Center Church is located in the city of Irvine, CA. It is a planned community where looks are attractive, and amenities abound for the purpose of higher quality of life. However, we find many young people and families searching for authentic community and friendships, so as a church, we strive to create community. Our church’s vision is to see lives saved, relationships healed, and communities transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Areavibes.com ranked Irvine #2 on Best Places to Live in 2016. It is a highly educated area; more than 65% of residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, and Center Church reflects the city regarding educational and economic achievement. Although it is one of the most desirable places to live, the high cost of living drives many people to live at packed schedules. Also, the growing number of young people known as “nones” do not feel the need for connecting with church community. These factors make it difficult to carve out time and create community for young people as well as families. Many people are driven to educational excellence, economic success, and upward social mobility. We believe Gospel-centered people that follow Jesus on his mission cultivate authentic community and friendships. Our mission is to make everyday followers of Jesus.
In an effort to build this community talked about already, Center Church has big dinner celebrations throughout the year to gather together as a family. This past Easter, we celebrated with a whole roasted pig. We welcome people into the church community at church, homes, and in parks. We are thankful that many who visit Center Church feel welcomed and part of a big family.
By God’s grace, like a small seed that falls on the ground and sprouts, Center Church went from a group of 8 adults in 2013 to now having 60 to 70 people gathering and growing together. We installed our first elder/pastor this spring as we move forward to being an established church with its own officers and financial sustainability.
We are committed to seeing relationships healed, which can be seen in the Sanctuary Church Conference that we’ve put on these last two years. Joanna Wong, who works as family law attorney in Orange County and as a deacon at Center Church, organized this conference to equip people to be sanctified and safe. It was a conference that shared essential information on healthy relationships. Furthermore, it trained people about how to handle domestic violence and often hushed subjects that are plaguing many broken lives, homes, and churches.
To further build relationships, on Mondays a group of men gather to read and study. They recently read through the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, resulting in strengthened marriages. Men are encouraged and engaged to grow spiritually. Also, community groups meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and three varying groups meet on Saturdays. One group is an outdoor activity group for family and friends where most participants are not regular attendees of worship on Sunday. The other two groups consist of adults and students meeting for Bible Study, discussion, and Nerf games.
There are a number of things for which Center Church covets your prayers. Pray that we would strengthen the children’s ministry because more babies are being born. Pray that we disciple a growing youth group well and their Nerf ministry as the youth invite friends. Also, we want to see more community groups throughout the week on different days. Lastly, pray for creativity and consistency in connecting with neighbors and people in the city.
Each year, Acts 29 US West has the joy of funding a number of church plants. Center Church is one of 17 church plants we’re funding in 2017. You can read about more of these church plants on our blog!