A new Pentecostal church plans to bring the ‘Passion’ to Yukon beginning next weekend.
Passion Church is launching Sept. 10 by Woody Burpo and his wife Jessie.
The church doesn’t have its own building yet, but will be launching at Events at 10 West Main.
Burpo has been on a staff for a church for 10 years—eight years as a youth pastor then two years as a connections pastor, but he said God put it on he and his wife’s heart to plant their own church.
Jessie works at Southwestern Christian University so Burpo said they didn’t want to go too far so she could keep her job.
The two prayed about it a lot to see where God wanted them to go where she could still keep her job.
Burpo and Jessie live in Yukon and they decided Yukon is where they wanted to plant.
“We just wanted to be able to reach a different group of people that has not been reached by the church,” Burpo said. “Find that group, hopefully love on them and reconnect them to the church.”
Passion Church is a network church. Another Passion Church is also in Bethany.
The Bethany pastor, Steve Ely, as well as some couple from the Bethany Passion Church are helping Burpo launch the church in Yukon.
“[Ely] has supported us tremendously—sending people with us, supporting us financially. It’s been a blessing to have them,” Burpo said.
To create the service atmosphere at Events at 10 West Main, they “piecemealed it together,” Burpo said.
One of Burpo’s staff members has done audio and visual so they just purchased everything online they knew they would need.
Victory Church in Warr Acres also donated equipment they were no longer using to Passion Church.
“We found a way to use their stuff and save us money,” Burpo said.
Burpo said he’s unsure how long they’ll be in Events at 10 West Main, but he hopes to get a building as soon as possible.
Burpo and Jessie are looking, but property and rental facilities are expensive so they have no plans to get their own building at the moment.
Their lease at Events at 10 West Main is for six months, and Burpo said he appreciates how the event center operates.
“They have worked very, very well with us. They even remodeled parts of it for us, almost as if they were saying ‘please come here,’” Burpo said of Events at 10 West Main.
“We’re very happy to do that, but we just know that setting up and tearing down is very tough on the staff and volunteers. You get it down to a science and an art and you can do it pretty quick and it doesn’t feel as bad. But obviously we’d love to have our own building as soon as possible. What that looks like, we don’t know yet.”
Burpo said he and Jessie know going into that most church plants fail and close their doors anywhere from two to four years after opening.
“We would like to become financially stable to be able to acquire our own building, even if it was a rented building but something we had access to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s ultimately what we’d like to do,” Burpo said. “We’d like to see the community of Yukon (and Canadian County) that doesn’t have a home church be plugged into a home church with us.”
Passion Church’s target audience is families who don’t currently attend church.
Burpo said approximately only 21 percent of people in Canadian County attend church and he would love to see the whole county attending a church, even if it’s not Passion.
For the past two months, Burpo said they’ve met multiple people who don’t regularly go to church.
“Great. We’d love to have you come check it and hopefully you’ll fall in love with it and want to come,” he said. “What we’ve found is most people who don’t go to church just say their schedules don’t allow them to go to church, but they have a big life change that makes them want to find a church.”
Passion Church’s service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. They’ll have worship, kid’s church for three different age categories and a sermon.
During their first service, they’re wanting to see at least 200 people in attendance.
“We know you typically drop between 40 and 50 percent so we know 100 for us will financially, we think, be what helps us from having to keep fundraising,” Burpo said. “We fundraised for this year so our support will run out in December. From there, if we can get above 100, that’ll help not only save the bills, but allow savings and stuff for the future.”
One hundred is “critical mass” in church planting, Burpo said.
“In church planting, if you’re not above 100 in the first year, the odds of you ever being over 100 are slim to none,” he added. “That’s been our goal for us is to get over 100 as soon as we can because that allows us to make decisions for the future instead of focusing on right now.”
Out of every Passion Church service, Burpo said they want people to encounter God in some way and meet someone new they can start a relationship with.
Passion Church’s vision is “Encounter God, Equip People and Engage Culture.”
“If we were to describe that, what we’d love to do is allow an opportunity for people to come in and encounter God personally where they can meet Him. Then we’d love to equip them to help them in what they’re going through in life. Everyone’s kind of going through something different but how we can equip them. Then ultimately we want them to turn their eyes off of themselves and to the other people around them. That would be the engaging culture to go and help other people to walk the same journey they just walked,” Burpo said.
Passion Church hosted preview services starting July 9 every other Sunday night until Aug. 20. Burpo said Kid’s Ministry was awesome and the services went well with a good amount of people in attendance.
Burpo said they’d like a 2:1 ratio of adults to children because they don’t want to only focus on adults, but be family friendly.
“Our biggest thing is families. That’s what we want to be about,” Burpo said.
To find out more about Passion Church, visit their Facebook at “Passion Church Yukon” or visit their Twitter or Instagram at the handle “PCYukon.”