Charlotte ONE is a Christian organization aiming to meet people where they are. There is no pressure, no Bible-beating and best of all – no early morning church service. Charlotte ONE began almost 10 years ago, holding monthly worship nights with praise music and a message from a minister. They settled into First United Methodist Church for a huge chunk of the past nine years.
Since June, the group has met at the Visulite Theatre. The venue gets the group out of the church scene.
“It’s hard to reach people who have baggage with the church, in a church,” said Charlotte ONE executive director Zac Dean.
Dean said the group ebbs and flows but since the move, on average, Charlotte ONE attendance is now better than it was at the church, with 150 to 200 people rounding out each monthly gathering.
Charlotte ONE provides solutions to a big problem among millennials: finding a place to connect with others. Through monthly gatherings and volunteer opportunities, Charlotte ONE provides ways to get out and meet people.
The group gathers on the third Tuesday of every month. In one recent meeting, they hosted a talk on “adulting.” Basically, everyone who is trying their best is doing the “adulting” thing right. Here, free sodas and waters are provided and served by members of Charlotte ONE sponsoring churches. On a recent Saturday, the group met at Bright Blessings and assembled birthday boxes for children in homeless shelters who don’t have a typical birthday party.
Charlotte ONE is also a venue to combat social problems affecting Charlotte. CLT Talks is “the social justice arm,” of the organization, said Dean, and is a seven-series conversation discussing social issues in Charlotte. Human trafficking and homelessness has been discussed and child poverty will be discussed today at Industry Coworking.
The group is also hosting a Summer Fest in June where they will take over Rooftop 210 (everyone is invited).
With all of Charlotte ONE’s programs, 20- and 30-somethings are able to come as they are, learn and help the community. All of these efforts combined are allowing people to explore Christianity without any set rules.