We had a first meeting in the Roseville/Citrus Heights/Granite Bay/Sacramento Area yesterday. We had 16 attend with 9 being folks not already from our church. We're going to keep meeting on Sunday afternoons at 3pm. Our goal is to go and preach the gospel to that area of our state capital to expand the ministry of our church in El Sobrante. We passed out 2,000 flyers to announce the meeting. None came from the flyers. That didn't surprise me. The 9 were all related in some way to folks in our church---friends, co-workers, etc. I was happy about the meeting, a good start.
Marlowe and Becky Robles rode up with my wife and me. We are meeting in a care home with a capacity of about 25-30, that is owned by members of our church. The Robles' brought their piano to the home to leave there for this start, so we had piano the first gathering with our singing. Afterward we went out evangelizing for an hour.
We switched things around at our church. I am now teaching in Sunday School, continuing my series in 1 Kings. Pastor Sutton at our church is preaching his Nehemiah series now on Sunday night. We leave for Sacramento right after the morning service, arrive at 2:30pm, have the meeting from 3:00 to 4:15pm, talk to folks afterward, then begin evangelizing at 4:30 every Sunday night. We'll leave back to the Bay Area at about 6:00pm to get back home at 7:30pm.
Marlowe has a good part time job, teaches violin, and then teaches a little in our school. Becky also teaches a few classes in our school. Marlowe is in his third year of graduate training with me at what we call Bethel Advanced Pastoral Training (BAPT). David Warner is here doing about the same thing as Marlowe. We meet every week for class instruction. It includes historical theology, apologetics, systematic theology, biblical languages, counseling, etc. I also direct their reading and their research/papers. They do a lot of teaching and preaching. If you are interested in this kind of training, which I think is a M. Div. equivalent, but very hands-on under a seasoned pastor, it is available for you. There is no tuition, but you have to work hard.
Are we starting a church? We're evangelizing with hope for a church in the future. My wife and I went to two doors. The first was not home. The second was a Jehovah's Witness who invited us in, and we talked for an hour. Marlowe and Becky covered five or six houses, talking to someone at every one. That's how we're going to get it done. When someone is converted, one of us will start discipleship with them during that 4:30-6:00pm time, while the other is evangelizing. Some folks from our church may travel up to evangelize at certain times. If the number of new converts and interested believers grows, a church may come out of that.
You can pray for the future of this church and the new work that is being done. We have two goals. We want to provide a place for saints in this populated area to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. And we want to preach the gospel to every creature that lives there. We want to see the same kind of work start in other places in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.