In 2005, we planted Grace Community Chapel with twelve members with a vision to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20). In the first five years, God faithfully guided us through challenges of the first phase of church-planting and in the next five years, He led us into a second stage of sustainability. During this stage, God built GCC’s sustainability in number of members, role of senior pastor, participation in missions, number of lay leaders, and finances.
It was in this second stage of sustainability, during one memorable early morning prayer service, that God revealed a vision about the third stage of the church. God impressed upon my heart that He would bring us into a third stage of release. The sustainability and security GCC achieved in ten years would become a strong diving board upon which GCC would jump, gain momentum, and be released into the community and world. It would not be a comfortable platform for the church to stand and grow stagnant. Churches do not exist to be cruise-liners that maintain the status quo and make passengers stagnant and happy. Churches exist to be a battleship in a spiritual battle, and this is why GCC would be released as God’s ambassadors. Everything GCC does, from membership, discipleship, leadership training, cell groups, children’s ministries to adult ministries, would be for the purpose of training and fortifying God’s ambassadors and soldiers to be released. In this vision, I vividly remember seeing a church building. And when we purchased a church building in 2016, that is how I knew that we were embarking on the third stage of release. Now that we are in the third stage of release, here are the three specific ways in which I see God releasing our church: (1) Bible-based school, (2) church planting center, and (3) missions center.
GCC’s vision is to build a Bible-based school that will not compromise the word of God and train and raise Godly leaders who will be at the forefront of God’s kingdom work. According to Dr. John Kim, the founder of JAMA (Jesus Awakening Movement of America), schools in the U.S. have become the last battlefront for the hearts of Americans. As federally funded institutions, schools are compromised by the government’s agenda and we are in dire need of schools that will raise up Godly leaders according to God’s word. Our church will build curricula, teachers, and resources to develop a church that will teach the word of God to raise up Godly leaders.
GCC’s vision is to create a church-planting network to guide and support church plants. Our experience with multiple church plants and satellites granted us wisdom and testimonies about God’s heart for church-planting. We believe that it is now time to initiate partnerships with other churches and church-planting networks to build a church-planting center that can guide and support other church plants. This will not be just a local effort or one sustainable church promoting its own agenda but a greater church-planting network that will plant churches globally.
GCC’s vision is to build a missions center that can help sustain the mental, physical, and spiritual health of full-time missionaries to do God’s work in the world. Currently, we have four active long-term missionaries and many part-time missionaries. By next year, we will have eight full-time missionaries. We have a missions director and now we are moving towards making a missions center that is beyond GCC.
How then do we as members individually prepare for these visions? In this vision of release, not only did I see corporate areas of release for the church but personal release for members of GCC. I saw release from bondage, from issues of sin, or certain addictions and life-long psychological struggles. There’s a promise of God to release them so that we can fulfill God’s purpose. Second, people will be released financially. For ten years, I’ve seen God cleansing people’s vessels so that they can be ready from finances and being released in this area so that they can practice generosity. People will be released from the love and grip of money so that they can love God and God’s people over money and practice generosity, regardless of how much or how little they have. Third, release with leverage. God is going to open doors for some people and they are going to have leverage in their workplaces to bring people to God. As GCC members, you must know, all that happens for your advancement is for the kingdom of God. If you are being released from bondages, finances and leverage, God is preparing you for a greater purpose. So contribute, get involved, go on missions, join a team, sacrifice, disciple your children, and let’s do this. Let’s do this with passion, purity, and power.