Mar 05, 2013
Reaching Young Professionals in Charlotte ONE at a time, A Church it is not. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me tell you what CharlotteONE is.
CharlotteONE is a faith based non-profit organization that serves young professionals in their 20‘s and 30‘s in Charlotte and surrounding areas who might have lost interest in things of faith or the local church. Providing a pathway, if you will, for young adults to come together to meet, learn, connect and serve; a way to re-engage young professionals in a spiritual community and possibly help find a Church home that fits their beliefs and lifestyle.
CharlotteONE began May 2006, in a South Charlotte Gymnasium with a few young adult pastors from different local churches that wanted to boost participation in the church among the young professional demographic. Tested as a 4 week trial, they had about 200 people show up with an interest in what they were doing, that interest has grown significantly over the past years and have seen as many as 700 plus people on a Tuesday night . Gatherings are now held at The First United Methodist Church in Uptown every Tuesday from 7pm to 8:15 pm. Don’t feign shock, if you find yourself at Rock Bottom Brewery afterwards enjoying food and drink. You won’t be judged here, because it is their goal, the reason for starting this gathering, to provide a place where people can not only explore Christianity, but to be introduced to the person of Jesus and the church, or be reintroduced to a previous faith you may have lost interest in.
While CharlotteONE is not associated with nor funded by any particular church or denomination, they collaborate with multiple area churches as an outreach service to ignite young professionals passion in God’s word and they work across denominational lines. You can meet and learn from attendees from all walks of life who are seeking purpose in life, answers or looking to find a church home that fits their particular needs. They believe that every person regardless of race, education, or sexual orientation are created in God’s image and therefore have infinite value and worth. CharlotteONE also provides education, resources and best practices in regards to ministry to this demographic.
Described as “breathing new life into the young professionals of our city”, CharlotteONE’s impact is being felt city-wide. Their attendance is growing steadily simply by word of mouth, and what a word it is! Charlotte, the City of Churches (for the number of churches located within Charlotte) is coming together as ONE to achieve a common goal. They have moved young professionals to become a part of something great, and necessary. An inspiration to many, they’ve received donations from those grateful for the experience and the opportunity to be paired with a church home, one donation of $100,000 was given to help support all they do.
Not only giving time to area churches, they donate time and hard work back to the city of Charlotte and abroad as far as Darfur, Sudan in Africa. CharlotteONE has hosted Blood drives with the Red Cross, helped provide and set up temporary housing for over 100 homeless families in Charlotte. Pairing up with Samaritans Feet, they have washed the feet of more than 300 of our homeless community and provided each with new shoes. They provide mentoring and tutoring to at-risk children in Charlotte as well as volunteering at Hall House, partnering with the Charlotte Housing Authority to paint, clean and set up housing for just a few of the over 4,800 homeless children that are currently enrolled in our Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
A great success (connecting almost 48% of members to a local church) and inspiration to other cities CityONE Network was developed in March 2011 to help assist and empower local churches in cities across the nation to reach young professionals for Christ and connect them to a local church and Phoenix became the first city to join CharlotteONE within the network. As for Charlotte transplants, CharlotteONE has made 91% of its transplants feel more comfortable living in Charlotte with 78% stating they have chose to remain in the Queen City due to their efforts! Not too shabby on our economic growth!
You may want to know a little more about the CharlotteONE organization and who started this amazing effort for our city, well, that’s where David Hickman comes in. A husband and father of two boys, David serves as CharlotteONE’s Executive Director and was the founder and lead visionary for CharlotteONE. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Religion from Montreat College and a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, David’s passion is to see young professionals come to know the love of God through Jesus Christ. David’s Leadership team consists of Ross Chapman, Christine Elliot and Bryce Johnson who all play vital roles in the development and growth of CharlotteONE. They are governed by a local Board of Directors consisting of area pastors and marketplace leaders.
Check out their website http://www.CharlotteONE.org for more information on CharlotteONE and some of their upcoming events. You’ll find music events, volunteer opportunities, news on CharlotteONE and what guest speakers are visiting Charlotte. March 12th, Donald Miller a New York Times multiple Best Selling Author and public speaker will be at CharlotteONE. He is the founder of Storyline and wrote familiar books such as Blue Like Jazz and A million Miles in a Thousand Years. March 26th CharlotteONE will be hosting Jars of Clay and on April 23rd Kristian Stanfill (Passion Worship Artist).
CharlotteONE has been a growing force in the Charlotte community and will continue to grow amongst the young professionals in Charlotte. If you find yourself wanting, needing a new connection to God and His word and aren’t sure where to begin, CharlotteONE is a good place to start, check them out, and parking is always free and easy to find!
Teka Rose, Contributing Writer