Village Church of Oak Park
Oak Park, IL
1) Describe your call to plant a church
I moved to Oak Park when my wife and I were married 7 years ago. After quickly falling in love with the community, we began praying for how God would use us in ministry here. When I wrapped up a Master of Divinity at Moody Theological Seminary in 2010, the burden for the unchurched in Oak Park grew stronger. It became clear through prayer and counsel with several pastors and mentors that God was calling us to plant a church in Oak Park that specifically and strategically works to reach those unchurched people.
2) Describe the community where you are planting.
Oak Park is a village that prides itself on diversity and they are intentional about it! Though it is primarily made up of upper-middle class residents, there are community organizations in place to specifically bring low-income people to live here. Oak Park is a walking community full of farmer's markets and locally-owned restaurants and stores. It is a mixture of urban and suburban because of it's close proximity to Chicago (downtown is just 9 miles away).
3) Describe the church's vision
To love and serve our neighbors in order to reflect Christ to them. To earn a hearing for the Gospel to lead the unchurched to saving faith in Christ. To lead believers of all maturity levels on a discipleship path that enables them to have a deeper knowledge of God and equips them to lead others to maturity in Christ. This church won't simply be another place for Christians to try when they're dissatisfied in their current church. Our focus will always be squarely on the unchurched and helping Christians reach them.
4) How are you developing your launch team?
We are meeting regularly to train in discipleship strategies so the group is prepared to step into that role right from launch. We have gathered team members from good friends who share our heart for Oak Park and people we hardly know who God has sovereignly put in our path and have expressed a similar desire to impact this community. We are also being intentional about meeting new people in Oak Park and sharing our vision with them as we seek to add to the launch team.
5) What does community life look like in your church?
Right now we're meeting together at scheduled times for prayer, Bible study, and discipleship training. There are also more spontaneous times of fellowship where we share a meal and just enjoy one another's company. Post launch, there will be a strong emphasis on relational small groups because building relationships will be a key way to earn a hearing for the Gospel in Oak Park.
6) How can we pray for you?
Please pray that the Holy Spirit would work mightily in the hearts of the unchurched in Oak Park, strongly drawing them toward God. Pray that the Holy Spirit gives me wisdom and humility as we move forward so we are effective in this mission. Also, please pray that God would give several churches and individuals a heart for Oak Park and that they would be able to offer the financial resources we need to get started. Oak Park is an expensive place to do ministry.
PO Box 501
Oak Park, IL 60302