Each month, we are posting updates from every church to better keep those part of one church more closely connected with those in the other churches. As we grow as a family, these are important moments to celebrate, pray for, and support what Jesus is doing in these communities. These updates will included updates, stories, prayer requests and a little glimpse into the life of the church. We hope these updates are encouraging to you!
The Fall/Winter has been a tremendous time for us as a new church so far! We are so grateful for the work Jesus is doing in Downtown Ventura, building his church.
A few verse have been central to us during this unique season in our church’s life:
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1 ESV)
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 ESV)
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:17-20 ESV)
January marked some pretty changes for us a church as we moved from launch season, into some more regular patterns of life together.
After Christmas time, we made a concentrated effort to relieve our hard-working launch team, some of whom have been serving every single week since launch! We shifted to an A/B system of scheduling, meaning the goal is that someone would serve either on the first two Sunday or the last two Sundays of the month. Giving them the opportunity to serve in another space, or enjoy the service on the off weeks. We’re in the very early stages of this, but it’s already paying off in a huge way!
We have made our pre-gathering prayer a primary focus of our Sunday mornings, and it has proven so fruitful. We know there are many praying for us throughout the week, but there is something special about people gathering together, before our service, to seek the Lord’s for the day and whomever he would bring. If anything of significance is going to happen, it will be birthed out of prayer.
Asa new church, these are the time to set patterns we want echoed and repeated throughout our story. One of those patterns we love to see is our three lead pastors, Matt, Kevin, and Bert, getting to preach and encourage the other churches. In January, Bert was able to get to both Anthem Camarillo and Anthem Thousand Oaks to see then extended family and encourage them in the word.
We have been really encouraged by those of you who have come from Anthem Camarillo or Thousand Oaks to help serve, or just to come and visit! It’s such a blessing to our team, and it helps bind your heart to what God is doing in Ventura in a very tangible way. If you haven’t already, take a Sunday off and join us in the next few weeks and see what God is doing in Ventura!
How you can be praying for us
- As we prepare to launch our first Welcome lunch this month, pray that God would continue to connect people to this story.
- Our first Leadership Community is in March. Pray that our volunteers increasingly understand the mission God has given us, and are empowered for their ministry!
- We also have quite a few unbelievers every week with us, please pray that the Holy Spirit would make Jesus known to them and they would respond in faith!
- Please continue to pray for the broken, lost, needy in our Downtown community that the kingdom of God would break through in miraculous ways!
We are so thankful for what God is doing through all three churches and are excited for the journey he’s taking us on! As you think of us, pray for us!