A Quick Update from Life Community Church
Life Community Church is the church that Lighthouse is planting in Plano, Texas. Pastor Eric Lau, one of the planting pastors, reports back on how the transition to Texas life has been, highlights from the early months of the church, and ways Lighthouse can be praying for Life. Keep them in prayer and follow them on Instagram at @lifeplano.
So What are You Doing in Texas?
Hard to believe, but it has already been about 2 months since our family packed our bags, shipped our stuff, and drove to Texas.
There are many questions that people have asked us about being in Texas. Some are pretty easy to answer. Are you guys alive?Yes! Are your kids starting to develop a southern twang? TBD… Is everything bigger? Mostly, but I’ve gotten used to it. Is everyone nicer in the South? Yes, unless they drive a truck.
But answering the broader questions of how we are doing and what we are doing isn’t as quick and easy. So I’m writing this blog post to help you back at Lighthouse as our partners in the gospel get up to speed with us here at Life Community Church. We value your friendship, prayers, and support!
There is a lot to say, but to give some structure to the thoughts, I thought I’d break down this update into 3 segments: The Move, the Church, and the Future.
This part is mostly personal and about our move to Texas. If you have no interest in this, feel free to skip ahead to the part about the actual church plant below! Otherwise, enter into my fictionalized diary on August 31, 2015…
8/31/15 8:00am. Diamond Bar, CA: All ready to go! I can’t believe we are leaving California for a new adventure!
8/31/2015 10:00am. Diamond Bar, CA: I can’t believe we are finally leaving…
9/1/2015 1:00pm. Flagstaff, AZ: Last night we decided to watch the Bellagio water show in Vegas for the kids. Unfortunately, Natalie just passed out in her stroller and Bethany spent most of the time playing with her toes. Realizing our girls might be too young to enjoy the sights, we decided not to go to the Grand Canyon since it costs $30 per vehicle! Instead we went to Target to buy some rice cereal.
9/2/2015 11:00am. Continental Divide, New Mexico: I wonder if this REALLY is the continental divide. In other news, New Mexico’s landscape was a refreshing change of pace from the deserts of Arizona and California. It reminded me of Radiator Springs. P.S. Thank you Lord for my parents letting Bethany sleep with them!
9/2/2015 7:00pm. Amarillo, TX: We visited a cool children’s museum in Albuquerque this afternoon with the biggest Elevator in the world. We also just changed Bethany’s diaper on the trunk of our car on the side of the road.
9/3/2015 1:00pm. Wichita Falls, TX: I am shocked and disappointed to discover that the “falls” in Wichita Falls are not actually waterfalls, but manmade! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Also, I am totally not buying Adnan’s story…
9/3/2015 4:00pm. Allen, TX: After 29 hours on the road, we finally made it! God is good – no car troubles, no reservation snafus, no bad weather, and no explosive diapers!
2 months later, for us and most of the families who came out to Dallas this summer, it does finally feels like we are settled. In case you were wondering where in “Dallas” we are if you’re here on business or would like to visit, we’re mostly living near where
the (sorry, SoCal slip) 121 and 75 meet.
There are some adjustments still, and I’m sure we’ll learn about the area more every day (we just had our first couple of Tornados this past week). But we are in our homes, schools, jobs, and rhythm. We have furniture, are finding doctors, we’ve celebrated a few birthdays, we’re making new friends, and are meeting weekly as a church.
Speaking of the church, we’ve been meeting since September either in our house or the Hee family’s home. Like we mentioned a few Sundays back, we videoconference with the church plant team at Lighthouse that meets in the conference room at 11am.
The initial thought when we came out in September was to visit lots of churches during this time to learn about the church environment and culture here, and I’ve been meeting with local pastors a couple times each week.
But I think the most important things God wants to teach us are happening right at Life Community Church, even at this pre-embryonic stage.
Having church in our homes definitely feels like a far cry from what we were accustomed to at Lighthouse. The production quality isn’t always the greatest, we sometimes have technical problems, and we also have to do a lot more cleaning. And beyond that, we really only do two things as a church each week: meet for service on Sunday, and have prayer meetings on Wednesday.
We don’t have background music, we don’t have a welcoming team, worship teams, a website, evangelistic events, or much of anything at the moment. But we study God’s word, pray, and share life with one another. And even while we lack a lot of the things that we enjoy about church, it still is a church, and it has been a reminder to us of what God says in His word “church” really is (Acts 2:42).
We often acknowledge that church isn’t a building, but the people. But it has been a growing process for me to experience church without all the things I’ve grown so accustomed to, and I’m sure it’s been a little bit of that for every member of the church plant.
When there aren’t events to plan and meetings to go to and programs to evaluate every Sunday, and even every week, it gives you the space to remember the church is the body of Christ.
We are getting to know one another as people, getting to pray for specific prayer requests in one another’s lives, and growing together through the teaching of God’s word and service to one another. So it is different, but it is enjoyable as well. And at this early stage I am thankful to the Lord that it is already starting to feel like a church family.
Some of us even went to the Texas State Fair together last month … to eat!
In case you’ve seen more recent pictures of us or are praying for us and are noticing some new faces, here are the names of those who have joined up with us in Texas to be part of Life Community Church: Jon + Julia, Connor, and Charlie Wang (they were at Lighthouse and moved out for Toyota last year), Vinh + Lida, and Josiah Duong (moved recently from Alabama), Greg + Debra, Keenan, Brady, and Piper Amerson (recently moved back to Dallas from work in China).
On a side note, we’ve also started a children’s ministry on Sunday mornings here in Texas for the kids. Right now if everyone is able to make it we run 12 adults, 1 Jr. Higher, 8 kids, and 2 babies on Sunday mornings in Texas! One of the lessons we took to heart from Lighthouse was, if all else fails, grow by reproduction!
So we are genuinely excited for the future, and not just about having more babies! We are excited about building relationships with our neighbors and communities, sharing the gospel, seeing people come to faith, and seeing God work. God willing, we’ll begin meeting in a church location February of next year, and then launching officially on May 1, 2016. In the meantime, there are ministries we are trying to explore as we form the DNA of this young church such as ministry to international students and families, young moms’ groups, missions, etc.
But at the same time there are fears about the future. There are so many things that are truly out of our control, such as finding the “right” site to meet at next year, or even having people be interested in coming to the church plant. One of my personal fears is that people will feel that a church like Life Community Church isn’t needed. That people will leave, that we might be unable to grow, or that we might have a hard time financially.
I’m sure every member of the church has different fears about the future. For some it is new and extremely busy work situations, it is building new community, it is the adjustment of their kids or the health of their parents or raising a child far from family.
Ways You can Pray for Life Community Church
God to open up a location for us to meet at next year that is exactly where he wants us to be.
God to make people open to coming to our church, especially those who are unbelievers or de-churched.
Pray for God to help us find friends, as individuals and for the children as well
But most of all, please pray for our fears to be combated with faith-filled worship and treasuring of Jesus.
We don’t know what the future will bring, but we want to live every season by faith, trusting in Christ and seeing how he is faithful and glorious in every circumstance he leads us through in the months and years to come.
Hebrews 11:15-16, our prayer that God would make this our attitude here in Texas, and for you back in Torrance 🙂
Thanks for reading! We really do miss all of you back at Lighthouse, and we are grateful for your support of us as a church in so many ways. If you’d like to visit us for the church’s official launch in May, just shoot me, Jesse, or James a message to let us know.
See y’all in December!