This past October, as ROCKHARBOR celebrated its 20th birthday, I took a second to step back and take in all that God has done in the last two decades. Lives of countless “ones” changed, communities transformed, marriages healed, children dedicated, missionaries sent out, and communities raised up. As I’ve come to learn, ever since year one of ROCKHARBOR we’ve always wanted to be a multiplying church and a part of God’s ever-expanding Kingdom of Heaven. Over the years that has taken many forms, from church plants to the Go Campaign, to our mantra of “raising up and sending out” or “give yourself away,” and in more recent years, the planting of ROCKHARBOR Campuses here in Orange County, CA and in Charlotte, NC.
Today we want to bring you into a few updates for our current campuses and give you a glimpse of our future efforts to grow, multiply, and see that many more “ones” come to know Jesus like we do.
It was almost 10 years ago in which we began a campaign called “2+1” to launch 2 campuses and raise up 1 church plant each year for a 2-year period. Over these years, we identified staff to act as campus pastors, recruited church planters, and worked together to see new communities birthed in Orange County. In fact, that heart of multiplication continued beyond the years of 2+1, most recently with our Charlotte Campus led by Thaddeus Fennig and Reunion Church led by Mike Rigdon. Great things are happening in those communities and you can learn more about what Reunion is doing in Santa Ana here.
We are consistently taking steps to evaluate each campus and their strengths, opportunities for growth and viability, alongside the future multiplying efforts of ROCKHARBOR. In recent discussions with Pete Shambrook, the Campus Pastor at ROCKHARBOR Orange, he shared his desire to see a different expression of church, one with a unique kind of service and location along with personal, missional investments in the city of Orange. While we would have hoped to see the Orange Campus continue to grow within the framework of ROCKHARBOR, we are releasing the campus to Pete and his Elders’ leadership, closing this chapter on ROCKHARBOR Orange.
Additionally, we’ve been in many conversations in the past year with Jeff Myers, our Campus Pastor at ROCKHARBOR Fullerton, about the future sustainability of the community. After a number of changes in location and leadership, both weekend attendance and financial support have been in decline and so we’ve ultimately decided, alongside Jeff and his team, to wind down the campus and invite any attendees at ROCKHARBOR Fullerton to attend our Costa Mesa campus.
We know that these decisions have effects on real people and deep relationships, and that there is always a cost to hard choices we must make as we lead together. However, we also believe that these difficult decisions can set us up for a future where we are able to invest our time, energy, and financial resources into future multiplication and growth. We want to affirm that the spirit of kingdom expansion that was alive in those first days of ROCKHARBOR is still alive and well today and our plan will continue to include launching new communities of faith, whether independent church plants or ROCKHARBOR Campuses. Towards these ends we’re developing future Campus Pastors and partnerships with Church Planting Organizations, as well as working towards finding a permanent home for ROCKHARBOR Mission Viejo and launching a new campus out of ROCKHARBOR Costa Mesa.
You may have questions about some of the practical aspects of this transition and so we’ve put together a web page to hopefully answer many of those questions. Visit the Questions & Answers page and learn more. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
I am in awe of what God has done in the first 20 years of our church. What began with a handful of families dreaming in a Costa Mesa neighborhood is now a kingdom movement, larger than anyone could have dreamed with incredible impact. It’s amazing what God can do when we risk, go, serve, and sacrifice. Today we stand on the leading edge of our next 20 years of ministry and as a church of thousands with big dreams for the future I can only imagine the wonder of what God will do.
Lead Pastor ROCKHARBOR Church