Seek First His Kingdom!
Prayer Goals for 2010
By Kip McKean
“Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Our 2012 theme for the City of Angels International Christian Church and our Winter Workshop is Seek First His Kingdom. However, before we look ahead, let’s remember how the Spirit has moved in 2011. Perhaps most amazing is witnessing the unfolding of Jesus’ plan of the multiplication of disciples!
The City of Angels Church started 2011 with 303 disciples. In the past 365 days, “the Lord added to our number [more than] daily” as He blessed us with 366 additions: 260 baptisms, 49 restorations, and 57 place memberships – many of whom came from our former fellowship seeking revival! Also awe-inspiring was the sending out of the third Crown of Thorns Mission Team – Sao Paulo in late August. Already, the Spirit has more than tripled this congregation from seven to twenty-two sold-out disciples! In fact, over the past four and-a-half years since the City of Angels Church was planted, the Spirit has sent out 118 disciples on six mission teams – Honolulu, New York City, Portland, San Diego, London and Sao Paulo – as well as leaders to strengthen our sister churches in Santiago, Washington DC, Chicago, Kiev and Hilo. Therefore, since God planted the City of Angels Church in May 2007, the original 42 disciples from Portland have multiplied to over 1,500 disciples with 2,500 in attendance on Sundays!
Multiplication by God’s Spirit has also occurred in the leadership of the SoldOut Movement. So incredible at our 2011 Global Leadership Conference were the reinstatements and appointments of 16 Evangelists and Women’s Ministry Leaders: Cory Blackwell – whose son CJ and daughter Avrie were baptized in 2011, Blaise & Patricia Feumba, DJ Comisford, Tyler & Shay Sears, Mike & Brittany Underhill, Chris & Kerri-Sue Adams, Tim & Lianne Kernan, Vic Gonzalez Jr., Coltin Rohn and Jay Shelbrack. Of special note, Chris Broom was appointed Missions Evangelist, and his son Austin was baptized. Earlier in the year, it was also encouraging that Luke & Brandon Speckman of Phoenix were appointed Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader by Chris & Sonja Chloupek.
This past year, the City of Angels Church has been blessed with the raising-up of Shepherding Couples-in-training for each of our nine regions! These efforts have already had a great impact for the Lord as our retention rate is significantly higher than in 2010. It was also a great joy to have Michael & Sharon Kirchner not only become full-time to oversee the administration in God’s new movement, but also to see this awesome couple join the Bordieris and the Untalans as our movement’s third Shepherding Couple.
So many other miracles flood my mind with precious memories. At the forefront is the record setting Women’s Day with an attendance of 500 in March, as well as the global efforts of MERCYworldwide’s Day of MERCY in June and our Toy Drive in December. Even though our congregation has grown to almost 500 disciples, I sense a greater closeness to God and to one another. Certainly, the retreats for the Marrieds, the Singles, the Campus & Teens, and our Middle School Ministry contributed to this reality, as well as “fun events” such as our Labor Day Congregational Picnic and Play Day.
With this year’s theme of Seek First His Kingdom, the City of Angels Church Leadership has set before the Lord the following prayer goals for 2012:
- “This gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…” (Matthew 24:14) Excitingly, three of the 12 Crown of Thorns Cities have been planted – Santiago, London and Sao Paulo. Of note, Vic & Aurora Gonzalez have “forcefully advanced the Kingdom”in Santiago as this sister church has witnessed 50 baptisms in 2011! (Matthew 11:12) Lord willing, Carlos & Lucy Mejia will move to Santiago this summer to allow the Gonzalezes to lead the fourth Crown of Thorns Mission Team to Mexico City, Mexico – Vic’s homeland! Then, our fifth Crown of Thorns Planting will be led by Tim & Lianne Kernan to the great city of Paris.Equally amazing are the church plantings inside the United States which we have chosen to call the Samaritan Project. Lord willing, Coltin & Mandee Rohn will lead the planting to Boston; Mike & Brittany Underhill will lead the mission team to San Francisco; and Matt & Helen Sullivan will take their mission team to Orlando which will be joined by a great remnant group of already 35 disciples. Pray that all five of these plantings will be sent-out in August at the 2012 Global Leadership Conference!
- “Jesus went through all the towns and villages…preaching the good news of the Kingdom.” (Matthew 9:35) The daily additions that the Lord blessed us with in 2011 will be very challenging for us to achieve again in 2012, because 40 of our most fruitful disciples will be sent-out next summer. Many will be on the five mission teams, but also included in this number are disciples who will be sent-out to strengthen young churches such as Richard & Rotasha Lewis who are going to London. With that being said, we believe that God will once again bless our congregation with more than daily additions! A short-term goal that will help us to achieve this is our January 29th Bring Your Neighbor Day. We are praying to have over 1,000 in attendance – “1,000 for the Lord!” Hopefully, by the end of the year there will be a thousand in attendance every Sunday morning, and this bountiful increase of disciples will allow us to initiate our tenth region – the North Region!
- “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His Kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word!”(2 Timothy 4:1-2) With the multiplication of our movement’s disciples, there is a continual need to mature this ever-increasing number by training Evangelists, Women’s Ministry Leaders, Shepherding Couples and Deacon Couples.Prayerfully as a movement, we will appoint at least six Evangelists and Women’s Ministry Leaders. Secondly, within the City of Angels Church, our goal is to have trained Shepherding Couples in each of our ten regions. Lastly, we are praying that there will be at least one Deacon Couple in each of the regions as well.
- “Jesus said, ‘Let the [teens] come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'”(Luke 18:16) At the outset of this year, the City of Angels Church Leadership is dedicated to building awesome High School and Middle School Ministries for our teens and older pre-teens. Presently, there are 17 baptized teenagers in our congregation. We have asked Joel Parlour & Courtney Irwin to spearhead this effort throughout our congregation. Already, Regional Teen Leaders have been selected in most of our regions.To augment this effort, we are asking DJ & Kacie Comisford to initiate and oversee a very similar program to our former fellowship’s HOPE Youth Corps. Our effort will be called IGNITE – Impacting Generation Next International Teen Explosion. This camp will be held in San Diego from July 7-16, 2012. Included will be bonding in an outdoor camp, a day of service for MERCY (perhaps in Tijuana, Mexico), a day of evangelism, and the teens conducting the Sunday Service of the San Diego International Christian Church. IGNITE will be open to all baptized teens throughout the movement, but will be limited to 30 disciples. More details about the selection process are coming, but in essence, it will include an essay and a recommendation from their local church leader. The cost will be around $500 plus travel expenses to come to San Diego. This money may come from the disciple’s family, their local congregation, or from various fundraising activities. Pray that this effort will allow our teens to become leaders not only in the church of tomorrow, but in God’s church today!
- “The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) In 2011, the disciples of the City of Angels Church not only “talked” about financial sacrifice, but they depended upon the “power” of God to meet our financial goals both in our weekly collection and in our two Missions Contributions. As we begin this year, the City of Angels Church pledge is $22,300 – $46 per disciple. We are calling upon the congregation to increase our collective pledge to $25,000 by late January. Also, on Easter Sunday, April 8th, we will join all of the other churches in the SoldOut Movement to once again give a 15X Missions Contribution to further God’s movement around the world.
- “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and [works through His Kingdom to save] those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) As a church family, each member of the SoldOut Movement is called upon to serve “the broken-hearted” – the poor, the widows, the fatherless and the orphans. The benevolent arm of God’s new movement is called MERCYworldwide, and each disciple in our family of churches is called a “MERCY Ambassador.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) Nick & Denise Bordieri have done an outstanding job coordinating all of our efforts throughout the world for the annual events of our Day of MERCY and our Christmas Toy Drive. To enhance their leadership, Cory Blackwell has been appointed Director for United States Projects and Blaise Feumba has been appointed Director for International Projects. Let’s continue to pray that Christ can be seen through our “mercy” to the “broken-hearted” of this lost world.
- “If a Kingdom is divided against itself, that Kingdom cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24) The unity of all of the churches in the SoldOut Movement is essential if we are to see the evangelization of the nations in this generation. To further strengthen our young movement’s unity, we have already begun to plan the 2012 Global Leadership Conference. It will be held in the same facility as last year – the Garden Grove Hyatt Regency in Orange County. The actual conference will begin on Sunday morning with a combined worship service of the San Diego, Phoenix and Los Angeles Churches. The program will conclude around noon on Tuesday. Pray that all of the Bible Talk Leaders in our family of churches can attend what promises to be an historic event with the sending-out of the five mission teams!
This time of the year is often filled with New Year’s resolutions that sadly are rarely realized. Yet as disciples, we can claim the promise of Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that’s at work within us to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen!” Though our movement’s and congregational dreams are exhilarating, it is important that every disciple has Kingdom dreams. These are different than worldly New Year’s resolutions, because you have the power of God working within you. God promises us that “He is able to do more than we [pray] or even [dream]!” So be encouraged! “Seek first His Kingdom” and dream! For “who knows that you have not come to the Kingdom for such a time is this?” (Esther 4:14 RSV) And to God be all the glory!