My pastor, Jorge Mendoza of Sunrise Bible Church in San Jose, CA resently contributed to the Rebuild Initiative blog. Be sure to visit their website. Here is their vision statement:
The Rebuild Initiative is a network of churches that exists to plant and replant multi-ethnic churches in the city.
Through the proclamation of the gospel and incarnational ministry, these churches display the kingdom of God
in the urban context. Our efforts focus on developing leaders and planting multiplying churches that make
disciples in cities across the US and around the world.
Living Between John 3 & 4 – Jorge Mendoza:
Sunrise is a church that was born out of a need, but continues to exist because of a mission. The need—a group of believers in need a shepherd. The mission—to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Our great longing is that we would be a body of believers with arms stretched out wide enough to embrace the spectrum of our city, with eyes sharp enough to discern the needs and with a heart big enough to truly respond.We describe that aim as “Living between John 3 & John 4.”
In John 3 Jesus is talking with Nicodemus. A man who, in Jewish culture, was the very icon of success. He was the right gender, had the right religion, the right ethnicity, the right background and every other right his culture afforded. Jesus makes time for him, engages him with compassion, answers his questions and lovingly invites him to know and experience the fulﬁllment of God’s great promises.
In John 4 Jesus is talking with the woman at the well. A woman who, in Jewish culture, was the very icon of shame. She was the wrong gender, had the wrong religion, the wrong ethnicity, the wrong background and most every other wrong that culture loathed. Jesus makes time for her, engages her with compassion, answers her questions and tenderly invites her to know and experience God’s great blessings.
“Living between John 3 & John 4” is to extend our arms intentionally in both directions—to press the claims of the Gospel in intellectually compelling ways to the “Nicodemuses” of our city, and to ﬂesh out the reality of the Gospel in tangible ways to the “women at the well” of our city. Living between John 3 and 4 is to stand up and announce to the elite, educated, and wealthy that in Christ there is wisdom and riches they know not of. And it is to bend down to the brokenhearted, guilt-ridden, neglected people in our city and tell them that they are loved and that in Christ there is hope.
The spectrum of need and variety of people in the city of San Jose, CA is indeed that wide and the Gospel we proclaim is certainly great enough to meet that need and save all types of people. It is a joy to see that happening as we carry out the mission.
If you were to walk into one of our gatherings it would not be strange to see a law enforcement ofﬁcer worshiping with an ex-con, an engineer serving alongside a custodian, or a technical writer befriending a hip-hopper. You would also see college graduates and high school dropouts, a variety of ethnic backgrounds, the young and the old, and people who have been in church for years and some who have only been in church for weeks. All brought together by the all-sufﬁcient Gospel of God’s grace in Christ.