Our 2020 Vision
The following vision prospectus captures the essense of who we are and where, by God’s grace, we are headed. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
why do we exist?
The church is a family formed by the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. We want everyone in South Orange County to be a part of that family—yet there are tens of thousands of people in our neighborhoods who are not.
This is why we are currently planting a new church community in South Orange County. We are joining Jesus in His work of transforming lives and renewing communities so that more and more people will come to know Him, love Him, and worship Him as God.
Our mission is simply a contextualized summary of both the Great Commandment(s) in Matthew 22 and the Great Commission in Matthew 28:
We exist to multiply disciples in South Orange County who live for the glory of God and the good of others through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our calling is simple: make disciples, not converts. A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. This means we are about both reaching wide and digging deep. We are not merely about gathering people into a crowd, but we are about the harder work of discipling them into fully devoted followers of Christ. As JD Greear says, “one discipled believer has greater impact on the world than 10 people who make a merely superficial commitment to Jesus.”
This document outlines our strategic plan to meet this crucial need. Our prayer is that behind all our priorities and plans you will see our desire for our neighbors to know the grace and peace found only in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve already seen unchurched, de-churched, and skeptic people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ—and by God’s grace we will see many more. We hope that in reading this, you will be led to support our labor of love. In keeping with the examples we see in the New Testament and throughout church history, we believe it takes the financial and prayer support of many gospel partners in order to see our God-sized dream become a reality.
Thank you for taking the time to consider what God is doing through King’s Cross Church. If you have any questions or need something clarified, please don’t hesitate to contact me (Chris Poblete) at email@example.com.
who do we serve?
The greater Rancho Santa Margarita area is a fast-growing community of mostly 30-somethings who desperately need the hope of Jesus Christ.
Population growth and diversity, but lacking Gospel churches
Our target area (a five mile radius from Rancho Santa Margarita’s center) is home to over 130,000 residents and is one of the fastest growing residential regions in the state. Two new development projects opening along the 241 toll road (Baker Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo) are bringing a 40% population increase over the next 10-15 years.
The target area is also ethnically diverse (66% Caucasian; 25% Asian or Hispanic; 8% other). The new residential developments are bringing in more diversity, especially in the Asian-American demographic.
Implications for church planting: We need more gospel-centered churches to keep up with this population growth and new families.
Young families moving in, searching for meaning
The average age in the target area was lowered to 36 in the last few years. Empty nesters are moving out and young families (older millennials) are settling in. In fact, we had five pregnant woman at our church before our public launch, and now a year later those babies have been born, but we now have six more pregnant women! Future generations are being forged in our neighborhoods. These are the culture shapers of tomorrow.
Implications for church planting: Young parents who have not attended church in decades are finding themselves with a renewed interest in church life because they “want [their] kids to learn about God.” This provides us an opportunity to welcome new families and come alongside them as they seek answers to questions regarding faith, meaning, legacy, and purpose.
People of influence, but overworked
Orange County is a hybrid urban/suburban community that is known for its cul-de-sac communities and also its cultural influence. The most commonly held careers are in education, management, technology, and sciences. In other words, these are cultural leaders and influencers.
Applied Medical, a fast-growing company that purchased eight buildings in RSM over the last five years is bringing many young families to the area, including members of our church.
Implications for church planting: We will help young professionals see their work not as a necessary burden but a call to participate with God in the flourishing of others. By integrating faith and work, we follow God’s call to see the “peace and prosperity of the city.”
Community- and family-oriented
Rancho Santa Margarita, like much of South Orange County, has a strong commuter culture. Our target area has no “downtown center” and few common gathering places. People are generally willing to drive to another part of the city for recreation and community.
As Brian Howard once explained, “People don’t live here; they just sleep here.” But even with no downtown area, RSM and its surrounding communities hold large seasonal community events aimed at drawing families together (i.e., concerts in the park, fireworks at the lake, etc).
Implications for church planting: With no defined “neighborhoods,” affinity matters more than geography, and church will have more of a regional identity. Having an intentional presence at family-oriented community events will provide missional opportunities for home groups and the church as a whole
Increasingly post-churched culture
Over half of the residents have no religious affiliation whatsoever. Only ~10% of the general population claims to be “evangelical,” and that number is steadily decreasing with the rise of the “nones.” 85% of the emerging millennial generation (who make up the majority of South Orange County’s transplants) see Christians as hypocritical and most believe church is irrelevant.
I often describe South Orange County as a “post-megachurch culture.” Coming out of the Jesus Movement, Orange County became the birthing place of many large evangelical movements—Purpose Driven, Calvary Chapel, Crystal Cathedral, Vineyard, etc. The quick growth models born from this produced large churches with production-friendly gatherings and, sometimes, a personality-driven culture. This model worked well for my parents generation, but has left the unchurched 30-somethings in our community wanting.
Although the number of evangelicals is decreasing in South Orange County, religious and therapeutic forms of moralism still exist. There are two faith groups currently experiencing growth in numbers: Roman Catholicism and Mormonism.
Implications for church planting: People have honest questions about life, meaning, and faith—and we believe the Scriptures provide the most satisfying answers because they are true. We need to clearly and consistently articulate how the gospel is different than religious moralism. Because rootedness and authenticity carry more weight than production value, we find ways to recognize the historicity of our Christian heritage while still finding innovative ways to engage our local culture—“fresh encounters with the ancient faith,” as we say. We are not only intentionally seeking to reach the “unchurched” who have no church background, but also the “de-churched” who either walked away from the faith or assume the faith while not actually living it.
Sociologists call Orange County an “exaggerated America” because it is a melting pot of the American Dream with all its idols (consumerism, individualism, etc.). This is why, at one point, Dr. Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary called Orange County the “laboratory” for how Christians relate to broader suburban culture.
Here are a few predominant idols of our culture.
Work. Work is a gift from God, but sometimes we treat it as a god, sacrificing family, health, and church life at its altar.
- IMAGE. Constant game of keeping up with image. In our social media age, each person is their own PR rep. We live compartmentalized lives—our public image life and our real personal life.
- SEX. Resident Jr Highers are regularly engaging in sexual conduct. The adult swinger population in the greater RSM region is gaining popularity.
Individualism/Pluralism. There is a natural aversion to community and being known, especially with older demographics. It is possible to live in the middle of our massive population and be unknown.
- COMFORT. We live selfishly for our own comfort rather than spending our lives and resources in the service of others.
The only antidote to these cultural idols is the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why we need a gospel-saturating movement of disciple-making churches.
An EMERGING IDENTITY
Most of the South Orange County is less than fifty years old. Because it is a relatively new community, there is little sense of community identity. How awesome would it be if, as the region begins forming its own identity, South Orange County became known for its gospel impact?
Learn More at “Connect Coffee”
At Connect Coffee, you’ll learn more about who we are, why we started this church, and where we’re headed in the years ahead. It’s also a great place to meet our leadership team and learn how to get plugged in.