I recently asked a friend and brother in Christ, why he was partnering with us in planting Harvest Bible Chapel in Ventura and this was his response:
Why are we planning on planting yet another church in Ventura? Doesn’t Ventura have enough churches already? After a quick check on the Internet I found that Ventura has over 100 churches of varying denominations with about half of those falling into the “Christian” category. As Brent mentioned in a previous blog, church plants fail all the time. And if you drive through Ventura on a regular basis, you see buildings that once held churches are now occupied by some random business. Is Harvest Bible Chapel of Ventura destined to be replaced by a 99-cent store? Only God knows. But I can give you 107,514 reasons why we need to try.
That is the population of Ventura. Over 100,000 people that need to hear about the love of Jesus Christ. Over 100,000 people that need to know that Christ died for their sins. Over 100,000 people that need to know that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him. And over 100,000 people that need to hear the inspired Word of God, preached faithfully and without compromise. Romans 10:14-15 says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” And then verse 17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
So, people come to faith through hearing the word of Christ. But isn’t that what all of the other churches are doing? Not necessarily. Eight years ago, our family began searching for a new church and what we found was more than a little disappointing. Often, we would visit a church and never opened our Bible. If scripture was used, the verse was put up on the screen and preached from there. One was neither asked, nor encouraged to open God’s word. Or we would get stories and personal anecdotes. Entertaining, but not the meat of scripture. Not that there aren’t churches in Ventura that are preaching the Word of God faithfully, there are. But I fear they are the exception and not the rule.
Why do we need another church in Ventura? I believe there are Christians in Ventura who are hungry for the word of God and are longing to hear it preached every week. And I know there are unbelievers who desperately need to hear the Word of God preached unashamedly, that convicts them of their sin and their desperate need for Jesus Christ. I pray that the church in Ventura would rise up and boldly exalt the name of Christ. If only there was a church on every corner lifting high the name of Christ! Can there be too much Jesus? Too much grace, too much mercy? To quote the apostle Paul, “May it never be!”
Do we need another church in Ventura? No, not just another church, but the body of Christ, living, worshipping, praying, and honoring God together. A fellowship of believers devoted to the Glory and Honor of the one who gave himself for us, so that we might live!
Dean Sylvies- Ventura Resident
I am sure there are plenty more people in Ventura who think like Dean, who want to see God worshiped and non-believers come to Christ. If you agree with Dean and the Lord has placed in your heart a longing for such a church in Ventura, then pray and then join us in launching this church. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To the praise of his glory…