged, I guess, about the state of the world and the state of our nation and then, ah, and then I began to read the psalms this week just afresh, and I read Psalms one through nine and with my Children, we’re doing Psalm 119 at the moment; a stanza every night. And you know, I’ve just been awakened again to the truth that our God is on the move and his light will never be overcome by darkness. The church is emerging. Do you believe that? And then, and then just yesterday, there was an amazing story about this thirty-two year old Catholic virgin sharing her story in the papers. And I was reading all the comments at the end and the overwhelming majority of people were like,

“This girl is amazing; her faith is genuine.”

Woke up this morning, read another article about a media person in New Zealand who became a Catholic, but you know, we’re gonna take it as a win. Ah, you know, became a Catholic, you know, just a few years ago and they’re sharing his testimony in the media. I thought, you know what, I guess first it’s got to start as a seed of faith in our hearts, but then, you know, it becomes, eventually…we’ve gotta believe together that God is indeed on the move in this generation, that the church is awakening, that God will not be obscured in any moment in time, in any season of history. We are gonna build a church that is a light on a hill, that is gonna testify to the greatness of God in Aotearoa in this moment in time. And if you believe it, give the Lord some praise. If you’re in your bedroom, hotel, hospital bed, in every campus up and down this country, let’s praise our god together. Amen.

I’ve got one verse of scripture for you today and then we’re gonna dive in to the rest of this message; that was just my preamble. I got a little carried away and now I gotta condense it; the rest. But in the book of Acts chapter seven and verse forty-nine is a scripture that I don’t even need to read, it’s been so part of our journey since I first read this verse in a pastors conference in August of 2002. And it says,

“’Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me’, says the Lord”.

“’Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me’, says the Lord”.

And, ah, you know, a few weeks ago I was walking into church here in Wellington. In fact, the service had finished and I was walking out and I was in the foyer after a five-o-clock service, and a guy walked past me and he had the tell-tale signs of somebody who’d just received Christ; a big fluorescent orange “Yes” booklet, a New Testament of the Bible. And so I began to talk to him and found out that his name was Andrew Crowhurst and he’d made a commitment of his life to Christ that night. And I was so, like, awakened. I thought,

“Man, this guy has had a genuine awakening, it’s not…he hasn’t just lifted his hand, it hasn’t been emotional. I can really tell something supernatural was taking place in his life”

He’d genuinely found Jesus. And I was, I was so excited for him that I sent him a Bible that week; the same Bible that I read. And I sent it out to him and I said,

“Hey, I wanted you to have this, it’s Just a gift from me.”

And I mentioned his name to a couple other people; said, “I’ve met this guy. He’s amazing.” Well this week I was in the church office and I was walking past our photo copier machine; that I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to use and I can’t print to it. But I was walking past it and there was Andrew-just telling you, I’m just totally incompetent-but I was walking past and there was Andrew and he was standing at the photocopier and I’m like, “Hey, what are you doing?” And he said, “Well, I’m here in the office. I’m helping out John Barnes with the Young Adults ministry. We went on to talk. Found out that he’s now going to two life groups. The guy is like a double or nothing kinda Christian. I love those kinds of people. You know, and he’s like, “I’m going to this life group, it’s a course life group. I’m going to this one with a circle of friends.” And you know, I was just so blessed. I went home and I felt tremendously encouraged because as we said in our “You tell Donna Series” that’s why we do what we do.

From the moment in December of 2002 when I found myself walking down a beach in Lyall Bay, and as I was walking down the beach, I was praying a prayer, “God, what kind of Church do you want us to build for you”, because I had read that scripture in a Pastors conference and just having been so convicted that I had no answer. “What kind of house will you build for me?” And walking down Lyall Bay beach that day, the Lord spoke into my heart, I believe, supernaturally, and the word I heard was, “Build me a church for lost people.” From that moment until this the primary driver of everything we do around here is to build a church for lost people. Not for the initiated but for the uninitiated, not for the found but for the lost, not for those who have got all their Christian stuff sorted out but for the people who haven’t yet got their stuff sorted out; if anybody knows what I’m talking about. We are building a church for the broken, for a hurting world. This is why we God has the church and that’s what we’re a part of. It’s core to everything that we do. It is this mandate; build a church for lost people, that saw myself and Jeff Stanway and another guy in the February or March of 2003 up at Mt Vic, sorry at Victoria University, with little flyers in our hands saying, “Young, vibrant, real” and handing them out to university students. Neither of us have ever been to university but there’s no law against standing in the street handing out flyers. So we were handing out these flyers and as a result of it we began to attract young people, young students, to our church and one of them was just MCing our service today, Ben Carroll, and many others in other campus’s. And so the next year we took an offering, the prelude to our Expansion Offering, and we funded some proper flyers – we had some genuine university students by this point-and we sent them out there and said,

“Hey guys, just share the love of Jesus; make a difference in the lives of people; extend to others the opportunity to come to Church.”

And now, as a church in universities, nearly every single university in New Zealand, we have a presence of ARISE. We’re seeing hundreds, thousands come to faith in Christ and now we might be the largest university ministry in New Zealand, even though we’re just a local church. It’s amazing to see what happens when you say, “We’re building a church for lost people.” It’s amazing isn’t it?

And then, you know, as our church began to grow; we used to have one guy, his name was Dave and Dave was in our Wellington Campus and he used to walk up to our guest speakers and say, “Hi, I’m Dave, I’m the Youth Group.” So we decided that we needed to do something about that and get a few more teenagers to come along to our church, so we received another Expansion offering and with it we funded our first ever youth pastor; took a big risk on a really dodgy character; a lot of prayer, a lot of deliverance but Levi’s doing okay, he’s making it. He’s got a long way to go.

But you know, this Friday, this Friday just been, like two nights ago, there were nearly a thousand teenagers on just a totally run-of-the-mill Friday night; attended a youth service of ARISE in five different venues. God is indeed on the move, that’s amazing. C’mon, can we give God some praise for that.

And then, of course, we found ourselves with a new-found problem. We had all these young people coming, university students coming, but they had no way of getting to church and so we started to fund through future expansion offerings buses. We started to say, “Man, we gotta get these people to God’s house. “ And so now we’re funding these buses and off these buses come so many people from the community. Now we’re also doing, you know, through your giving and our Expansion Offering, breakfast clubs. At the moment we’re feeding eight-hundred children breakfast a week. We’re teaching Bible in Schools to six-hundred children a week. Yeah, it’s amazing isn’t it. Um, you know, through our giving as a church community we’ve been able to fund hot-cross buns, Christmas mince pies, community transformation projects. We give many, many packages of food to struggling families. We assist mums, grandparent, care givers, refugees to set up their homes. Follow Kelly Teal on Instagram, it’s worth it just to see the photos of these people whose houses have been just, you know, literally facilitated, crying children in the best sense, if you know what I’m talking about. People across the country having their lives changed. These are all incredible things that have been made possible because of our Expansion Offerings. We are building a church for lost people. We are here to impact a lost and broken generation. We’re here to be part of the answer and not part of the problem.

And then, of course, we began to realise that probably the biggest way that we can reach lost people is by starting more campuses; it’s the modern form of church planting. It’s the most effective form of evangelism and campuses are much more likely to succeed than just a church plant. So we decided several years ago that this was gonna be the centre of our outreach vision. Last year we started two new campuses. This year we started our online campus. And, you know, it’s amazing. I love just getting the opportunity to be across our campuses around New Zealand, to see what God is doing. Last year I spent a lot of time in Dunedin and man, people are getting saved there every single week. ; so many added to the church family; their lives are being turned around. And it’s just like the coolest campus you’ve ever been to. Our Hamilton campus, which we started quite a while ago now just has the most amazing front door open; of people finding Christ; the most remarkable people discovering Jesus. And I just wanna say today that I’m so proud of our campus pastors and of our campus launching teams. Now we’re not just sending a campus pastor to launch campuses but we’re sending whole teams out there and it’s amazing to see what these young, mostly young people, who are willing, normally, to move cities and see the work that they are doing. It is amazing

You know, for Ray and Emma Moore, Joe and Jess Bundycook, Dan and Sahanya Green, I call these three the gen two campus pastors. The reason why their gen…it’s like an iPhone, we’ve got generations and…or, you know, models; and the gen two campus pastors are all under the age of thirty. They’re amazing; the young leaders, who are doing an incredible work for God. Through our campuses in the eight months that have already gone-and we’re sort of halfway through the ninth month of this year-we have seen seventeen hundred and twenty-one first time decisions. That excludes recommitment. So I want you to put your hands together and give a massive applause to every leader, every campus pastor, every small group leader that have been on this journey. That is a remarkable miracle. C’mon.

When I was a kid in church growing up, you were more likely to see some weird person trying to put the pastor head through a wall-which I literally did see one time. You are more likely to see that in church than you will one person give their life to Christ. Well you can’t go to an ARISE service without seeing somebody find Jesus. It is amazing. And we just wanna applaud…you know these amazing three new smaller campuses at Dunedin, Whangarei, and Kapiti. And we’ve decided that this year, even though we’re all in for the ARISE Centre, that we wanna do one seed of faith through this year’s expansion offering and that is we’re gonna fund through this year’s expansion offering, a full time youth pastor, in our three gen two campuses, in Whangerei, in Kapiti, and in Dunedin. We wanna, we wanna prepare for the amazing harvest to continue to come in, in these exceptional campuses. And we’re just so proud of you. But this is what I want you to know. Ray Moore, who pastors our Dunedin Campus, which is just a move of God down there, came in to our church because you gave to an Expansion Offering that funded high school outreach that bought in the captain of the first-fifteen at Hutt Valley High School and saw him find Christ and then eventually met his beautiful wife Emma, who together came through our internship school and now run that campus. It’s amazing. Dan Greene, who pastors our Kapiti Campus came to church on a bus from Tawa College and is now running a Campus. We’re seeing generations, generations that we’ve reached through the Expansion Offering, now propelling the expansion of our church. It’s amazing. Through university outreach, this is the list of staff members who came in to our church: David Monk, that’s pretty awesome; Simon and Emma Faisandier; Ben Kendrew, with dreadlocks; Ben Carroll, still with hair; Jess Fowler, who still looks exactly the same; Melvyn Tan; and Lana Page all committed their lives to Christ because of your giving through previous expansion offerings. Can you put your hands together, because that is amazing.

And then, of course, last year we said we’re putting all our eggs in one basket. We are gonna fund the ARISE Centre; twelve-hundred and fourteen seats; that’s six-thousand dollars a seat; means that all of the construction costs of this building will be paid for. Why? This is a building for the lost; one seat, one soul, one year. It means we’ve got a seat for Andrew Crowhurst, who I talked about at the beginning. It means we’ve got a seat for the Dad that I met at the end of our eleven-fifteen a.m. service here in Wellington last weekend, who gave his life to the Lord last Sunday; tracked him down through the same visible pack. It’s a great way to meet new friends; just look for those packs in a foyer. And I walked up to him and we started to chat and discovered that he has none children, twenty-five grandchildren, many of them have already come to Christ, but we won one Dad to the Lord last weekend and it’s already like a great campus launching team, you know, just in his immediate descendants, it’s incredible.

And we are building a home, we’re building a building for lost people. I believe this ARISE Centre is a key strategic step, a step that once we take it as a church, it is gonna open up for us far greater possibility in the days that are coming ahead of us. Right now we lease and rent buildings and offices for every ARISE Campus. Our momentum is hindered, often in our campuses, like it has in Hamilton, in Christchurch, in Wellington this year, when we’ve had to move around different buildings. And I just wanna say a massive thank you to every parent, every person that’s really come with us on this on this journey despite having to settle your kids into new rooms and everything like that. And not only that but we’ve been, we’ve been…we’re not developing our ability to build other buildings and building and owning the ARISE Centre freehold is crucial to moving our church in to the future that God has for us because the moment we build it and own it freehold, then we can move beyond it and get into doing other great works. We’re not really here all about buildings. This is basically a warehouse that we’re building dressed up to use for church. It is the most economic building we could design. But once we’ve built it and we own it we can then get busy designing other economic buildings; that we can build other places. And then every time we build one, it empowers us to do the next one. And I want you to know that this building; it’s every building. This building is every building because the moment we build this building and own it, it allows the next one to be made possible. So I wanna encourage you, come with us on this journey, stay with us on this journey, let’s believe God for this miracle to come to fruition, completion. We’re in the middle, but we’re getting closer to the other side. It is an amazing journey.

And it’s important that everybody knows we haven’t taken our eyes off the harvest over the last twelve months. No way. We have not said we’re becoming a church that’s all about buildings. We have not done that. It’s important to know that everything that we’ve done previously through our expansion offerings we have continued to do over the last twelve months-outreach work and our work in the community-fully funded. Universities outreach, high school outreach, church planting, community work, breakfast clubs, Bible in Schools, buses to youth, funding campus launches in Whangarei and Dunedin until they become breakeven campuses. We’ve resourced the wider church community. We’ve continued to work with other pastors; continued to run pastors co-ops. We’ve still hosted ARISE conference. How have we been able to do that? Because our staff at ARISE have worked so ridiculously hard to run the tightest budget that they’ve ever had to run in the middle of believing for something extra. We’re all on board. These are often the highest givers who are then also tightening the belt in their area so that they can run lean and mean so that we can build this building and get on with changing this nation for Jesus. We thank you and we thank every person who is giving as well.

Once we build this ARISE Centre and own it freehold, then six things are gonna happen. The first thing that will happen-I’m so excited today, can you tell?-is that we will be secure in the Wellington region. This is not caffeine; this is just genuine hype today. We will be secure in the Wellington region; that’s the first thing that’s gonna happen. We only know, at the moment, our Wellington Campus is gonna have church eight weeks from now. That’s the fartherest we’ve ever been ahead since two-thousand and eight. It has been amazing, but at the end of the day, if they decide in week none that that’s it, no more, there is no other building in the Wellington city that can house our church community. Once we build the ARISE centre, it’s not our desire but if we needed to, with twelve-hundred seats with five-hundred car parks, with a dedicated building, we can just run services all day and still house our church community without missing any great beats In this journey that we’re on. We need it. I mean, earlier this year we had church at the embassy theatre and the week before, we’re like, “Hey, hey, hey, you only get to come to one service. No double-ups. You double-up you get outta here. We need you to leave”, because it was so desperate just to have church…[technical glitch]…we’ll open a new campus of ARISE in the Hutt Valley. It’s gonna be amazing.

We’ve never done this before, never done this before. Never done what? We have never opened a campus of ARISE in a place where people already attend our church. You know, we had a life group in Kapiti, that’s the closest we’ve ever come. Now, there are over one thousand people, unique people, each month, that attend ARISE in Wellington who live in the Hutt Valley. Many of them drive from forty-five minutes away to be with us in Church. Well we’re opening a campus in the Hutt Valley and I believe that we’re gonna reach thousands more people for Jesus the moment we open this Campus, it’s gonna be phenomenal. On our day off last week, Gillian and I went into Butler’s Café in the Hutt mall and we got a mochaccino each and Gillian was at the counter and the girl at the counter, we didn’t know who she is but she knew us and she said,

“Once you open your building, I’m gonna come along to your church because all my friends are telling me that I need to get to get to church but I, you know, it’s too much for me to go to the city. We’re gonna reach hundred more people from the time that we open this building, people that desperately need Jesus Christ. We’re gonna win a greater harvest for God. And, you know, it’s gonna be incredible but I want you to know that it is the most amazing thing to realise, that from this Wellington campus, we have sent large amounts of money to fund campus in Christchurch, In Dunedin, in Hamilton, in Whangarei, in Kapiti, and now, from our whole church community, we are joining together to fund not just a building, but a campus launch back here in the Wellington Region and I just feel like it’s very special. I think that’s significant. The third thing that will happen is that we will develop equity faster and we will empower our future. We wanna build buildings and own them freehold so we can free up finances to do more for God. That’s the goal. Our giving is not just gonna go into rents and leases but into winning more lost people for Jesus. If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsay-we’re about to start a lot more life groups with his material-but Dave Ramsay talks about what he calls the “debt snowball”, that if you pay off one of you debts, it then becomes like that money that you were paying in interest helps you to pay off the next one of your debts, and then you pay off two and then you move faster to pay off all of your debt. And he’s got the most amazing testimonies. I think he’s doing an incredible work for God.

But you know what, this building is that snowball. We’re gonna build this building. We’re gonna own it freehold and it’s gonna help us to do the next one freehold and then the next one’s gonna help us to do the following freehold and we’re gonna move forward faster in to this vision that God has got for us and that’s why this building is every building. Because it frees up funds and allows us to reach more people for Jesus.

The fourth thing that will happen is this building will be a home for the ARISE Internship School. This building is the fulfilment of a prophetic promise; that’s what I believe and obviously that’s subjective, you know, you can decide whether it’s right, but I believe that this building is the fulfilment of a prophetic promise ‘cause in April of 2002 I was driving down the Hutt motorway in the back seat of a taxi cab and together Gillian and I felt the Holy Spirit and I began to say,

“One day we are gonna build a large building here in the Hut Valley and it’s gonna be where we are gonna train people. It’s expensive in the city, so we’ll build a large building out here and Monday to Friday, we’ll use it as a base of operations and we’ll fill it up with a big Bible College. We’ll train up leaders and from that Bible College we will send people to impact the nation of New Zealand.”

By the, we’ve already done that in Dunedin. We’ve done that in Whangarei. We’ve sent people from that internship school to Christchurch. We’ve sent them to Hamilton already. Many of the staff across all of our campuses have come from the ARISE Internship School and I promise you, we are gonna build the next generation of Christian leaders, not just for ARISE, but for the church of Aotearoa and beyond it. We are gonna be part of seeing the church in our generation and generations to come, stronger than it’s ever been, and if you believe it I need you to clap just a lot louder than that, c’mon, c’mon.

Number five. We will have a hub for resourcing all of our campuses. Let’s be clear, this will be campus number eight but it will not be our last campus. When we open the ARISE Centre, it’s just the beginning of many, many more chapters in this great journey that we are on. And the facilities that we are building will create the space that we so desperately need to prepare all the kids curriculum, all the videos, all of the song-writing, all of the stuff that we need so we can bring in teams, so that we can train people, so that we can equip those that are gonna start these campuses, and form it we will resource all of our campuses no matter where they might be in the days that are to come.

And number six. We will have a centre for our creativity, a studio for sound, a studio for audio visual. Our album…have we praised this enough? But our album we have, that we put out at the ARISE Conference, was the number one selling album in New Zealand on the Secular Chart for seven days. That’s amazing. Is that not praiseworthy? Like I’m just, I’m just waking up, reading the Bible, wanting to get to my iPhone every day so that I could see where it was on the chart and was just number one day after day after day after day I kept putting it up on Instagram. But what an amazing thing to think that we’re gonna have some space for some creativity around here. Gonna be able to do something great for God.

In conclusion, This building is one of the greatest steps, we’ve ever taken. No matter what campus you’re in, this building is every building, I promise you. We’re gonna move forward together into this incredible journey that we’re on. We’ve yet to borrow a cent in the ARISE Centre. Our giving together is empowering, what I believe, is the greatest miracle our church has ever seen. We have never witness an outpouring of resources like we are witnessing right now. This is like Moses when he declared the vision for the tabernacle. It’s like David when he started making provision for the temple. God is supplying in the most miraculous of ways and I don’t know about you but I’m committed to the church of New Zealand being strong, vibrant, a light upon a hill, a lost and broken generation being drawn towards a saviour. We’re gonna impact New Zealand for God and if you believe it, could you give God some praise right now wherever you are. Our God is great.

C’mon, why don’t you stand together with me in every campus this morning. We’re gonna pray, we’re gonna pray together. We’re gonna pray over our expansion offering. We’re gonna pray over our people and we’re gonna pray for a lost generation to find Jesus in New Zealand. Who’s with me today? Who’s with me today? C’mon I can’t hear you Dunedin, I said who’s with me today? C’mon. I believe that the future is bright for the church. I wanna thank every person for their giving and let me just again say the three things we started with.

Number one: If we can, if everybody can do what they did last year then we’re there so it’s not beyond us this miracle, we’ve proven it. Number two: If you can’t do what you did last year, please don’t feel guilty, it’s fine, you’ve been amazing. Thank you. There’s no guilt here, there’s just thanks giving. And thirdly: For those who are new, join with us, partner with us. If you’ve yet to give to this, what an amazing thing to think that here, right now, the halfway point, you could be just the fuel this mission needs, just the resource we need to get us to this miracle and we can all rejoice together for what we’ve been able to accomplish. I’m praying that some people will just so prosper in this season. You can do above and beyond what you did last year by the way. Gilly and I have just witness the most amazing provision for what we thought was a crazy faith goal for us last year, which we’ve been able to achieve. But let’s pray together right now, c’mon. Father we thank you in the name of Jesus for all that you have done. We join our faith together and pray that you would indeed go before us, make a way, prosper your people, bless your church. We believe that the church is the light of the world, a city set upon a hill that cannot be hidden. We’re not gonna go down, we’re gonna go up. We will not fail, we will succeed. We’re stretching the tent. Make our tent curtain wide. We will increase. We will spread out to the left and to the right and see desolate cities inhabited. We believe revival is in your house is in your people and is in this nation, and if you believe it give God some praise together. C’mon. C’mon.

We’ll say goodbye to every other location. C’mon, lets praise our god together. We sing.

[singing]

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