Every Sunday for the last eight years, or 416 Sundays, someone has made a decision to follow Christ at Upward Church. On June 30th of this year twenty-eight people accepted the Lord, on September 24th, 1,290 people were in attendance with twenty-seven salvations, and on October 1st, twenty-nine people chose to follow Jesus. Lead Pastor, Craig Walker, believes this is only possible because, “We stick to the ‘Why’ we exist. Everything, each decision and action we take, is filtered through our mission statement: ‘to reach as many people for Christ as fast as we can.’”
Upward believes that its Sunday services are primarily for the unchurched. Their mantra is, “It is no longer about us and what we want; it is about those who are lost and searching for answers.” With this focus, every aspect of the Sunday service is intentional. Members tie their individual fishing lines together to form a net. Everyone realizes that they perform many different roles, but together they have one goal and expectation of seeing people come to Christ. On Sundays, they create an warm, inviting environment and gather the net.
The most crucial element in all of this is prayer. Every Wednesday night, for the past nine years, thirty minutes are set aside to come together and corporately intercede for lost souls. To successfully plunder hell and populate heaven, prayer is the key. This is what changes a Sunday from fishing for souls to catching souls.
In addition to their physical locations, Upward Church’s Online Campus is now literally reaching around the world. Every three years eighty percent of its congregation is sent away because its campuses are based in military towns. This exodus has helped them to form a worldwide community of believers, and the net is spreading. Technology has given us an opportunity that no generation has ever known before. Truly it is harvest time!