In 2004 Pastor Bryon was touring Israel when he had a life-defining moment by the pools of Bethesda. While his group was taking a break for lunch, they were joined by two other tour groups, one from Nigeria and another from South Korea. He was struck by the reality that people from around the world—people of radically differing backgrounds, cultures, languages, and experiences—were unified in one purpose: to seek out and experience Jesus Christ.
Maturing in Ministry
Not long after that experience, Bryon became the pastor of Living Hope, in Lakeside, CA. After leading that church for ten years, he led the congregation through a merge with a local, thriving church plant: Seven Church. The combination of the maturity of Living Hope and the energy and DNA of Seven created a synergy through which people were now ready to take the cause of Christ to the next place.
The Ministry Multiplies
In 2016, the merge with Seven was secure, and God released Pastor Bryon to pursue the next step in the vision that had been revealed twelve years earlier. Bryon began praying about where God wanted him next, and the community of Lemon Grove came to the forefront. Engage is the synthesis of Pastor Bryon’s vision, a core team from the merged Seven church, and a group of committed supporters, who are dedicated building a church that reflects the diverse population of its community.
It is not about us; it is all about God. None of our pursuits in life lead to fulfillment if they lead away from God Himself. We strive to be a church that celebrates and makes known the greatness of God through authentic love, gratitude, praise, and obedience.
None of us has arrived, yet. There are no perfect people in our church. We embrace people wherever they are on their spiritual journey, point them to Jesus as the source of an extraordinary life, and call them to commit their lives to following Him.
We cannot do life alone. God created us for community and that is where we grow best. After baptism, our highest priority is to help people join and participate in a LifeGroup where they experience acceptance, authenticity, accountability, and challenge, and care.
We are a church of many tribes, but one Kingdom. Our unity exposes Christ’s divinity more than anything else. Because God’s throne-room is filled with people from every tribe, nation, and tongue, our church embraces cultural and ethnic diversity.
Saved people serve people and we cannot out-give God. Since we are co-inheritors of the family business (God’s Kingdom), we joyfully invest our time, talent, and treasure in supporting God’s work here on Earth. We help people discover their gifts and use them to enhance the Kingdom.
Found people find people. We are convinced that each one of us has been placed within 8 to 15 relationships for the express purpose of telling them about Jesus. We take the message to the next person and the next neighborhood until we run out of places to take it.
God reveals Himself through His Word
God is much too awesome and too immense for human beings to comprehend on our own. But God has revealed Himself through His written word (the Bible) and through the Living Word, His son, Jesus Christ. We hold fast to these beliefs about God:
- There is one and only one God.
- God expresses Himself in three distinct, equal, persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Each person of God is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and fully God.
God created us for relationship
God is not just some cosmic clockmaker who wound up creation and is watching it spin out to its ultimate end. Instead, He is a loving God who directly participates in the affairs of nations, and individuals. He desires to have an intimate relationship with every human being, including you.
God is required (because humanity is ruined)
Even though God wants to have a relationship with each man and woman, every person in history has rejected that relationship and embraced sin instead of God’s holy ways. Further, humanity has inherited a nature (from the first man, Adam) that is set against God. Because of this nature and our deeds, every man and woman is doomed to eternal separation from God. Further, absolutely nothing we do is sufficient to repair the relationship, so we must rely upon God to do so.
God has reconciled us through Jesus Christ
It is God’s desire that every man and woman come to know Him completely and fully. Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die in payment for the sin that separates us from Him. His forgiveness through Christ is offered and freely given to all who choose to accept it. His sacrifice is complete, and no other work needs to be done to restore us to God.
God remakes us through the Holy Spirit
Because all men and women throughout history have been born with a disposition to sin, the very nature of each must be changed. God transforms the very nature of those who accept His sacrifice into one that desires to please Him. The Holy Spirit lives within and convicts, guides, teaches, and counsels every believer towards holy and righteous living.
God reaches out through His church
The church is not a building; it is all the people who have by faith accepted God’s forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The church is God’s designated environment for blessing, equipping, and ministry to the world. Every believer is a crucial part of God’s plan for humanity and God has placed him or her here for a unique purpose. The church is the only place a believer can fully realize his or her God-given purpose. The church is the natural home for a Christian, and those who are not intimately involved with a committed group of Christians are out of sync with God’s plan. The church is the body of Christ, and through it His ministry of love, compassion, and healing continues today.