Yesterday was incredible.

There are so many things I could share about the emotion and experience of officially launching a church, but there were one set of experiences in particular that brought me a tremendous amount of joy — hearing the positive feedback about our service from our first-time guests from Oakland.

Responses like:

“Usually reading the Bible is hard for me, but you made it come alive!” “I haven’t been a part of a church in years, but I’m so glad I came today.” “We’ve been looking for a church that both us and our kids can grow in.” “We already texted our friends, who also live in Oakland and are looking for a church, to check you guys out!” “Thank you for doing this, will your messages be available online so I can listen to them when I’m out of town?”

And my favorite response of all,

“We loved it and we’ll be back next week!”

These responses mean so much to me because the mission statement of our church is “To overwhelm Oakland with love.”

Now, I understand that it is going to take a tremendous about of time, energy and resources before our community of faith actually overwhelms the city of Oakland with the love of Christ in such a way where the city feels it in practical ways, but I am so thankful and blessed that, yesterday, during our Grand Opening Service, we took a forward step in that direction!

Our church was started in the city of Oakland, for the city of Oakland therefore every time we make a positive impact and impression on the people actually living in Oakland, I am going to celebrate!