A new wave of ministry is being developed by Noah Walkup, one that is not centered in a church building or contained by any walls. The Risen Life Church is made to roam freely around the community while building relationships with individuals who will further share Christ's message. Walkup understands that the concept is foreign to most, but felt the need to do something in order to reach the new generation.
For over four years Walkup was on staff at the True Life Community Church in Troy. He was serving as the Associate Pastor, when he felt called to step out in faith and follow God's directions towards reaching the unchurched youth. "A very low percentage of the new generation are expected to be Christians, so we are going to have to change how we do things. As a society we've been trained to believe that church is a building with an address, but the scripture says that the church is the people. The church isn't a place, but is who we are every day," said Walkup.
The mission of the Risen Life Church is to act like Jesus, who through His disciples set up a system to spread the Word by using others. "We will always be a church that is focused on reproducing leaders, planting churches, and spreading the gospel. Igniting a movement that happens through multiplication after investing in people and building a relationship with them," he said.
Walkup has received support from a number of area pastors, including Aaron Simmons from the Upper Room. Since the Upper Room recently took over ownership of Grounds for Pleasure, and Risen Life wants to be stationed where people gather, the coffee shop is its central meeting place. Those who are a part of Risen Life meet at Grounds for Pleasure every other Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. There is a barista to serve coffee. While Walkup does deliver a brief message, it's mostly a time for conservation between all who is present. "We tell our stories. There are people who have been Christians their whole life, but they don't know their own story. We help them discover it. Everyone has a purpose, and it matters," said Walkup.
The plan is to develop a starfish movement, as with a starfish if an arm is broken off, a new one regenerates. If a congregant of the Risen Life breaks away from the core group, they will be equipped with the ability to start their own gathering and spread the church further. "Where people live, work and play is their mission field. We live out in the fields rather than in a silo," said Walkup. One expansion that Walkup aspires to make next year is the opening of a gym, as personal fitness is important to him, and will provide another place for people to come gather and be fed the gospel while performing a routine task.
For more information on the Risen Life Church go to www.myrisenlife.church or on Facebook at RisenLife Church.