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powerful as a family understanding its
role in preparing the hearts, souls, and
minds of the next generation of Christ
followers. “As for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Reaching the Unchurched
Language like “letting the side door of
your home become the front door of the
Typically places like bars and nightclubs are written off as untouchable. But, as we
church” and “planting church in every-
are finding, those are the exact places where God can sometimes use us the greatest.
day life” describes the mission of The
January of this year, Epic Church launched a separate gathering time in the
Orchard Church.
upstairs of a local bar/restaurant called Coburn’s. “Faith on Tap,” as the meeting has
For far too long, Salt Lake City has
been dubbed, has become a place of refuge and
been a lost and forgotten mission field
conversation for those disenchanted with the
due to the Mormon influence here since
church as it stands.
the 1840s. Because of the distortion of
Most of its attendees have expressed a com-
truth by the Mormons, there has been a
mon distrust with places of worship as a whole.
large wave of other world religions that
Whether founded or not, the sentiment still
have found their home in the valley.
remains, so getting the unchurched inside the
What a great opportunity to start a
doors to provide an opportunity to redefine the
church-planting movement for the
church for them can be quite a daunting task.
Church of God! Some of our congregants
We all might not be able to meet in a bar, but we all have access to our own con-
are Mormon, former Catholics, or have
versation happening in our town. Conversations might take place anywhere, like a
had no faith allegiance prior to coming to
Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or the Motor Vehicle Administration. As Henry Blackaby
our church. There are a solid number of
said in his book Experiencing God, “Go find what God is doing, and join Him.”
other evangelical churches here, but to
So may we never discount the church God has given us that is out from under-
date, our fellowship is the only English-
neath the steeple, but may we always keep our eyes open for what God is doing all
speaking Church of God in this valley of
around us—even in the most unlikely places.
1.8 million people. Our mission is to
break the ground and lay the foundation
Chris Lockemy, Lead Pastor, Epic Church of God, Baltimore, Maryland
for additional Church of God congrega-
tions to be started in the valley. The only
way to grow The Orchard is by planting
one seed at a time and letting the Holy
Spirit do the germinating.
Clearview Church
Pastors, teachers, and all followers of
Christ in our denomination, I challenge
Chesapeake, Virginia
you and your churches to begin discus-
sions about birthing new churches into
Clearview Church opened on January 6, 2008,
the Kingdom. Wouldn’t it be great to see
with 37 people. Today Clearview has over 85 regu-
your church become a “mother church”?
lar attenders and continues to lead the way in cre-
Then that church could give birth to
ativity and innovation. Clearview’s growth has come
another church, and so on. The West is a
mainly through conversions of the unchurched. The
great place to start. May God bless your
congregation’s evangelistic lifestyle, evangelistic
vision, and servanthood mission help them fulfill
God’s calling for their church. By reaching in, reach-
*Scriptures are from the New International
ing out, and reaching up, Clearview Church contin-
ues to innovate its way into today’s culture.
Jamie Shope, a graduate of the Church
Rob Huffman, Senior Pastor,
Planters Lab, is founder and pastor of The
Clearview Church of God
Orchard Church in the predominantly Mor-
Contact number: 757-271-8722
mon City of Salt Lake City, Utah.
EVANGEL • APR 2009 15
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