SoCal District Church Multiplication provides an environment for leaders to be intentionally nurtured, developed, equipped, sent, and sustained to make disciples on mission—resulting in new churches of multiple styles and context. We seek to accomplish this by providing excellence in training, resources, coaching, and counsel—cultivating men and women to establish outposts of the Kingdom of God across Southern California and beyond.
CURRENT CHURCH PLANTERS IN PROCESS
Zack & Diane Totten
City we are planting in: Ojai, CA
Church Plant Team meetings began in January 2017. Diane & I are planning on moving to Ojai from SCV in the summer 2017. Don’t have a date for when public services will begin.
There are several reasons why we feel called to Ojai. The first is simply desire: we want to live there (Psalm 37:4). We want to live in a smaller community with a strong sense of identity. For nearly 30 years we have discussed the possibility and looked at the feasibility of pastoring along the 126 corridor or near the coast. We’ve “knocked” on that door a couple of times and nothing has happened. This time, though, the door to planting in Ojai seems to be opening.
The second reason for Ojai is that opportunities have become available allowing us to continue to move forward. Simple stated, the path remains cleared ahead of us (Psalm 16; 37:23-24).
We expect to reach the people of Ojai by becoming “Ojai-ians.” We will move into the area and learn the social and cultural ways of the community. As we do this, we will seek to discover what God is doing in the community and discern our part in his purposes.
The Ojai Valley is small (population: 20,000) but incredibly beautiful and surprisingly influential. It attracts a variety of people from cultural architects (writers, philosophers and movie industry personnel) to farmers whose families have cultivated the land for generations. There seems to be a dichotomy between the wealthy, cultural elites who move there looking for respite and the every-day-working people. There are also four private, preparatory schools that cater to national and international wealthy families.
We will bless the community by being present and genuinely engaging people. As our team embeds themselves into the community with the purpose of fostering genuine friendships with people, the byproduct will be spiritual, relational and emotional blessing.
How will we reach them?
By being with them and going to the place where they hang out. Praying for them and asking God to orchestrate divine appointments and opportunities. Our team has already begun to serve the kids in the public schools by partnering with the group called Inspire whose goal is to inspire 500 adults to help kids in the public schools.
In addition in the future, I hope that we can serve seniors, gays and those who view themselves as cultural elites.
Bill & Denise Thomas
City we are planting in: Los Angeles
I has been employed in the Hyde Park area (Los Angeles) for many years and have a heart for the people there. Over the years, I have seen a great need for the hope and love that only Jesus can bring. Working in the community for so long puts me in a unique position; I have seen many of the same people each day as I walk the neighborhood and interact with people. And the company I work for has provided a space for community-based activities, and a base from which to start outreach.
The community is comprised largely of low income families and has a heavy gang and drug influence. The primary group we serve will be the youth and, through them, we will reach the families.
Reliability is the key to connection here, as it is everywhere. We consistently look for ways to help these families, and the youth in particular, to better their circumstances, witnessing the love of Jesus in word and deed.
We have been spending time in the community each week, providing breakfast on Saturdays, engaging the people in conversation while food is being cooked. A small youth group has been started, meeting on Friday evenings in the space provided by the company I work for. The young people do some office related tasks (for which they are paid), which provides some job training in addition to a sense of community. There is always enough pizza to take home to their families as well.
Just as Jesus broke bread with his disciples, we try to break barriers with food. Next week, we start a Wednesday night Bible study in a local apartment complex where one of our people lives and we will also be providing a meal for the people there. Directly across the street from this complex is another complex that is overrun with gang members and drugs. As we usually do, we will bring enough food to share with a broader group than just those in the bible study. The goal is to make inroads into both complexes through shared meals.
Bob & Paula Bae
City we are planting in: Santa Clarita
Commencement Date: Late 2017 or early 2018
For many years we travelled outside of our community to do ministry, but now feel called to focus our influence and lead in our home community of Santa Clarita. This is the place we have done life for 26 years.
We believe that our presence within blocks of an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school is strategic. It is a sports oriented community, with a mix of nationalities most of which are white and Hispanic. The location has low, middle, and high income pockets. We want to be a church led by a team of bi-vocational leaders who have a heart to serve (as the natural out flow of their life), and a heart for the people of our community. I am passionate about releasing others in their gifts, and desire to be a church that models Ephesians 4:11-12 as it relates to equipping believers and releasing them to do the work of ministry.
We want to establish a “presence” in this area and be known for giving to the community rather than trying to build a church program. Being led by bi-vocational leaders will enable us to be a generous church, and able to help families and the schools within the community in practical ways. There are team members that are influential in the community of schools and we see this as a plus for a church that wants to be missional. We desire to support and partner with existing parachurch ministries in the local area as it relates to the schools and campus outreach. Because we view evangelism as an important role for this church plant, we are seeking creative, missional oriented ways of being part of the community outside of church. Finally, we want our church to provide a place where people who feel marginalized, or don’t fit in, are valued and their gifts released.
MICHELLE & BRIAN McMAHON
City we will be planting in:
We are restarting our church, which is functioning like a church plant in Altadena, CA.
We began our re-start in January 2017.
We feel called to be a community in the homes of Altadena and to reach our neighbors, the unchurched and de-churched and local foster youth. Since re-starting, we have had a dozen or more non-Christians join our gathering and come into relationship with our Christian community. We are in relationship with the local school district who are equipping foster youth with resources, in which we are helping build the program from the grass roots.
Altadena is a multi-generational and multi-cultural community. Altadena has the most foster group homes in all of LA county. There are churches on every street corner in Altadena and Pasadena, yet, so many unchurched and de-churched people remain disenchanted to ever enter a church building.
Every member in our re-start is taking on the call in John 13:35 which says that “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This is where we are starting. Being a community of believers that live in true love and community. We believe and have already seen a glimpse of how us loving each other will draw those who don’t know God into our midst and hopefully be forever changed. We will be throwing block parties and other like things, taking the needed time to engage in relationship with our neighborhood. We believe that our blessing to the community is engaging in relationship with those among us and around us.