Third shift church to serve 24/7 workforce
    September 8 2015 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

    As the daytime sky melts into deep shades of orange and purple, more than 21 million Americans embark on their nightly commute to work. These are shift workers, and they make up nearly 18 percent of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
     
    You can find shift workers in factories, warehouses, power plants, 24-hour stores and now in a growing number of white-collar industries, like computer programming and financial services. Mike Klapp, lead church planter of Third Shift Church in Fayetteville, wants to find them in another location as well: corporate worship.
     
    Klapp and his family recently moved back to Fayetteville after living in Wake Forest for more than four years, where he pursued two degrees at The College at Southeastern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Klapp plans to start a church that is uniquely oriented to serve shift workers.
     
    To reach that goal, they are currently planning a weekly Bible study set to begin Sept. 10. They are also making efforts to meet their neighbors and others in the city with the intent of sharing the gospel.

     
    9-8-15thirdshift.jpg

    So far, Klapp said, outreach is going well. He passes out informational cards about the upcoming church plant everywhere he goes, and he’s made a special attempt to get to know his closest neighbors. “There are people who have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years,” he said, “that have never had a neighbor come to their door to introduce themselves.” You can imagine their surprise when the Klapp family knocked on the door with a fresh loaf of Panera bread and a warm introduction.
     
    As he ministers to his neighbors, Klapp carries a unique burden for a group of people that are often overlooked in church programming simply because of vocational time constraints. “We are reaching out to an unreached people group,” he said.
     
    Shift work makes it difficult for many people to attend traditional, Sunday morning worship gatherings. Employees often work on weekends or nights. Many Christians are faced with the decision to either go home for much needed rest, or shuffle bleary-eyed into a church gathering after working the previous night.
     
    Klapp sympathizes with shift workers because he is one of them. He works weekends at the Walmart Distribution Center in Hope Mills; Klapp recently transferred from the Henderson location, where he clocked in nights and weekends for more than three years.
     
    The goal of the church plant is to “provide a Christ-centered community for believers who work non-traditional schedules,” according to its website. Klapp wants to offer a manageable, weeknight, meeting schedule that will allow the church to serve and to make disciples of shift workers.
     
    Discipleship is going to be the heart of our church,” he added.
     
    The River Community Church, also in Fayetteville, has partnered with Klapp to support the new ministry in their city. The River provides funding and administrative support, along with mentoring by lead pastor Todd Brady, executive pastor Chad Lingerfelt and discipleship pastor Kevin Maxwell.
     
    Since Third Shift plans to meet at unconventional times, The River has also offered its facilities for the church plant’s worship gatherings.
     
    Klapp also partners with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). Michael Boarts, BSC strategy coordinator for the Fayetteville region, and Richard Lee, BSC urban consultant for the church planting team, periodically meet with Klapp to provide training and support.
     
    BSC supports Klapp through funds provided in part by the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO). The special offering is emphasized during the month of September. It supports N.C. Baptist Men, local associations, mobilization ministry projects and church plants like Third Shift.
     
    Klapp was recently able to attend – along with his wife and 25-30 other church planters from across the state – a North Carolina Church Planter Training event at Caraway Conference Center in Sophia because of funds provided through the NCMO.
     
    These church planter “boot camps” usually last three to four days and include a wide range of training on important topics related to church planting. The next training event is scheduled for Sept. 23-25 at the BSC building in Cary.
     
    The theme for the 2015 missions offering is “So They Know,” taken from John 13:34-35 and the goal is $2.1 million. Nearly $600,000 of the total NCMO goal is budgeted to support church planting efforts like Third Shift Church. Since 2007 BSC has helped start 927 churches across the state, averaging more than 100 new church plants annually.
     
    With help from local churches, the state convention and resources provided by NCMO, Klapp wants to see Third Shift not only thrive but also spur a movement of ministry toward the large percentage of America’s workforce that begins their day at nightfall and week’s end.
     
    Visit Third Shift Church’s website at thirdshiftchurch.com, and NCMO at ncmissionsoffering.org.

    9/8/2015 11:20:15 AM by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor | with 1 comments
    Filed under: church plant, N.C. Baptists, SEBTS, Third Shift Church




Comments
Karla Johnson
Interested in learning how you plant a night-shift church!
12/30/2016 6:34:38 PM

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