Friday, December 10, 2010

Church on a Mission

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins. Mark 2:22

A little over 52 years ago, in November of 1959, an eight-year-old ethnic and growing church stepped into a new wineskin. PCC finished building on their new property and held their first worship service in what we now call the Fellowship Center. Imagine the excitement in the room as this church had stepped out in faith and were experiencing the momentum and generative ethos that comes from being a part of something bigger than themselves.

Last Sunday I was in that same room, with a different ethnic community and couldn’t help but marvel at the similarities that separated two congregations over a half a century apart. I joined our Hispanic Church Plant, Comunidad Familiar Cristiana (what we call CFC), for their worship gathering and had the privilege of preaching at the gathering. Here were my observations:
  • CFC is vibrant: I witnessed life. Even though I couldn’t understand their language fully, (only took 4 years of HS Spanish!) I got their hearts and their spirit and boy, was there life in the room. They are a contagious community!
  • CFC is multigenerational: From abuelitos to niños. I saw a broad age range. Their pastor, Rolando Luna, is in his mid 50’s and my translator was a wonderful young woman who is a sophomore at CSM.
  • CFC is missional: I never got the sense that I was part of a sequestered community. This church is on a mission, both locally and globally, to join Jesus in what He is up to around the world.
  • CFC is hungry: Even with a translator and the challenge of getting a message a phrase at a time, their Bibles were open and they were digging with me in the Word, gleaning truths that transcend cultural barriers.
  • CFC is an Acts 2 community: Maybe my favorite part of the experience was after the gathering when the church ate a big meal together. Such good food, (Have you ever had pupusa?) and such rich relational interaction.

Here is the reality, if we are going to live into our call as a church, CFC plays a vital role in our mission. They aren’t just a daughter church of PCC, they are an expression of PCC. Why not join them one Sunday at 1:30 in the Fellowship Center? You may never recover from the experience.