Post #3 – May, 2013
The Three Words We Hope Define Us
As we launch a community in Fullerton, one of our chief aims is to develop a culture — not just hold a meeting. With that in mind, we have identified three words that we would hope define us. We want these cultures to be central to our dwelling in Fullerton: dependence, community and mission.
We are an unashamedly needy people. We need His grace, His empowering, His leadership and His presence. Just as Jesus didn’t do anything unless the Father led Him to do it, Jesus is our model of Spirit-empowered mission, so we want to bathe our every event, service, decision and meeting in prayer. People need an encounter with the living God, not a program. We have an expectation of the tangible presence and leading of God, not simply openness to it.
Francis Schaffer says it best: “Let us be careful, indeed, to spend a lifetime studying to give honest answers. … But after we have done our best to communicate to a lost world, still we must never forget that the final apologetic which Jesus gave is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians.” There is something truly compelling about a group of people who truly, sacrificially love each other.
We are a rescued people, redeemed from the futility of self and given a divine mission, to give others the opportunity to taste the undeserved mercy of God that has transformed our lives. It is our desire to live purposefully and intentionally, using every opportunity and encounter to declare the greatness of the one who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. This will be done at work, in restaurants, parks and homes. Our gospel presentation will not be limited to Sunday gatherings; rather, it will be amplified as each believer takes on the responsibility of missionary in their unique context.
Post #2 – April, 2013
Why We Decided to Start a Southlands Community in Fullerton
Over the past several months, I’ve repeatedly been asked the same question “Why, again, are we starting a new church community in Fullerton?”
Each city has a unique context (even if they are literally neighbors, as Brea and Fullerton are). Brea and Fullerton are very different in terms of size, cultural diversity, socio-economic status, response to the marginalized and overall “feel.” People in these two cities think, respond and live in very different ways.
Being rooted in Fullerton will help us understand and serve it. Extending our gospel footprint to Fullerton gives us an opportunity to serve the city more effectively for the glory of God, but also enables us to contextualize what repentance and faith looks like in Fullerton.
Instead of being a church that calls people from all around North Orange County to come to church, we want to be the church in the cities where we live, work and play. A Fullerton expression of Southlands enables us to incarnate the gospel more effectively for that city.
How? By dwelling in our city.
Jesus invited people to follow Him. This meant walk with him, live with Him, eat with Him and travel with Him. He chose to dwell with us. We want to be a people who dwell in the city and with the people of the city.
Holding a meeting in Fullerton is helpful, but what is of critical importance is that we understand, from the beginning, that each one of us has a responsibility and call to live in a way that requires a gospel explanation. This “dwelling” mindset gives us a greater opportunity to walk out the gospel together as we either live, work or play in Fullerton.
Post #1 – March, 2013
How We Decided to Start a Southlands Community in Fullerton
In January of this year, the elders of Southlands Church took a road trip to Sacramento. The reason for this trip was to spend uncluttered time with Rick Martinez. Rick is one of the men who provides apostolic oversight over us as a leadership team and a church.
A number of things became clear as a result of this trip:
Seriously though, something unique and powerful happened. During our times of discussion and prayer, it became clear that God was speaking. It was one of those moments in Scripture where “it felt good to us and the Holy Spirit.”
We returned from Sacramento with a great degree of confidence. Confidence not in our own abilities or strategy, but in the fact that we all agreed that God had spoken. On our return we spoke to the two other men who provide oversight over the church and they also agreed. So what was the “it”?
It was time to break camp. It was time to start a gospel community in Fullerton. (For a more detailed description of the process, see Alan’s January blog.
Over five months, several things have happened:
We continue to meet monthly until September 15, 2013 when we launch weekly evening meetings. From January, 2014 we will transition to meet on Sunday mornings, the venue will be the Fullerton YMCA at 2000 Youth Way, Fullerton. For more information please contact Nick Saltas.