Cedars Church

Home Church Update

Hey Cedars!
As you know, we have been working toward launching and building home churches from day one of our merge as a way to desperately reach the world that is around us. We started the launching of Home Churches by first identifying potential leaders and then we set out to teach, equip, grow and encourage them through this training process. This entire endeavor was started from scratch and we knew that we would learn a lot through the process. We have! We gave ourselves permission to try, to fail and to try again. We have done just that. 

Our potential Home Church Pastors have been training under Pastor Jeff Harris. He has been meeting with them weekly for months now. The topics of theology, doctrine, ministry, and pastoral care have been studied and discussed. We have resourced them with some amazing materials as well as blessed them with tools that will benefit them in their study of God’s Word. There has been a tremendous amount of vulnerability as we have discussed fears and worries; plans and procedures; prayers and vision. We have really tried to walk as God has led us. 

Through the training process, some of our potential pastors discerned that this is not for them. Some said that this was not the right time. Some are still working through this process. It has been a truly awesome experience. We know what we want to see take place and yet we also want to go where God leads. 

We have shared our plans with the leadership of the CMA. They are very aware that to reach people in our day and age we need to be flexible and inventive. They see us as a test case and are working with us to best support and bless what we are doing. We want to do all of this well as do they. Joel has been working through the process of how to license and commission these potential pastors. That process is going on as we speak and is still very fluid. 

In the meantime, we have had some leaders who were ready to “soft” launch in order to build their teams and begin to meet to pray and plan as a group. Two groups have begun their soft launch. Tim Levers and Esteban Warren are leading a home church in Hayward and Andy Patrick is leading one in Newark. At this point they are meeting to set vision of begin as healthy as possible. So are they a “Home Church” yet? That is a great question. Right now they are passionate leaders looking to have a healthy group that will be outward focused seeking to  reach their “Inner Circle.” Please pray for these two groups as they dip their toe into a very big endeavor. Be patient with the leadership as we learn how to appropriately commission them for the calling God has laid on their lives. Praying with the staff as we look to support and encourage them as they do take the steps to become Cedars Home Churches.

Looking Back! Moving Forward

Hello Cedars!

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Christmas is upon us! Wow that was fast. We are very excited about our Christmas sermon series and the New Year to follow. We really are!

On this journey of merging churches, the first year is the toughest. Everything we read and studied hinted that surviving the first year would be the most crucial. Well, we are close.

We will look back over 2017 and debrief. We will ask questions big and small. We will ponder the thought, "What we were thinking?"  We will be pleased with unforeseen blessings. We will ask our God what He was up to, and we will praise Him for doing things we could not have believed. As you do with your personal life, you will assess, question, recalibrate and, yes, move forward.

We serve a mighty God. We want to be sure to follow Him wherever He may lead.

One thing that I know as I look back on 2017 is that God helped us to solidify what Cedars is really about. As a brand new church we wanted to establish our unique DNA. We truly wanted to know where Cedars is going.

One thing I know happened in 2017 is that we put our flag in the ground about Cedars three missional tenets:  Cedars is an Equipping Church committed to each member’s Inner Circle and encouraging all who will to become an integral part of a Home Church!  

Cedars should be about these three things. Our key verse is Ephesians 4:12.  Accordingly, we are “equipping the saints for works of ministry”.  We are encouraging every believer to reach out to his/her Inner Circle and we will give opportunities for people to reach their world through Home church (whether that means we are in a home church or supporting them as a church body).

We have not changed our plan. We have not been shaken from our pursuit of these things. As a matter of fact, in the days to come, you will see us going even farther down this road. You will see it as we preach, teach and share this vision.

Rooted has been such a great foundation to all of this. We have been blessed to see the results of what this experience has meant to those who were group members.

In the year to come, we will question, pivot, try harder, pray more and, yes, follow our God with diligence.  However, I want you to know that we are still focused as a leadership and a staff on the very thing God called us to do when we merged a year ago:  Equip, Inner Circle and Home Church!

Merry Christmas and may the entire Cedars family have a very Happy New Year!

Jeff Harris (Teaching and Training Pastor)