reflections at Christmas 2010
reflections at Christmas 2010
nexus: a place of connection, a connected group, the focus or center
our vision: Loving God and Living His Word
As I think back about the last year and think about the year to come there are so many things that I’m grateful for and excited to share about. First, I love our church because there is a genuine love for God, one another, and our community. It is a rare thing to see this kind of love in a large church and I hope that we never lose it. I’m so grateful for people who want to learn the Word of God, desire to know Jesus and grow in their relationship with the True and Living God. It’s an amazing blessing to stand before a 1000 adults on a Sunday morning and say, “Open your Bibles to …” and watch people eagerly open their Bibles and get ready to take notes. More importantly, people are applying the truth to their lives and being transformed. You guys are the bestest!
Spring was amazing! We celebrated the Resurrection with an epic outdoor service for a family of 2,500+ at the Camarillo House on Easter Sunday. The following Sunday we became a multisite church – one church at multiple locations. We had essentially outgrown our campus on Mobil Ave. and were blessed to start a second campus in town at 300 S. Lewis Rd. The space is about 25,000 square feet and will allow us to serve another 1,000-plus. In addition to Sunday services with live teaching at both campuses, we began a youth center for our community at the Lewis campus. We offer an after school program for junior and senior high students featuring: sports, spiritual life coaching, tutoring, art, music, games and an energy lounge. The youth have a safe and fun place to gather and learn about Jesus. By the grace of God, we offer the youth center to our community free of charge.
I’m so thankful to God and your efforts that made this possible. The new campus created the opportunity and need for literally 100s of volunteers for Sundays, as well as 50 to 75 volunteers to serve at the youth center. You stepped up to volunteer to serve so that both campuses were able to offer abundant services. Please know that your efforts are not in vain as lives are being transformed in Christ every day. As I meet people throughout the week and volunteer at the youth center on Fridays, I hear the stories of kids and adults whose lives are being changed for good, and I know that is the evidence of God at work.
Next, we gathered at the Lewis campus for an awesome night of worship with Phil Wickham and Leland. I was so blessed to see the new campus completely packed with people praising God. Then, we had the privilege of organizing a gathering of fifteen churches for an all-city twilight service at Constitution Park to observe the National Day of Prayer. Seeing a huge crowd of people gathered in groups praying together and then ending the service with a candle lighting ceremony was powerful and moving.
Church at the Park was incredible [as always]. It is so cool to see a massive crowd outdoors praising, and learning about God. Then we turned people loose to use the skate park [thanks to boarders for Christ for the pro skate demo & sharing your testimonies], swimming pool, park, & partake of an awesome BBQ. Sooooooo good!
We also thank God for using us to reach our community. Our “beyond sunday” ministry hosted large-scale quarterly projects to help seniors, schools, and individuals in need. They also reach the community through ongoing efforts with youth correctional facilities, the pregnancy center, the rescue mission, and meals ministry. Most recently we hosted a “Christmas Shoppe” that provided over 1,100 toys to over 125 families, and additional toys for the youth correctional facility, rescue mission, and some other families in our community. There were 300+ volunteers sharing the love of Jesus - you guys are so loving and generous … amazing!! You are entering the culture of your community and being agents of change.
We continue to go global to impact the world for Jesus as we have helped to establish and support Bible teaching churches throughout the world. Last year we sent teams to Managua, Nicaragua, Ensenada and Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, and Nairobi, Kenya. These churches are changing lives, their communities, and advancing God’s kingdom. This is the fruit of your support.
What do we believe that God is calling us to do in the year(s) to come? We’ll continue the transition to one church at multiple sites and encourage people to develop their campus community. Also, we need to keep the focus on missional living: help pre-believers connect with Jesus, and create environments that help the next generation to know Christ. Our goal is to introduce people to an intimate relationship with the True and Living God who never changes yet reaches each new generation in a fresh way.
We’ve become a church of small groups rather than simply a church with small groups. The majority of people in our church family are involved in mid-week community and lives are being transformed. As our Sunday church community has expanded it has become increasingly important to connect and grow in smaller groups during the week. We hope this year that all of our church family will be involved in community groups.
We’ll continue to impact our community for Christ as we serve God by serving others through the youth center, beyond sunday service projects, and ministry at the local church. We pray to see everyone in the church serve their community at least 4 hours a month.
One of the areas we’re passionate about is leadership development: reproducing leaders at every level. The School of Ministry [som] has 65 students training for spiritual leadership and teacher development. Our intern program will train for vocational ministry, and we begin training church planters in 2011 with a goal of planting 4-5 churches in 3-5 years.
The transition to a multisite church has gone so smoothly thanks to all of you. For me, at times it is difficult not being able to stay and talk after a service as long as I would like. I imagine that might be hard for some of you too. Yet, I want to remind you that we are here for you: staff, elders, deacon, leaders and one another being the church. So, please feel free to send me a message on facebook, an email, or call me – my/our heart is to be there for you as much as possible.
I’m grateful for this last year and look forward to discovering what God will do this coming season …