Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Great time this morning!

We had 15 people at our ministry facilities forum this morning. This diverse group represented church leaders who have been working in the city here for more than a decade all the way to one person who is praying about planting a church here in the city. All of these leaders in one way or another are wrestling with facility space issues.

Harold Richardson, a retired local business owner (and the father of Doug Richardson who is the pator of Long Beach Christian Fellowship), gave us a first hand account of someone who has worked with the city to identify and secure ministry facility space locally. Great stuff! He painted a realistic picture of the potential challenges that anyone might face along these lines.

Two quick take-aways for me: 1) One really does need to do their homework (local community by-in, functionality of the site, etc...) before bringing your Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Application before the Planning Commission and 2) as a collective Church here in the city we need to make sure that we are approaching the process, as challenging and frustrating as it might be at times, with the upmost integrity (not trying to skirt the CUP system, not flying under the radar, etc...). There is a lot at stake here in terms of credibility and we need to have a clean conscience if we are going to fight for this and/or any other justice issue in our cities. The other reality is that it only makes life more difficult for those that come behind us if we don't.

If you want any more of the brainstorm details check under the "Forums" link.

And, oh yeah, thanks Harold!!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Identifying Local Ministry Facilities Forum

This Wednesday Kingdom Causes will be hosting a forum on "Identifying Local Ministry Facilities" for any local church leader here in the greater Long Beach/Lakewood area. This can be a challenge no matter if you are a new church planter or have been ministering here for years! We have heard many of you talking about this issue lately and we want to serve you by helping get many of your questions answered that no doubt come to mind with this issue.

We are inviting a special guest, Harold Richardson, to come and share with us out of his years of expertise in working with the city in this regard as a local pastor. He has REALLY DONE HIS HOMEWORK on this issue and will be giving us a first hand account of the process of working with the city, the numerous challenges that we face locally and even suggest how you (we) might proceed from here. We will end the time by brainstorming about what next steps there might be to help you proceed from here.

When: Wednesday, March 8th
Time: 7:30 AM (sharp) - 9:00 AM
Where: Bixby Café & Pizza (3900 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807)(Atlantic Blvd just South of Carson. Across from Washington Mutual)
Cost: Free other than the cost of your own breakfast The Bixby Café is providing us with a separate back room free of charge but will be providing staff to take our breakfast orders.

In order to attend this forum you will need to RSVP!! Please contact Judy Wilson at or at 562-989-6000 before Noon on Tuesday, March 7th if you plan on attending. If you get this message after this deadline give me a call. We will make it work!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Praying for Citylights Community Church

Another incredible morning discovering how God is mobilizing His people locally. This morning we were hosted by Pastors Thien Doan and Tom Demorest for our local monthly church leaders prayer gathering. These two brothers are the leaders of Citylights Community Church. What an exciting time of story telling and prayer! This church is yet another one of the Church PLants that has recently come into the city. They shared about how God drew them here and how there are navigating some of the challenges that face ministries in a complex and diverse urban center such as this. They were extremely encouraged by having other leaders from around the region come and pray for them. The rest of us were encouraged by their faith and their passion for the city that we also love dearly.

One of the exciting aspects of their story was how they are partnering with Parkcrest Church which is letting use their facilities on 7th and Obispo. They currently have their offices there and have just begun a program called Kids Stuff for the local kids in the neighborhood. What a great example this is of churches in the city not caring about their "own territory" but rather creatively seeking out ways for Kingdom resources such as these buildings to be maximized for the greatest Kingdom impact.

They specifically asked for prayer in the following areas:

1. For their Kids Stuff program
2. Word to spread throughout the neighborhood about this safe place for kids to come and play
3. Their Sunday evening church gathering at the Blue Nile coffee shop in the East Village Arts District.
4. Team dynamics with their core team - a few people doing a lot of work
5. More strategic partnerships across the city
6. Financial advancement for their ministry
7. Clear sense of direction and organizational development as they move forward

Next month we are heading over to West side Long Beach to see and hear how God is at work there as well. Email me if you are a local church leader and are interested in joining us!