One church planter who never saw the beauty of the Garden State Parkway or Ray Rice run at Rutgers in Piscataway recently blurted out to me, “Why would anybody want to plant a church in Central New Jersey? For that matter why would anybody want to plant a church in NJ, period! It’s an ugly place to live and a demographic nightmare for planting a thriving church from scratch: It’s too diverse, population growth has slowed down and the people are just plain nasty! You’d have to be a little nuts to attempt that.”
Now being a born and raised, in-your-face Jersey Guy myself I almost felt obligated to whack him one, but most of what he said was true. Uh, that is, except for the nasty part, right fellow New Jerseyans?
Yeah, I know the deal. There’s a 80% failure rate among all church plants and the experts tell us it’s easier to start a church in a growing “homogeneous” area where most folks look and act the same. Well, guess what? Central NJ ain’t that place, but it is precisely where the Lord has called us to start fulfilling our vision to compassionately introduce Jesus and His love to tens of thousands of hungry and hurting people who desperately need Him.
Did you know that in Middlesex County alone there are almost 800,000 folks from nearly every people group of the world? Can anybody say Mission Field? While the number of churches may abound, many are NOT reaching or helping the next generation of teens, singles, single parents and young families in their 20’s and 30’s who are living desperate lives without meaning and hope.
The sad fact is less than 25% of this generation ever darken the door of any Christian church. These are the people I ache and weep over, and they are exactly the kinds of people we will, we will by God’s grace and power, go out to reach with His transforming power! If you feel the same way and want to get involved in this fun and craziness, we sure can use the help.
Are we there yet? Don’t make me laugh. Right now as I write this, “Oasis Church” is just a TEAM of 5 ordinary people with absolutely no earthly resources save an extraordinarily Amazing God, a vision and a passion to turn this place and world upside down for Jesus. Are we there yet? Stay tuned.
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