Rev. Jacqui King and Nu Faith Community
Posted by Rev Anne 8.13.2008
Rev. Jacqui King is the Church Planter for Nu Faith Community UMC in northwest Houston, Texas, a new church launch that is starting with a web presence in advance on it’s on-the-ground launch in April 2008.
Anne: How do you describe Nu Faith to people you meet?
Jacqui: I share with people that Nu Faith is a unique faith experience where they can meet God in an on-line environment. I usually ask them about what they search for on-line. This leads to a conversation about what to expect on-line such as Reflections, Study @ and Meet Us @ options. Anne: How are you working to make face-to-face contact with people in advance of the launch?
Jacqui: Meet Us @ and Study @ are the two primary face-to-face contacts where fellowship through service, prayer, worship and study occur. Also, launch team meetings, retreats, and Serve @ add extra connection for persons who feel called to build a new community. Other events that will occur prior to Launch Sunday will be preview services and outreach community projects involving Plummer Middle School.
Anne: Please tell me a little about the web ministry: what areas do you feel are most effective? What’s your favorite part of the website/interactive web ministry? What do you like the least?
Jacqui: The web ministry was launched as virtual church. I enjoy sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in a technological forum where people from all over the world or around the corner can encounter God @ Anytime. My favorite part of the web is the Study @ options because my husband and I have connected our families from various cities together to study God’s word together. I enjoy the broad flexibility that the reflections and study offers persons working non-traditional hours. They can experience worship, study, and prayer like never before. Right now I do not have a thing that I rank least favorite. The virtual church is part of our DNA that will continue to grow beyond Launch Sunday on April 6, 2008.
Anne: We’ve been reading Joe Myers’ The Search to Belong and Organic Community. In them, he talks about 4 kinds of relationship space we can occupy: public, social, personal, and intimate. If you are familiar with his terminology, can you tell me a bit about how NuFaith.org is helping people find their way into the spaces? If not, can you tell me about how people are entering into relationships with God and one another as the Nu Faith community comes together?
Jacqui: I have read just a few chapters of the book and I believe that Nu Faith offers public space through the study options of Study@ The Line and Study @ Anytime. This is a space where people can connect loosely without a great deal of self-disclosure. For instance, a person can text me on-line a question and I will share it with the group without disclosing their name. Also, the site can be accessed without registering email or password. Worship gathering would constitute public space.
The social relationships evolve in the launch team meetings, service projects and Meet Us @. These spaces include relational building moments coupled with fun. Personal and intimate include sessions with family, prayer and retreats. I believe the community is growing and formulating. The Study @ The House is a small group that is both personal and intimate space. Eventually, small groups and service teams will represent social, personal and intimate space for a faith community which operates in both virtual and brick / mortar spaces.
Anne: How do you tie together online church experience with “real world” connections where people can be in some kind of physical contact?
Jacqui: Study @ The House and Meet Us @ serve as connecting spaces for “real world” fellowship. In situations where people live in other cities beyond Houston, I will respond to those requests via internet by encouraging positive hand-off to churches in their areas. Anne: What do you feel are the keys to success for Nu Faith’s success as a web ministry, followed by a new church launch?
Jacqui: I can look at web stats and gauge some success. The reach data coupled with on-line giving is an indicator of connection. I am praying about what success means. However, success is defined the virtual church allows people to meet God in a new way in the places where they live on a daily basis. Accessibility is important; relevancy is crucial; being real is real important; being responsive is important. The success is making disciples for Jesus Christ.
Right now people who drive trucks, work late hours, have crazy commute times and small children have a new way to grow spiritually because Nu Faith is alive. God’s grace is sufficient and can meet us right where we are…searching, seeking and wanting answers. When the church launches, the virtual church will grow to reach more; teens will help develop myspace and facebook pages; college students will expand their social networks; families will connect with forums and prayer groups for specific needs. Success is the love of Jesus Christ being shared all around the world over and over so that all will be saved! Virtual Church wants to be a part of the Great Commission in a new way!
Anne: Can you briefly describe the model for planting/growing Nu Faith? What will the role of the website be after the April launch?
Jacqui: Nu Faith is a parachute drop. I am using a hybrid model that I will share in the writings at Drew in Fall 2008. The website will be integral in the church following Launch Sunday.
Anne: How do you see incarnational ministry happening online?
Jacqui: I have not explored this ministry area at this time.
Anne: How do missions work during this phase of Nu Faith’s development? How will the website be used after the physical launch of Nu Faith Community?
Jacqui: Missions primarily are part of community outreach and managed through Serve @ projects. We are a faith partner to Plummer Middle School, where we have various projects for December ’07. Mission trips will be arranged through partnerships with area churches. The website will continue to grow.