By Alex Aguilar
On March 22nd, 2015, we had our first service at Iglesia Oasis. In the year since our launch, we have learned so much. We have been amazed to witness God’s work in and through our small team. He led us through territory that was entirely new to all of us. With God’s help, we have learned so much as we have navigated this first year.
Connect with other churches and community organizations.
Connecting with a variety of wise counselors has been very important for the development of our church and the confirmation of its vision. Each time we reached out beyond our own four walls to build these connections, we learned something new to help us on our journey. The support and encouragement we have received from other Converge churches, our coaches, and the Converge organization as a whole, has been a life-giving and irreplaceable resource that has guided us and kept us going in hard times.
Be willing to change plans to meet arising needs.
In one example, we learned early on that our Sunday morning schedule was too rushed and people were not having the time to be able to connect with one another. We weren’t expecting this to be an issue, but we have made various changes during the year to add more community time to foster deeper relationships. Now every six weeks we have community Sunday where we sit at round tables during our service to make our worship experience more communal and to have built-in group discussion time to connect with others. We have also extended our weekly fellowship time after our service to allow for more time to pray for those who ask for it, to get to know our members better, and for members to connect with one another. This has made such a difference in our church and people have reported they feel a deeper sense of community.
Pray for and commit to unity.
A new church is a place that can easily be derailed with an abundance of differing passions, opinions, interests, and concerns. Keeping our hearts focused on our God-given mission through prayer and a commitment to unity in the midst of difficult decision-making has marked the difference for us and has allowed us to stay the course. We believe that the best is yet to come for Iglesia Oasis. We are so thankful for God's grace and all the help we have received in this first year of ministry.