By Charlotte L. Pound
“Welcome to The Sanctuary! Together, we’re striving to become the kind of church described in the Bible – a church with relevant teaching, heartfelt worship, honest friendships, constant prayer, and compassionate care for those in need. In short, we’d like to have the kind of contagious Christianity that can influence and encourage the entire community, one life at a time.” These sentiments are expressed by Jason Beardsley, pastor of The Sanctuary of Cary, Illinois.
A Higher Calling
Bro. Beardsley was called into ministry in 1994 in Harrisburg, IL under Pastor Robert Moore. There he served as Worship Leader, Youth Leader, and also worked in secular employment as a barber. He moved back to his hometown of Rockford, IL in 1995, where he attended Silver Hill United Pentecostal Church under Pastor Robert Bailey. During that time, he received his local license with the UPCI.
The doors to The Sanctuary (Crystal Lake United Pentecostal Church) are wide open to people from all backgrounds. “We are simply a group of people joining together to help and encourage one another through the challenges and trials of life,” said Bro. Beardsley. “We’ve come to an understanding that we have a greater strength gathered together under the umbrella of God’s grace. We want our visitors to feel comfortable, for the Bible says ‘come as you are.’”
The original church was a Home Missions work in Crystal Lake, IL founded in 2003 by Bro. Larry Joe Beardsley (Jason’s brother). They held church services in Pastor Joe’s home. At the beginning, they were receiving $75 a month as a Home Missions church. Within a few months, the church grew and was able to rent a garage space.
Jason Beardsley felt a call to assist his brother, Joe, with his new church, so he and his family moved to the Crystal Lake area in October of 2003. The brothers were co-pastors for three years. In 2006, Pastor Joe felt the call to Elk Grove Village, IL and Pastor Jason was voted in as the new pastor. The church then moved to a 2,000 square foot industrial building in Crystal Lake. “We quickly outgrew this space as God sent a harvest of souls,” he said.
Moving and Growing
The church’s next move was to a 7,500 square foot industrial building within a strip mall at Lake in the Hills, IL. God truly blessed the church, as the previous owners had already spent $75,000 to renovate the space to include Sunday school classrooms, offices, a sanctuary that would seat 200, and much more. “After several years of being in this building, God miraculously opened the doors to purchase our current building in Cary,” explained Bro. Beardsley. “The name of the church was changed from Crystal Lake United Pentecostal Church to The Sanctuary in order to reflect our true purpose: to reach souls not just within our city but throughout the Chicago land area.
“In 2008, we began a Spanish work, reaching out to the Hispanic community in our surrounding area. Thirteen people attended the first service. This past year (2013) marked the fifth year anniversary of the Spanish work.”
The Sanctuary also celebrated its 10-year anniversary in June of 2013. “During this time we have had nine men receive their ministerial license. As God sent willing vessels into the church, these men were trained and developed, then sent to minister in other areas as God directed. These men include Bro. Rema Duncan, an evangelist, and Bro. Mark Lashbrook, co-pastor in a neighboring city,” he stated.
Keys to Church Growth
“Outreach began as seeking out the backslidden of the community; also, area pastors and concerned family members gave contact information,” said Bro. Beardsley. “If we weren’t in church, we were together. It was an informal setting where youth and adults could get together and discuss the Bible.”
In the second year, the church called a time of prayer and fasting. For three consecutive days, the men of the church sought the face of God, never leaving the building. Those that were unable to stay were involved throughout the day or evening. It was during this time God gave Pastor Beardsley a vision. In this vision, he saw the church filled with people. God told him these people would be developed within the church and sent out, and that the church would be a hub to develop ministry to reach the Chicagoland area.
“We manage our growth in a number of ways, including New Converts class, Men’s Bible Study, Ladies Bible Study and Ministerial Training,” Bro. Beardsley said. “It has been said that if you will win those that most people overlook and often discount, God will give you those that everybody wants — people with money and influence. But here at The Sanctuary, our version of that sentiment is that we try to win those that nobody wants and God makes them into those that everybody wants, not just people with money and influence, but real saints that share the pastor’s burden and accomplish big things in the work of God.”
The Sanctuary includes a large variety of ministries. “We try to cover all the needs of the church and also to give our saints ways of contributing to the work of God,” said Pastor Beardsley. “Some of our ministries include English and Spanish, Bus Ministry, Greeter and Usher Department, as well as an ‘In Reach’ Department where we do close follow-up on our visitors and guests. We have Ladies and Men’s Ministries, Missions, Music, Outreach, Sunday School, and Youth Ministry.”
The worship teams, musicians and ministers are rotated at The Sanctuary. “We have found that constant development and promotion of singers, musicians and service leaders is very beneficial,” said the pastor. “English and Spanish musicians and praise teams are often sent to assist other churches, and also travel for English/Spanish conferences and camps. Our saints participate in our daughter works, Spanish church, Apostolic Living Lighthouse of Woodstock and in the daughter work in Elk Grove Village, IL, and various nursing homes. We also involve new saints in different areas of the church such as ushers, greeters, cleaning the church and assistance in fundraising.”
Retaining New Converts
“I was talking to (someone in) leadership from a mega church, and he made a statement about maintaining growth. He said the problem wasn’t bringing people in but keeping the back door closed. Here at The Sanctuary we have created a program called ‘In Reach.’ It consists of a number of methods of involving every member of the church.
We give our leadership two to three names of churchgoers, in or out of church, that they are responsible for. The purpose of the ‘In Reach’ Department is to keep in contact with our new converts as well as saints within the church. Our new converts are participants in a New Converts class, where we teach basic and foundational doctrines.”
Ultimate Mission and Goal
The mission of the Sanctuary is to equip and develop the people of God in order to reach the lost souls of the Chicago area. “There have been many people that were great additions to this ministry; however, at times some have had to relocate or have even fallen out of the way,” said Pastor Beardsley. “I told God, this couldn’t be Your will. But one day God impressed on my heart that it was His will, because they were in His way. We hear a lot about people being in God’s will, but there are some that are in God’s way. Intentionally or unintentionally, some people can hinder what God is trying to do in growing a church. We couldn’t move forward because the revival that God wanted to send was at a standstill. I’ve settled in my heart that if God is in charge of the increase, then God is in charge of the decrease. When seasons like these come, I don’t take it personal because it is not my church; it is God’s church. And we go on reaching for the lost and changing lives, one soul at a time.”
Pastor Beardsley has taught various seminars on Being a Worship Leader, Outreach, Church Planting, Effective Bible Studies, and has taught with Bishop Art Wilson on Cross Culture. He is available to teach on any of these subjects. For more information, you may contact Bro. Beardsley by phone at 847-462-2166 or 815-505-7861, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or on the website: www.clupc.org.