Our Story. Our Call.
I, Teddy, grew up in Kenya. While attending Daystar University I met my wife, Emily, in 2002. In 2004 I moved to the United States to pursue pastoral calling and ministry. Four year later I earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Azusa Pacific Seminary. Emily attended Westmont College and is a teacher at Friends Christian School. We have three kids: Judah 8, Audrey 6, Tessa 3, and two 12 year old cats. We have been serving at Friends Community Church, Brea for 14 years and God has been faithful through this journey. As a family we cannot be more thankful for an opportunity to partner with Friends Community Church, Brea to expand the influence of God’s Kingdom to the city of Fullerton and beyond! We are better together.
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. ~ JESUS
In the summer of 2018 I took a sabbatical to figure out what was stirring in my heart. We have known for a while that God was calling us to something, but we were not sure what that was. Through a prayer retreat, lots of prayer walks, and a long drive through Arizona and Utah, God made my calling very clear. At the same time, Friends Community Church had been going through leadership restructuring with the focus of God calling us to expand our influence as a church. Little did we know I was going to be spearheading this expansion. At the conclusion of the summer, I spent a couple of days in Haviland, Kansas at a Friends Multiplication Conference. During the last night of the conference, God grabbed my heart and confirmed that church planting is the direction we should be going. After much prayer and consultation with leadership and close friends, we knew in our hearts that God was calling us to start a new ministry in West Fullerton. It is exciting, thrilling, and terrifying to leave a ministry and a church that we have served and loved for 14 years. But the Lord is faithful and will always be. We look at it as expanding FCC’s influence and growing the church body. We are in this together and for the Kingdom of God. Emily, the kids, and I, are answering a call to be the sent out laborers.
Why Church Plant?
Statistics show that America is the largest English speaking mission field. It is estimated that 53,000 people leave churches every week and never come back. (Exit Interviews, George Hendricks). Furthermore, we need 5,000 more churches per year to keep up with the population growth. However, it is estimated that there are nearly 7,000 churches closing every year. The call to plant more churches is urgent and we are taking the call of Jesus to go and make disciples seriously. God has always used people to accomplish his purposes and we want to be used by the Lord.
Tim Keller says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for (1) the numerical growth of the body of Christ in a city and (2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else—not crusades, outreach programs, parachurch ministries, growing megachurches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes—will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. Dozens of denominational studies have confirmed that the average new church gains most of its new members (60–80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshiping body, while churches over ten to fifteen years of age gain 80–90 percent of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means the average new congregation will bring six to eight times more new people into the life of the body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size.”
Why West Fullerton?
Our target area is west Fullerton, this also includes parts of Buena Park and La Mirada cities within a defined area of a 2.5 miles radius. There are 150,000 people residing in this area. The population is projected to increase by 4.3% in the next 5 years. There is a large percentage of young families. The racial/ethnic diversity is extremely high. Anglos represent 23.5%, Asians 32%, Black 2.4% and Hispanics 41%. The largest generational number is aged 37-57 with about 29% of the population.The overall education level is somewhat high. 84% of the population aged 25 and over have graduated from high school as compared to the national average of 87%.
Household concerns exceed the national average, they include Neighborhood Gangs, Neighborhood Crime and Safety, Affordable Housing, Achieving Educational Objectives, Social Injustice and Time for Recreational/Leisure. Homelessness is also a major problem in Fullerton as a whole. The economic disparity in this area is outstanding, 62% White Collar, 36% is blue collar. Overall, the likely faith involvement level and preference to Christianity is very low when compared to the national average with 70% of people not affiliated with any church in this area.(All statistics from Percept Group- Demographic Study)
The task looks gigantic and we cannot do this on our own, we believe God’s design is to see lives transformed and families in this area flourishing and together we can partner with God to make much of his Kingdom and do great things and change the statistics. Will you join this adventure and be part of the laborers to see the Kingdom expand?
Our Family Prayer for the people we will be reaching.
Since the day we heard about the community in Fullerton, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask that God fills you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. May you come to experience the power of Christ and live a life worthy of the Lord, and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work. May you come to grow in the knowledge of God as individuals and as a community.As you follow Jesus in all seasons may you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.May you grow to have lives that give joyful thanks to the Father, who will qualify you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For the Lord will rescue you from the dominion of darkness and bring you into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
An adaptation of Colossians 1:9-14.