Tuesday, February 21, 2012
New Leaf Church “plants” to serve Frisco and Little Elm
Pastor JD Schletewitz says residents in the rapidly expanding area were looking for a new church.
If it's Saturday night and all the children are home from soccer games or cheerleading practice, it may be a good time to check out a new church opening in Frisco.
New Leaf Church will hold its official grand opening service at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at Kids R Kids Preschool, 2660 W. Main St. in Frisco. The church is reaching out to those in the Little Elm and Frisco areas.
New Leaf Church Pastor JD Schletewitz has lived in Little Elm since 2006. A few years ago, he started to get a "sense of urgency" for Little Elm and Frisco to "plant" a new church in the area. Before, he had been helping launch a church in The Colony called Horizons Church.
"The idea of worshiping in your community is key in what New Leaf promotes," Schletewitz said.
With the rapid expansion along East Eldorado Parkway and Farm-to-Market Road in the east Little Elm and west Frisco area, about six to seven families comprised of about 25 people have been working together with Schletewitz to launch the church and reach out to those in that area.
"We've encountered a lot of people that have moved here from the south," Schletewitz said.
He said many are still driving down to Dallas or Carrollton to attend their church, but he expressed the importance of having a community church.
"Dallas has great services but you're not going to see your neighbor," Schletewitz said.
Schletewitz said New Leaf Church is a play on words. Leaf stands for the acronym of "Little Elm and Frisco," which is the target members the new church is placing its focus. It also means to "turn over a new leaf."
The church is a community church, but is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, an evangelical protestant denomination with roots in Methodist. Schletewitz said it helps the church find accountability and structure.
"Part of the advantage of a brand new church, it remains to be seen exactly what it's going to be," Schletewitz said. "We can offer people to help shape the direction of the New Leaf Church."
The church isn't looking for a permanent building to call home. Instead, Schletewitz hopes to have a church that reproduces with a focus on people instead of a brick-and-mortar building.
"One of the criticisms of church today is the focus on itself," Schletewitz said. "We're trying to get a concept of having a focus on people."
Schletewitz said to be located in a facility like Kids R Kids Preschool, extra money can be spent in the community.
"Rather than focus on serving the church, [we are] serving the people," Schletewitz said. "We're trying to get the concept that church is not a place, but the body of the building."
Members of the new church have been participating in their first community project called "prayer walks," which entails going door-to-door of over 20,000 homes in the east Little Elm and west Frisco area and praying over each house. After praying, members leave a card on the door that says, "We prayed for you and your family today." Their goal is to pray at each home in that area.
So far, Schletewitz estimates they have prayed at less than 3,000 homes. He believes it'll take about 200 hours of prayer walking to reach the entire area.
"We're chipping away," Schletewitz said. "It's a big task."
Instead of meeting on Sundays, the new church will hold services at 6 p.m. every Saturday to help reach out to those who lead busy lives.
"Our lives are so, so busy that the idea of capping off the week by going to church Saturday and Sunday would be an actual day of rest," Schletewitz said.
A preview service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 18 at Kid R Kids Preschool before the grand opening next week.
"I've been asked what I anticipate on the 25th, and I don't know," Schletewitz said. "We'll just do our part and see what God makes happen."
The church is in an allergy-sensitive facility that is free of gluten and peanuts. Certified ASL/English interpreters are also available for services. Nursery care and a children's ministry are provided.
For information about services, the church, or the grand opening, visit www.NewLeafNow.org or call 972-325-8939.
"We are just really looking forward to being an asset in the community," Schletewitz said. "That's truly what it's all about -- to serve here."
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