Togetherness. Most critics of the church of North America would say there is just not enough of it. Jesus said the world would know that we actually are learning and living His ways by our love for one another. May we be known as a church family that values love and lives love daily.
That’s why we cultivated unity among the churches of west Orange county, which now has become theChurchofWestOrange.com – many local expressions of the church being the church together to west Orange county and beyond.
Many of you know by now that one of the church families that serve alongside Westpoint in the Church of West Orange has expressed interest in unifying with us even more. Northland West Oaks, currently gathering on Sundays on the campus of St. Pauls Pres, will officially join in with us June 20th.
Here’s some IMPORTANT POINTS to be praying about and to make priority if you are a part of the Westpoint family.
We will practice a little reverse hospitality June 6th. The Westpoint family will head over to St. Paul’s Pres to gather for worship with the Northland West Oaks family for an 11:00am worship gathering. We all together thought it would be a good thing to experience how they have been worshipping together.
As we are becoming one church family, consider this meeting the in-laws, just like when they came over to eat with our family April 25th. PLEASE MAKE THIS A PRIORITY. We really want them to know we are in this for the sake of knowing Christ and making Him known together.
Get here early. 10:00am is the normal start time for worship gathering. If you can, try to be at Whispering Oak Elementary School for 9:45 at least, simply to be there to welcome the folks from Northland West Oaks and connect together before we dive into worship celebration together.
As we are becoming one church family, consider this the wedding feast. And you wouldn’t be late for your own wedding. I wasn’t even late for my wedding, and you know how my clock runs about 10 minutes behind. :-)
3_TOGETHERNESS FOR THE SAKE OF SENTNESS and MULTIPLICATION
You might still be wondering, “Why are we doing this joining together?” I feel as though we have adequately answered that, but I wanted to make sure you got the succinct answer one more time.
Simple – Jesus prayed for His followers (John 17:18–23) to be of one heart and one mind around the one mission He created His church family for – to live sent just like He was sent (John 20:21) to share unconditional love and abundant life with everyone we encounter. And our leadership team, through much prayer and counsel, senses the Lord leading us to unite with one heart and mind for the sake of that one mission with Northland West Oaks.
Togetherness for the sake of sentness.
It is not about having more people gathered. It is about having more people living sent. More people united in that one mission to be the church to west Orange county and beyond. More people. More time. More resources. More creativity. More love. And more is not always better. But relationally it is, for a cord of many strands is not easily broken.
HERE’S ANOTHER REASON IT MATTERS – Multiplication.
When Westpoint began as a local expression of the church in February 2004, a significant element of that original vision that still holds today was to multiply what we were doing into at least one community church per village as Horizons West was built out. Between now and 2020, five more villages like the Bridgewater village (Summerport and Independence) and the Lakeside village (Providence and the 535 communities toward Reams Rd) will be built.
Our vision has been to help start a new local expression of the church in each of those villages. As Westpoint sees more people unite in one heart and mind, we will begin to ask some of them to cluster together and be sent out to the next village. Still being the church together, but just as a new community church family focused on cultivating “on earth as it is in heaven” among the people of that village.
The uniting of Westpoint and Northland West Oaks will, in our Vision Team’s opinion, be a great next step toward seeing that kind of togetherness and sentness in the daily, as well as that kind of multiplication into the rest of Horizons West and beyond.
SO, please pray. Please be intentional about connecting with both Westpoint families and Northland West Oaks families. Please continue to surrender daily to the mission Jesus has given us – that the world might know the One who was sent (John 6:29).
Two final things. Let’s eliminate “us” and “them” talk starting now. Let’s all be intentional about this, so as to emphasize being the church together. AND, please be assured that the focus of togetherness and sentness that has defined Westpoint for 6 and 1/2 years will continue. That is a hill I will always be willing to die on, because Jesus values His church loving and living on mission too much.
May our burden to love like Jesus and to live on mission for Him daily (that others might know Him and His love) grow more and more. May we have a sense of urgency like never before for the 4.5 billion lost of the world, for the 26K kids who are dying daily all around us due to hunger, sickness, and brutality, and for the orphans and widows who need not be alone (Matthew 25:31–46 and James 1:27). David Platt says it this way, with regard to the urgency of the mission of the church:
Church – we are plan A. And there is no plan B.
I love you guys. So much. Jen and I and the pastoral team and vision team families can’t even express the fullness of our gratitude for all of you. Exciting times ahead.