As we head into 2013, I want to share with you one of the most amazing chapters of my life so far…. the Launch of City Life Church. The The final weeks before the launch of our church… were crazy, our heads were spinning. We had so much to do, but we had to wait for God’s timing with most of it. We had so much in front of us to get this church ready to start. But here we were Waiting. Planning. It was overwhelming, but a supernatural peace and confidence filled our hearts… and all we could say was that we were positioned for a miracle. And wow what a miracle it was. 2012 will be forever remembered as one of the most bruitiful(read more) and amazingly miraculous years of my life. We were now waiting in the miracle zone.
We looked at building after building… from catholic churches, to old bank sites, to tenderloin wherehouses, to movie theaters… we kept going back to a small wherehouse in SOMA that was actually a small church site, it seemed that this was the area God wanted us- but that ended up falling through…. so back to looking again- finally, another building 2 blocks from the little church seemed to be an answer to prayer – We fell in love with the area- in a neighborhood that had one of the most diverse poplulations, close to the freeway, close to downtown, lots of people living there – we began to draw up schematics and negotiate with the rental brokers… we went back and forth and were nearing a deal… we were 4 weeks away from launch Sunday… And then the deal fell through/ So here we were, 4 weeks before the launch of our church & we had just moved (read more) across the bridge to the San
Francisco area, but we had no building. Every church plant meeting was filled with prayer for the church and a building, and every potential moment was spent looking for a building and preparing for our church to launch.
I’m pretty sure this season rivaled the weeks leading up to getting married for me…sleepless nights, helpless days….
We were still in the waiting zone (read more) and at the same time stepping into the miracle zone. My husband was praying in the SOMA neighborhood of the last buildings- This was the area… When he got a call from our realtor…. to go directly down the street of the previous building that had fallen through. There was another much larger wherehouse for rent ON THE SAME STREET> I remember the The late night my husband told me he thought maybe we had found the right building, my reaction…. cautious joy. By this time we had quite a few potential places that had fallen short and we were holding our breath waiting on the Lord for the right place for us to meet.BUT THIS WAS IT> We negotiated, and ended up renting the whole building- all day, every day for way LESS than any of the other places we were looking at.
We had asked the Lord for an audacious thing: a permanent building- And 3 weeks before the launch – Our prayers were answered- we were in. A miracle. An old warehouse on 6th street in the downtown are called SOMA. Right in the area we were praying for, and the rent was a price we could afford as a church of about 15 people. We held an imprumtu plant team meeting at the new building to thank God for His provision and begin to strategize a way to make this warehouse into a church. But a HUGE WAKE UP CALL hit us- we were 3 weeks away from our 1st service and this run down, ugly old wherehouse needed to be transformed into a church. It needed a whole lot of work… but the building was huge with unprecedented room for growth, weekly meetings, no tear down or set up and had rooms for all our children’s ministry and then some. It was a dream come true. Truly a miracle…. and it would be a miracle if we could get it ready in time… We called our efforts Extreme Church Makeover. We only had 10 adults on our team, who worked full time at their dayly jobs by the way, who could do the work…. or so we thought.
In the months leading up to starting our church we came across a surprise, another church in the City- It’s name: City Life Church…. We met with the Pastors and fell in love with them. We knew we had made new friends. We felt led to give up our church name and rights to them… It was an interesting season as we believed God had given us the name, but trusting and obeying is always the right strategy. God had much more in store for us… As we continued to get to know the wonderful young couple and their baby church…. we immediately began to sence that God was up to something. LONG story short… and after lots of prayer and Godly advice – 3 Weeks before our launch…we linked arms as churches and felt God call us to walk together and confirm it in miraculous ways. We could never have imagined or scripted how this church was being put together – but it was wonderful.
It was 3 weeks before launch, We had our last plant team church meeting in our house… We introduced Pr. Marquez and Catherine to our team and spent the weekend together in prayer… it was an incredible time in God’s presence with Pr. Bill Norton ministering prophetically over each person.
2 weeks before launch we officially joined our churches and celebrated with our new family as City Life Church San Francisco at our new church building
It was 2 weeks before our launch and our building was upside down. We painted and cleaned and we were… literally just getting to know each other…. by renovating our new building. lol. We called it: Extreme Makover- Church Edition. It was all hands on deck: We we were shopping, printing, praying, cleaning, painting, building, and somehow we were falling in love with each other as a church family. Volunteers were coming from Harvest Church and God was providing. Our amazing team gave their blood, sweat and tears… literally.
My husband was pulling 12 hour days on construction and I was working on all the marketing and children’s ministry needs. And a full force Facebook and twitter campaign went into action. We had to do this different. Just weeks before we had not even known the location our church to send out inviations….No door hangers, no huge marketing ads. Church planting had to be different in San Francisco…. so confidently We just obeyed God.
1 week before launch we met for the 1st time in our building…. and the building looked like a mess. lol. We had our church and our launch team members from Harvest in attendance and the night was filled with faith and expectation. We saw even more miracles pouring in…. people were being added…. and we had not even launched yet.
2 days before launch and the building was not ready yet. Can you say no sleep. Believing, praying, feverishly working, we were about to pick up our family and friends from the airport. It was happening ready or not.
Our heads were spinning. We were living on adrenalin- well, actually Grace. We were trying to set our church up to have full functioning children’s departments, worship and a welcoming environment….
Oh and we were thrown a crazy loop… The largest, most perverted and crazy parade was scheduled to take place one block from our church launch…at the same time…. Remember, we had only had this location for 2 short weeks… so anther miracle- we were able to rent out a parking lot next door and set up a parking & security crew. (That should have been impossible.) lol God knew how to stretch us and also how to do things His way. With God nothing is impossible.
And now here we were 2 days before the launch and we were fully confident that God would help us pull this together…. :o) maybe naive, certainly audacious, and full of faith.
1 day before launch and painting was still going on. Family came (directly from the airport) & along with a few church men came in and pulled an all nighter painting and preparing, We finished putting up decor and putting the kids church classes together just two hours before the service… .and then the sound- worship and stage team pulled off a miracle. I ran home to get the kids and change clothes and by the time I returned…. people were already pouring into the building.
UNBELIEVABLE!!!! We could not have done with without the help of our family, church, plant and launch teams.
It was September 23rd. 5pm. Anticipation is an understatement. We were ecstatic. Our heads were spinning :o) IT was time. Time to launch a dream, a vision, a church in a great city. San Francisco.
in one word. Unbelievable! This was the day we had been dreaming of and praying for. City Life Church San Francisco officially opened it’s doors on September 23rd, 2012.
The place was filled…. almost overflowing. Hundreds of people. The place was truly electric. It was filled with anointing, From the first song the presence of the Lord was in the house. Our launch team ran this church like it had been working flawlessly for years. Children’s ministries were full, parking was perfect, and our hearts were full. Our church family from concord showed up in masses to support us, our friends and family and many of our pastor friends were there at this history making moment.
We worshiped our guts out, and then spent the evening in awe as our Pastors, Richard and Marcy commissioned us and prayed for us… and Pastors & family came one by one and spoke life giving words over us and our new church. We cried, we laughed, we were in absolute awe of what God was doing.
To close the night Pr. JonJon and I spoke of our call to San Francisco and our desire to join the work God is doing in this great city.
With Big vision, and full hearts we launched this church- it was beautiful! And the months since have been incredible as we build on the foundation that is sure- Jesus. We have had miracles, our first flood, our first outreach, our first Christmas, and now as we approach our first New Year – God is faithful – He sent us with this promise….
– The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Josh. 1:9 & Duet. 31:8
We stand on the promise. We believe this is our year of favor. We are excited for all that God will do.
We started out 2012 praying circle making prayers…. and we go into 2013 the same way- with audacious prayers & huge faith.
With the launch of this church we have seen the faithfulness of God in amazing ways! Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Eph. 3:20.
Want to be a part……Would you commit to praying for us this year? That would be the greatest gift anyone could give.