Why start a new church in Irvine?
THE CENTER CITY OF ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang describes the city: “In planning and developing Irvine Spectrum, the City and the Irvine Company seized the opportunity to create a special place that provides opportunities for virtually every aspect of life.” (p. 15, Rental Living Summer/Fall 2012 Issue)
Tallia Hart, President and CEO of Irvine Chamber of Commerce says, “Irvine is a truly unique place: a leading business center with more than a hundred corporations overall; a multicultural community that honors diversity, where residents speak more than 120 languages; and a place that values nature as much as industry and education (p.6 from Irvine, Official Visitors Guide).
- A leading business center with more than a hundred corporations overall.
- A leading education center with University of California Irvine along with a more than a dozen
colleges and universities in Irvine and the surrounding area.
- A leading center of nature with 40 percent of the city – about 25 square miles – committed to
open space, parks and sports fields.
- A multicultural community, where residents speak more than 120 languages.
- Best Place to Live #6
Money’s List of America’s best small cities, 2012
Irvine has a highly educated population, there are residents of all economic classes there, although most of them are certainly prosperous, open space seems very important, community appears to matter. These are all qualities, which Irvine has in abundance.
Amidst the affluence, amenities, and attractions, life in Irvine and Orange County is characterized by spiritual complacency caused by conservative outlook, consumeristic expectations, and exaggerated individualism that is focused on being comfortable, happy, good, safe, and successful.
People are searching for beauty.
Irvine is ranked #1 as the most fashionable city in the US as its residents spent most money at top-end designer stores in the last 30 months.
People are searching for community.
Orange County has one of the highest divorce rates in the US. 70 to 72 percent of the county’s first-time marriages end in divorce.
People are searching for intimacy.
The city is ranked within the top ten respectively with the following search words: porn, xxx, and sex.
The truth is that we are all imperfect people desiring to live a perfect life.
The good news is that Jesus is a perfect person who came to give us eternal life.
In Jesus, we have true beauty because he removes our guilt, shame, and fears and clothes us with his righteousness, peace, and love.
In Jesus, we have true community because he shows us how to love one another as a family of God.
In Jesus, we have true intimacy because he loves us and gave himself for us that we might be reconciled to God and with one another.
1. We need a church that reaches out to two types of prodigal sons: the “younger sons” who live far away from God and the “older sons” who live near God but are far from his heart.
2. We need a church that appreciates and challenges the city at the same time.
3. We need a gospel ecosystem, that is, a cluster of gospel-centered missional churches that are committed to making disciples of Jesus and planting a healthy vibrant churches in Orange County where more than 3 million people pursue their own kingdoms.