All posts tagged: community

Every few years I end up re-inventing myself. I love learning and trying new things. I love to dream up and build new things. I’m blessed that I’m in an organization where I can do just that.

When I joined Rancho about six years ago, I answered a phone call that came out of nowhere. The week before I had resigned my position at a church I helped to build, but a church that was quickly unraveling (that’s a story that I need to tell someday). Jen and I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but we did know that God was opening doors for a new season of ministry with Rancho.

I came on as a pastor to help at Rancho’s school, Rancho Christian. It was during this time that I was introduced to Rancho and I made some deep and lasting relationships with many staff members. I spent a few years there, and by God’s grace, some great people, and a lot of work, the school grew – new leadership was installed and I was able to enter another new season.

This time I worked with the Worship Department at the church. During that time I was able to hire and work with some amazing people. I also said goodbye to some incredible people, thankfully – I’m able to still call them friends and still stay connected to them to this day. One person that I was able to help bring to Rancho was a friend I met named Tim Manigault. He quickly became the obvious choice to take our Worship Department to the next level. And so another chance to reinvent came my way.

I’ve always loved culture and people and the church – so my next journey was overseeing “Connecting” at Rancho, which basically meant anything that connected the church with people: look & feel, design, social media, online ministry, welcome ministries, small groups, etc. Just as I was getting my feet wet in this new role, my friend who was also my boss entered a new phase of life and ministry himself, which left a void at Rancho… so guess what – yes, another new season.

Next I joined a new team of three as the Executive Pastors of our church. As a team, we would oversee and lead our staff. It was a new idea – so I was on board. Together we began dreaming what Rancho could be as we headed into a building phase, doubling our campus size. Then, just a few months after this transition came the opportunity, once again to reinvent. And that brings us to this past weekend.

Last weekend, I officially took on the role of Executive Pastor of our Murrieta Campus. We’ve been going to that campus since it launched and have watched it grow over the years. Now we can really put some serious energy into the campus and work with our great friends, the Beavers, and see what God has planned for Rancho Murrieta.

I’m so thankful to be able to do what I love as a job. I’m thankful for a wife who is supportive and a family ready to take risks with me. And I’m thankful for the hundreds of people who call Rancho Murrieta home and looking forward to serving with them as we live out the love and life of Christ in this community.

Check out Rancho Murrieta on Facebook here. And come join us any Sunday at Murrieta Mesa High School at 10:00am – we’d love to have you and make sure you come by and say “hi” – I’d love to meet you!

P.S. here’s some of the fun stuff we do at Rancho Murrieta:


I had two important meetings today. One was with local pastors and ministry leaders. The other was with local worship ministry leaders. As I participated and observed the way we interacted, the words spoken to one another, the encouragements, the hand-shakes, hugs, prayers and songs, I came to this conclusion:

We need one another… more than we probably realize.

Not living in community, not building relationships, not sharing, not reaching out to one another – deprives us all of the fellowship God has designed us to experience. When you aren’t there (wherever that may be), you are missed. This is why we gather, and why we are encouraged to gather:

23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:23-25

For believers, each time we choose to gather for worship, for meetings, for small groups, for coffee, for beers, or study – we are choosing to share in a sacred fellowship. And we speak into one another’s lives. We share wisdom. We may shed tears. We may sing songs. We may learn new things, or be reminded of things we’ve forgotten. We may argue. We may even choose to go separate ways (Acts 15, it’s not all roses). But we always know that we’re united in Christ with one heart and mission…

One of the portions of scripture that has impacted my life the most is 1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

Again, this verse reminds us of the deep sense of responsibility we have to one another. God’s character is reflected in us – we experience his love, his grace, his truth, compassion, kindness, patience. As we live in community with one another we practice our faith. I believe that it is in the context of doing life with one another that our faith becomes real.

I’m so thankful for the many people in my life who’ve given to me the gift of their time and presence in my life. I may not have “seen” God, but I sure have experienced him through the many lives that have touched mine.

Moral of the story: give of yourself, be humble and consider other people’s needs before your own – they need you in their lives (Phil. 2)

This just in from the ol’ Google Reader. This from Alan Hirsch:

There is something about middle-class culture that seems to be contrary to authentic gospel values. And this is not a statement about middleclass people per se; I myself am from a very middleclass family, but rather to isolate some of the values and assumptions that that seem to just come along as part of the deal. In the chapter on discipleship we noted that much of what goes by the name middle class involves a preoccupation with safety and security developed mostly in pursuit of what seems to best for our children. And this is understandable as long as it does not become obsessive. But when these impulses of middle class culture fuse with consumerism, as they most often do, we can add the obsession with comfort and convenience to the list. And this is not a good mix. At least as far as the Gospel and missional church is concerned.
ht: ‘The community for me?’ or ‘Me for the community?’ : The Forgotten Ways

I really find myself aligning with much of what he writes – I’m just trying to figure more out about where I stand on certain areas of what we call ‘church’ or ‘ministry’. I fugure most of us who blog are at the very least middle-class – and how does that translate into middle-class christianity…

We want to see people come to Christ – but what does that mean?

We want to see churches planted & then grow – but what is healthy growth?

We want to raise up our children to embrace their community in love – how do we instill that into them, while trying to be authentic ourselves..?

ahh the questions. And all the while, how to I be a great husband, provide, protect, and love my own family?

Just some thoughts.

I got an email from this guy today. No offense, but I usually don’t get emails from guys like that.

He’s Alistiar Brown and he’s the president of Northern Seminary. I’m not sure why, but I read through it and caught this little nugget that grabbed me – thought I’d share:

We use vocabulary of community, of the body of Christ. Yet 21st century Christians often treat the church as a resource supermarket to meet individual needs. Leadership styles can be more suited to business than Christian family. The Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future challenges this, and to re-experience what real unity can mean for the church and its mission.

What I’m saying is: if we don’t get church right we’ve lost something foundational, and nothing good is built on a bad foundation.

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