Timothy was baptized at Two Cities on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 by his father, Gilbert.
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Two Cities Church just hit our Two Year Anniversary at the beginning of October. If you’ve been tracking with us for very long you may be asking, “Wait, it’s been like 4 1/2 years since you started talking about Two Cities Church.” You’re right. We spent just over two years building our team before holding regular services, before officially launching. So it’s been two years since we launched every week services, that’s when we were born.
I get calls and emails from would-be church-planters asking about our experience and I love talking to them. It really fills my cup when I can pour out whatever I’ve learned through this process and what I’ve learned from others. So if that’s you, don’t think, “Oh, he’s probably too busy to talk to me.” I’d love to talk with you.
Every few months I write a post about why it, church planting, is worth it. These are moments of clarity. These are events or WINS that help redefine and underscore why what we’re doing matters and I got an email last week that reminded me and our entire team why we work so hard to create a church that unchurched people would love to attend. Here’s a portion of that email:
Attending your church was an amazing experience. I’m feeling a little lost and in a weird place in my life right now. When [my friend] was struggling, she found Two Cities Church and I saw the difference that you made in her life. On Saturday night when she asked me if I wanted to go to church with her, I was hesitant. I was born and raised Catholic but I struggle with some of the stories and beliefs. I haven’t practiced my faith in a long time because I felt that Mass was always so somber and I also wasn’t sure what I truly believe in. [My friend] described your church to me and it was so different from my past experiences. She convinced me to attend. I am so glad that I did. The love, sex, and dating topic is something that I can actually relate to. Your talk really resonated with me. Two Cities is a wonderful, supportive, caring group of people. Being in the weird place that I am in life right now, I feel that a group like yours is exactly what will help. Thank you for changing my view on what church can be :).
That right there. That’s why we do what we do and that’s why church planting and creating churches that unchurched people love to attend matters.
That’s the mission. That’s a win.
If you wish you could bring your skeptical-haven’t-practiced-my-faith-in-a-long-time-friends to church with you. I got some good news, there’s a bunch of churches around the world trying to be a place, just like that. And if there’s not one in your area… start one.
See where they are here: North Point Network Churches.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was having a conversation with someone who was upset that we were baptizing someone. When I inquired why, they said that this person was:
- Not really a Christian
- They were still sinning
- They didn’t know enough about God
- They didn’t know enough about the Bible
- and so on…
I couldn’t help but chuckle a little, knowing this person pretty well and the fact that these things could easily be said about them as well. And I simply said this…
“Big scandal, we’re baptizing sinners!”
Needless to say, they did not like my response too much. But it’s true. At Two Cities Church we believe that every person matters and we believe there’s only one who’s ever been perfect, Jesus. We are made perfect in Him, not on our own. If we waited until every person stopped sinning, and had enough knowledge of God and the Bible for them to begin following Jesus, we’d have no church… anywhere… globally. Think about that for a second.
If you waited until you had stopped sinning, cleaned yourself up and had all the knowledge you could ever know about God, Jesus and the Bible– you’d be dead before you could follow Jesus. You can spend your whole life trying to be perfect enough for God, or you can confess your imperfectness and be made perfect through the grace of Jesus Christ.
When Simon (Peter) first came into contact with Jesus he said, “Go away from me, Lord; for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Peter later confesses that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God and Jesus says that upon that confession he will build his church (Matthew 16:13-20).
You think you’re too big of a sinner to follow Jesus? So did Peter. Don’t put it off any longer and don’t judge someone else’s effort to follow, begin with you and begin to follow because God’s grace is a huge scandal and it’s a scandal you need.
When we started Two Cities Church, we literally thought to ourselves, “What would a church that (insert name here) would go to look like?” Jamie Medeiros was one of those names. Erica and I have known her for many years now and we’ve never stopped praying her and her family. At one point she told me, “I hate that $%#&*#$* bible.” And now she proclaims Jesus. I am blown away at how God has worked in her life. Now because of the faith she has in Jesus and because her and her son Jack come every week, her son is now telling others that Jesus loves them.
In her story, you’ll notice the many different people played a role in Jamie’s story. One of my favorite quotes is from one of those people and reads, “You are his princess and I love you.”
Imagine how differently our lives might be, if we honestly knew and lived as if this was true.
If you’re looking for a place…
- that you can be yourself
- that you are not judged for not knowing about the bible
- that you can ask the questions you think
- that you can explore faith without pressure
- that you can remain anonymous as long as you want
- that you can belong before you believe
- that you can believe before you behave
- and that you can get a sense of family and acceptance
Come and See what we’re all about.
An english chocolate company made me cry.
They told a compelling story that was inspired by true events in WWI.
Christmas isn’t just about sharing, but the power of this simple story is truly amazing.
The message of the birth of Jesus and what that means for the world can overcome your circumstances and bring you peace.
I hope to see you at Two Cities Church for some peace this Christmas season.
December 21, 2014
808 4th St
Clovis, Ca 93612
Annette is a powerful story of God meeting us in our darkest moments and raising us from death to life again. I love it when she talks about getting out from under her addiction and asking God to take away her obsession to use. She says, “He did and my life was changed.” Annette is part of our Guest Services team at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. Watch her story.
Donny is one of our volunteers at Two Cities Church, part of my community group and a friend. He was raised Mormon but didn’t understand who Jesus was or is. Watch his baptism story below.
I came across this video recently and it made me cry.
It’s a simple story about a family.
As I watch this, I can’t help but think about unconditional love and acceptance and how important those things are in our lives. But here’s the deal, most people never find that. It should not be that way. There is a God who endlessly pursues us and his name is Jesus. And when you are adopted into the royal family of God, everything changes.
Want to know more? Come hang out with us at Two Cities Church.
Sundays at 10:30am
808 4th St
Clovis, Ca 93612
There’s a unique group of people who dare to be different. They do things against the odds. They believe so deeply in their mission that they sacrifice time, money, energy and put relationships on the line for that very mission. The best way I know how to describe this group of people is, Two Cities Church. It’s not so much a place, but a people. It’s not so much a destination, but a community. It’s a church. And it’s new. And you’re invited to Come and See what it’s all about. It’s simple. There’s a singular mission. You just have to Come and See for yourself.
Come and See this Sunday
August 3 at 10:30am
808 4th St.
Clovis, Ca 93612
Message: Promises, Promises
More Details Here.
Watch this highlight reel from a recent preview service and then Come and See it in person, this Sunday.
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Meet Micah Foster
When I was just a little boy my mom started praying over me at night as I slept. The reason, as I recall her telling me, was because she “didn’t know what to do with me.” I had a tendency to overreact about things. I was a kind of hot-headed. I was a difficult kid to handle at times. But instead of trying to fix me, she prayed and she surrendered her parenting to God.
I’m trying to do the same thing these days. Sometimes your kids can drive you crazy, am I right? The screams, the meltdowns, the overreacting. I’ve come to realize most kids go through a season of one or more of these behaviors. We can help create a culture in our home that leads them away from this and we ought to do everything in our power to do that. But we also need to surrender our parenting to God so that He may do it on our behalf and equip us with what we need to get the job done.
Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram that immediately got attention from a couple of old college friends. It’s a simple thing, praying for our kids as they sleep… but we also have a lot to get done while they sleep, right? But what if we all took some time each night and/or nap and prayed while they slept?
So, what should you pray about? Well, there are lots of things you could pray, but for now I’m focusing on five.
5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily
This is not a complete list because the list is endless. But you’ve got to figure out what are the things that are most important to you, that you want for your kids. Here are five things I’ve just started praying over my kids as they sleep. I no particular order…
- God Protect Their Innocence
I want my kids to maintain innocence, not only sexually, but mentally and in every other way as long as possible. So many kids grow up out of necessity, way too early and skip out on childhood. I want my kids to have a joyful and fulfilling childhood.
- God Change The World and Use My Kids To Do It
Don’t we all want to be world-changers in once sense or another. I want my kids to fall in love with Jesus so madly that they’d be willing to follow his call to the ends of the earth. I want them to know personally, the mission God has for their lives and I want it to be grand. I’m not satisfied with a little mission in my life and I don’t want my kids to just fulfill some ideas of what might be the call of God on their lives. I want them to know without a shadow of a doubt that God has purpose for them and I want them to pursue that purpose.
- God Give my Kids Incredible Future Spouses and Life Long Friends Who Love You
We, parents, have a lot of influence on our kids lives… but we won’t always be there. Kids need great peers to help keep them focused and on track. Think back to your teenage or early adulthood regrets (or maybe late adulthood), who were the people warning you not to do that? Who were the ones egging you on? We all need people in pursuit of the same ideals as us surrounding us because if left to our own individual devices, we’ll make a mess of things. So I’m praying for my future son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I’m praying for their families and their friends.
- God Help my Kids Follow Jesus All the Days of Their Lives
What Christian parent doesn’t want this for their kids? I want them to never stray from the path of Jesus. I know they’ll make mistakes, they’ll have missteps, but they don’t have to be huge and they don’t have to be overly painful.
- God Give my Kids Immeasurable Favor
Have you ever felt the favor of God? I consistently prayed for God’s favor in a particular situation (another story, another future post) for over two months… everyday until God gave me favor with this particular person. And that prayer altered my entire life, forever. I want that kind of favor for my kids, their whole lives.
So there you have it, 5 Things Christian Parents Should Pray Over Their Kids Daily.
You’ve probably got your own version of this. I’m curious, what are you deepest desires for your kids? What are you praying over your kids as they sleep?