Seeing the Beginning of New in Santa Ana

6 years ago I was invited into the beginning of a story – the story of a brand new church community – in a city still near & dear to my heart, Fullerton. I was invited to help launch RockHarbor Fullerton.

Though, I have now been gone longer than I was a part of that community, this community showed me the power of the church. RockHarbor Fullerton breathed life into my vision of planting a church & leading a church that exists to be a blessing on the city & people who call it home. RockHarbor Fullerton renewed my hope in the church.

Fast forward a few years now & I’m a Youth Pastor at a multi-cultral church in the heart of Santa Ana. I still carry with me the lessons & vision I gained from RockHarbor Fullerton & I always will. I take these learnings with me as a bi-vocational leader at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana.

But something has happened.

While finishing seminary & working in student ministries at an established church – I forgot the feeling of excitement a new, fresh expression of the church carries with it. Being on a different side of the church equation now, at a 130 year old church, that happens to predate the city of Santa Ana, takes some getting used to.

Honestly, pairing these two experiences together is fantastic because they are so different. I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything, because they have both happened to come at the ideal time for both. God is incredible.

My students meet in the basement, The Underground, at this church in the heart of Santa Ana, across from the historic Orange County courthouse.

I love it.

It needs some love, but it’s perfect.

Up top we have a historic sanctuary with pews and stained glass & down below, The Underground, is modern & more like what I’m used to.

I’ve dreamed since day one of joining the team to help facilitate a church plant to use my room & our building. I had the hope that something new, something geared toward the twentysomethings & multi-cultral nature of Santa Ana could thrive here in partnership. The inner church planter in me wanted to find a kingdom partnership for the sake of Santa Ana.

Two Sundays ago this dream came to fruition as Reunion Church had their first preview service in The Underground.

I could feel the excitement in those who attended; I could sense the expectation of the core team who is giving their time & talents to a cause bigger then themselves; I could see & understand the passion that the planter, Mike Rigdon, has for this city & helping one person at a time encounter Jesus.

After experiencing a plant & an established church from the inside out, I’ve grown to appreciate both sides. We need all kinds of churches in as many areas as possible to bless their cities & reach one person – all peoples for the sake of the Gospel. Honestly, kingdom partnerships are the best way to do this & it’s something I’m learning more about how to actually put into practice.

I love the church in all forms.

I love seeing people’s passion for the church & their city on display.

I remember what it was like to be on a church plant team. I don’t know how to describe it, but seeing God work from the beginning of a new chapter in a story for a city that’s been getting written for years is powerful. Its amazing to see people serve for the first time & lead for the first time.

I’m excited for this new chapter in the city of Santa Ana. I’m blessed to be able to cheer this new church plant on & help however I can – not for the sake of my church or for the sake of Reunion Church – but for the sake of Santa Ana & seeing Gods kingdom come to earth.

God’s story is not done yet in Santa Ana.

May it be in Santa Ana as it is in heaven.

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