Dear family and friends in Christ,
I’d like to share the following blog that was posted on the Center Church website as an update on our church planting journey.
It has been a year since 7 people started studying the Bible, praying, and doing life together for the purpose of giving birth to a new, gospel-centered church in Irvine. After one year, we are a growing family of about 30 people from different backgrounds (8 countries of origin) centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ, committed to proclaiming and practicing the gospel-centered life, and commissioned to make disciples in everyday context of Irvine and Orange County.
Evidences of God’s Grace
- We have received almost 60 connect cards and about one third of them participates in the life of Center Church.
- In March of 2014, the average number of adults gathered to worship is 24.
- There are 3 community groups and 1 prayer gathering that meet weekly to follow Jesus in the everyday context.
- Men and women in discipling relationships: Women’s Book Study during the month of February and March and Men’s Training from February to April, 2014
- Community outreach: our men have gone to downtown Santa Ana to learn about the opportunities of service and evangelism to homeless and University of California Irvine to share the gospel and invite students to Center Church.
- Sharing testimonies: 3 men have given testimonies of how Jesus rescued them and is changing their life during worship gatherings.
- Over 7 churches have given financial support to help sustain our church and we are asking more churches to give and praying for sustainability in next two years.
Expectations of God’s Future Grace
- Membership Conversation: we plan to implement church membership upon the completion of the sermon series on church membership.
- We are praying for an evangelistic opportunity as we plan for a baptism pool party.
- Marriage Conversation: we are preparing for a premarital class for couples during April-June, 2014.
- Families with children: we are a young church with average age in the late 20′s (singles and young couples). We are praying for couples with children and some older couples to join and grow together.
- Marriage Conference: we have the privilege of sponsoring the marriage conference taught by Dr. Paul Tripp in June. Orange County reportedly has a divorce rate of 70-75% and is in need of transformation in couples before and after marriage. We are praying that this joint conference hosted by 6 churches in the area will serve both churches and communities they represent.
Easter Celebration (How You Celebrate Easter)
- INVITE: Jesus is risen, reigns, and will return as King over all creation, Head of his body, and Husband to his bride. We get to celebrate this season with the Village Church of Irvine next month. We are grateful for the support and the opportunity to co-labor for the gospel and the advancement of God’s kingdom in the city and the county. Invite your family, friends, and co-workers to join us or gospel-centered churches in your area to worship Jesus.
- SERVE: “Seekers today need to not only get a body of content but also see Christianity embodied in individuals and a community” – Tim Keller. We want to be a church that connects people to one another and has conversations about what it looks like to become more like Jesus in his service, suffering, and sacrifice. Ask where, when, and how you can serve your family, friends, and people in your community to embody the love of Jesus.
- DISCIPLE: We ask the Holy Spirit to “equip every believer to be a prophet who brings the truth, a priest who sympathetically serves, and a king who calls others into accountable love” (Center Church, p. 346). Are you in a discipling relationship? Do you have someone who calls you into accountable love?
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10