StoryChurch: A Gospel-family of servant missionaries
Why Plant Churches?
Tim Keller says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and the continual corporate renewal and revival of existing churches in a city.”
Jesus of Nazareth says, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This is why StoryChurch is planting the gospel in the Inland Empire of Southern California. So that the Church will grow as more and more people hear the Good News and submit to Christ as Lord and Savior.
The pages of the New Testament are dripping with church planting story after church planting story. We see men and women, filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, going forth proclaiming Jesus Christ. We see those far from the Lord be drawn near. We see Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Lydia, and others carry the gospel with them across the known world. And just as Jesus promised, the Church has grown and prevailed.
The millions of unnamed disciples across the scope of church history have picked up where the New Testament finishes. Now it is our turn. We must continue the work and play our role of planting the gospel.
Why the IE?
The Inland Empire is an incredible place to live. The bright lights of Los Angeles, the alluring beaches of Orange County, and the central location of the suburbs make Rancho a desirable location unlike anywhere else. Anyone can have anything. The offerings are many: beaches, mountains, Hollywood, industry, and education. But, what if it isn’t what it appears to be? What if all those offerings distract from what is real and true?
The IE tells beautiful and captivating stories. It tells the story of consumerism with everything at our fingertips. The story of affluence, where money leads to true freedom and power. The story of progress and tolerance. The story of secularism where we are no longer bound by oppressive outside forces. The story of individualism, where discovering self is supreme. But, what if these stories are false and lead to enslavement rather than freedom?
The only story that can push back darkness and lead to freedom is the story of God. The story of the self-emptying Christ who lived for others instead of self. The story of freedom that comes not through power, but through weakness. The story of a generous God who has given of Himself to His people. The story of life that is found not in discovering self, but dying to self. The story of joy that comes through being fully known and fully loved by God and others. The story not of performance, but of a God who really meets us where we really are. This story is known as the Gospel. And what if the Gospel is made known and received by every person in the Inland Empire?
We believe God is calling StoryChurch to tell that story to anyone who has ears to hear. Through the proclamation and embodiment of the Gospel story, we hope to make a family of servants who live on mission and are sent into other parts of Southern California to start telling the story to more people.
Our heart lies with the people and culture of the IE. It is in that very place where we encountered the life-transforming story of Jesus Christ.
There are hundreds of thousands of people living in the IE, and well over 65% do not claim religion at all. The Inland Empire needs not just one, but many church plants in the coming years to meet the spiritual demand.
StoryChurch is coming to plant a multiplying church and we have the opportunity to see revival set off. Southern California has seen many historical awakenings (Calvary, Azusa Street, Saddleback, etc.) and we believe the Inland Empire is ripe for another awakening.
Our hope is to come plant a multicultural, multigenerational church that reflects our community and the people of God and then to continue to plant churches that plant churches that plant churches from the IE to the nations.
“Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven” (C. Peter Wagner)
This is our story:
We are family. We belong to God and one-another.
We are servants. We live not for self, but for one-another.
We are missionaries. We are sent with the victorious new of Jesus Christ.