Church Planting #2 – Mentoring Latino Young Men

In the few months that I’ve started planting (the time I’m setting aside from this is focused on building relationships), I’ve tried to stay focused on listening to what some of the needs are in the community. One main theme I continue to hear is mentoring young male latinos (middle school, high school).

I met with an executive director, principal, program director (boys and girls club), and a few people of peace from the city. Each one shared a need to reach young male latinos.

One executive director asked me point blank: “where are the male latino leaders in Oceanside? Who is pushing back and speaking out for latinos to succeed?” I felt chills go down my spine.

I’m not sure where they are. If they’re not outspoken or visible, my hope is that we’re busy taking care of our families, going to school, and working hard.

I have been praying and asking God to help me figure out how this startup church plant can get involved, how I can serve and help be a mentor to young latinos.

I’ve been invited to participate in a leadership forum to discuss best practices and opportunities to mentor. I was not expecting this when I said yes to planting. But this part of listening to the pain and needs of a city.

Church Planting #1

My evening readings: source

Church planting is stretching me in good ways. Mostly, I feel like my commitment to Jesus is deepening.

Why am I planting?! I really love Oceanside! I think Jesus loves it way more than me! I want to see a church that mirrors this multi-ethnic and diverse area. My hope is that people who have never experienced the Gospel have this “AHA-MOMENT” where they realize there’s hope!

Lesson 1 that I’ve learned: this is going to take a while. Building relationships of trust and safety don’t happen overnight. But I’ve enjoyed this process.

Lesson 2: learn from others who have planted and are great leaders/pastors. I’m trying to reach out to all the people in my network for tips, support, and prayer.

Lesson 3: pray a lot!!! Christ is the chief cornerstone of His church. It’s the church of Christ, nothing else.

I’d love to hang with you in Oceanside! Let’s get some coffee at Banana Dang! πŸ™‚ Please keep praying! πŸ™‚

the Holy Spirit and the Church

So here’s a little diddy:

β€œIt is impossible to stress too strongly that the beginning of mission is not an action of ours, but the presence of a new reality, the presence of the Spirit in power.”

– Lesslie Newbigin

Goheen, Michael W.. The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology (p. 58). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

God’s mission in Oceanside is not my idea.
God’s redemptive and reconciling efforts purpose in Oceanside is not my idea.
God’s desire to heal, restore, and liberate is not my idea.

I mean, of course I long for these things.
But they didn’t originate with me.

Rather, as we yield to and trust the Holy Spirit, we are joining the Triune God in His redemptive purposes.

Planting in Oceanside is about listening to the Spirit and joining in on what Jesus has ushered in through His death/burial/resurrection/ascension/pentecost
(lots of slashes…I’m influenced by Brooklyn 99…if you don’t get it, watch the show!). πŸ™‚

As a church, we are bearing witness to how the Spirit is giving new life. The Church is bearing witness to what where this story is headed: all of creation renewed and restored. The Spirit is at work, through the church, in enacting this new reality.

So we pray:

Father/Son/Spirit:

May we be filled by your Spirit to be a witness of this new reality: the Good News that you are healing, redeeming, and renewing creation for your purposes. May we bear witness to your love for the City of Oceanside.

Amen