An Open Letter To Our Community
GOD IS ON THE MOVE IN THIS GENERATION
1. What we Saw on Saturday
What do you do when 1500+ people are lined up to the square, and you've only got 624 seats? You recognize it's God, and you call an audible. I think the City of Newnan said it best when their event manager told us, “I wanted to laugh at you guys when you told me you would have an overflow tent... But I believe you now.” Not only did The Alternative fill up one service, but two full services - both with overflow. When God is in the picture, anything is possible. How cool is it that our generation is literally shutting down a city with a simple message of hope?
Our team made a call at 6:37pm to do two services after packing out the Wadsworth Auditorium to it’s full capacity within five minutes of opening the doors. After just seven minutes of changing the plans, our team started the first service. Upon letting the audience know the second gathering would be starting at 8:20, attendees mobilized their own worship, and began singing songs on the facility lawn.
Our team received several pictures of young adults using their time of waiting, ministering and praying with townspeople around the city before the doors opened for the start of the second gathering. Both services were at maximum capacity, working with the fire marshal and security officers on site. People lined the streets of downtown, filling restaurants and parking lots while waiting for the doors to open. Guests traveling from as far as California, Canada, New Mexico, and even a couple from Australia couldn’t wait to worship.
Business owners, church leaders, townspeople - this is the next generation. People say that millennials are leaving the church - this is a lie.
My generation is hungry for hope, and God hears their cry. This fall we will continue to see people find salvation, as well as hope in Jesus. Suicide rates are on the rise for millennials, but we have a message that can change that. It’s not about becoming better or doing more, it’s about understanding how we are viewed and valued by God. It’s an exciting time to be alive, but the best days are still ahead.
We wanted to send a very heartfelt THANK YOU to the entire city of Newnan, for allowing this event to happen. Thank you, Mayor Keith Brady and City Manager Cleatus Phillips, for allowing Newnan to be a place where over 18 different states were represented this past Saturday. More importantly, you created a place where people could find hope. This night would not have been possible without the help of our Love Team (the volunteer team of The Alternative), Coweta County Sheriffs, as well as the Newnan Police Department and EMS. Your professionalism and flexibility made this night possible.
My prayer is that this generation will continue to cross denominational and cultural lines, as it unites communities together under the name of Jesus. We are walking the path of the prayers of those who have gone before us.
When we are broken, when we are hurt, when some say it’s all over, just remember… there is always The Alternative.
2. HOW WE ARE moving forward
If you waited in line or drove through town saturday night you probably recognized some problems. For us, these problems are opportunities. Our team is working hard to handle the growth we are experiencing, all while being completely volunteer led. On September 16th, we will be having two gatherings, a 6pm and an 8pm. These gatherings will be free but ticketed so that you don't have to worry about waiting in line all day or missing out.
I am asking business leaders and pastors in this community to take note of what God is doing. This many young adults gathering in this city just to worship Jesus is not a normal thing, and we can't take credit for it. Only God.
We know we are in need of a bigger venue, and we are actively looking for a place to accommodate this movement. We are looking for businesses to partner with us so that we can provide the most excellent experience for those attending. Everything that happened Saturday was done for less than $1000 including security, production, and with no speaker or musician being paid. We do this because we believe in the vision. Let's continue to come together and watch God do amazing things in this city. I believe these are just the beginning days and I can’t wait to see what God continues to do through this generation.
Caleb Stanley, Austin Dennis