National Article about Grace Rancho

From GraceConnect eNews, No. 315, Week of July 1, 2019

“I am in it for the long haul. If God called me to care for these people, I was going to be faithful,” says Eric Durso, who is now the lead pastor of Grace Rancho, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., as he reflects on God’s faithfulness to the revitalized church over the last year.

The congregation of Grace Rancho (formally known as Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma) is a product of what churches within the Charis Fellowship are known for: caring for one another, training leaders, and mobilizing existing churches to plant new fellowships.

Grace Rancho

Three years ago, Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma had become a struggling congregation. Simultaneously, the pastors of Grace Church of Simi Valley, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Simi Valley, Calif. (Jordan Bakker, senior pastor) began praying about expanding their ministry with the possibility of either planting a new church or rejuvenating an existing one.

In early October of 2017, Simi Valley was invited to attend a meeting of the Southern California-Arizona district ministerium (now operating under Grace Churches Network) to discuss the plans of Alta Loma after Roy Halberg’s (the lead pastor at the time) retirement. At the meeting, Roy expressed that the church needed to be revitalized. Upon hearing this statement, the pastors of Simi Valley felt as though God had answered their prayer to rejuvenate an existing church.

Pastor Eric Durso

It was shortly after the conversation with Alta Loma that Eric Durso was commissioned to take on the task of restoring the church back to health. Eric began praying every day about the mission that was laid out before him and some members of Simi Valley became interested in joining Eric in the process.

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Latest on the Revitalization of Grace Rancho Cucamonga

Revitalization of Grace Rancho: How We’re Doing It (Part 2)

By Eric Durso on 

The following post is part of a series on our blog inspired by the opportunity for church revitalization God has opened to us in Rancho Cucamonga. Catch up on the earlier posts in the series here:

  1. “Revitalization: Our Moment”
  2. “Why Revitalization?”
  3. “Revitalization: How We’re Doing It (Part 1)

The title of this post in the Revitalization series is “How We’re Doing It,”  but it is by no means a step-by-step process of some great strategic masterplan. The way God has worked so far, it may look like we had such a plan because it’s coming together so nicely. But we didn’t. Rather, here are some of the convictions that we’ve had in approaching this new adventure.

1. I don’t want to leave, I want to be sent. I think the difference between the two is monumental. Leaving is something the Durso family does. Sending is something the entire church does to me. Christ’s call to the church is for everyone to step up for the mission. In the church, there are no dispensable people, everyone is needed. It’s healthy, then, for everyone to be a part of this process because, as John Piper likes to say, “In missions there are only three options: go, send, or be disobedient.” My hope from the beginning has been that the whole church affirms this, the whole church counts the cost (it is a great cost), the whole church feels the weight of it, and the whole church embraces it as their own calling and work. We’re going not because we want to leave. We’re going because we’re being sent by our church to a strategic opportunity for gospel advancement.

2. The Dursos aren’t revitalizing a church, Grace Church of Simi is revitalizing a church. On the other side of the equation, it needs to be emphasized that though the Dursos are among the number of families being sent, the Dursos will not be revitalizing the church in Rancho. Grace Simi, as a church, is revitalizing the church in Rancho. Some of us here at Grace will need to go. Many will need to stay. All will need to ratchet up the focus and intensity of our prayers. Many of us ought to consider increasing our giving (let’s be frank, we’ll need it. And what better way to invest?) Where there are voids, people will need to rise up and serve in greater capacities. For this to work, everyone must pitch in. Isn’t this whole process a fantastic reminder of why we’re still here? Isn’t this an opportunity to remember that whatever we’re doing, wherever we are, we need to be living on a mission?

Stay tuned for the third part of this post in our blog series on church revitalization. Please continue to pray for this project at Grace Rancho. And if we haven’t already, we hope we’ll see you out there on a Sunday soon! Let us know if you’d like more information on how to help and be a part of this!

 

Original post at http://gracesimi.com/our-blog/revitalization-how-were-doing-it-part-2/