Update From Chris Yarco

From Chris Yarco, Lead Executive

It has long been a part of the heritage of our church to walk with other churches and church leaders in our community. We have sought to be partners in mission as we seek to share the Gospel, provide help for those who are hurting, and grow compassion as we activate to help bring flourishing to our communities. WCC was founded because of the outreach and financial support of local churches, including Beaverton Christian and Milwaukie Christian. These were churches that cared about ensuring that healthy, thriving churches existed in all neighborhoods and communities that didn’t currently have them.

In 2014, through a variety of invitations and through the discernment of our elders, we more formally moved into the role of coaching and serving other churches, mainly in the Pacific Northwest, but also around the country. We have never sought it out, but we have chosen to respond when asked to provide help to churches that may be struggling to stay on mission, who may be encountering obstacles that prevent them from being the church they believe God has called them to be, or who may be in a season where they are experiencing unanticipated growth challenges and want to steward their leadership well. It is an honor to be invited in, and we have sought to prayerfully and carefully serve these church partners with Christ-like character, and with open hands and hearts.

The church partners we’ve worked with have varied from very small church startups with limited resources, to churches of thousands – and each opportunity has involved discerning the right approach and creating different road maps as we seek to navigate the most right paths to get back on, or stay on, the mission that God has for them. In most of these cases, when our coaching time draws to an end, we celebrate the breakthroughs the Lord has made and we celebrate the flourishing of these churches in their neighborhoods. And in some cases, we’ve found such clear mutuality of purpose, goals and desires, coupled with a compelling need and vision, that we have joined together on mission and become one church with them – Beaverton Christian, Milwaukie Christian and Hope City are examples of these relationships.

Healthy, thriving churches are not necessarily the churches with the most attenders, the newest buildings, the coolest ministries, the Instagram everywhere worship team and pastor – in fact, rarely are those the clear examples of a flourishing Gospel community. As we consider our own church, and as we seek to help other church leaders, we start with questions like – “What’s your God-given vision and how is that being realized through your church? What are the ministries that you are called to and how are you able to serve those needs? What does your neighborhood and community believe about you – and does that line up with what you believe God has asked of you as a community of believers?”

At WCC, for almost 60 years now, we have sought to be a church that is not centered on a person in the pulpit but is centered on Jesus and His call on all our lives. We seek to be a place that has gospel-centered ministries for children, students, young adults, singles, families, marriages, and seniors, where people of all ages grow toward Christ-likeness together in community. We seek to be a church that is so radically hospitable and generous to our communities that we are the place that community leaders, school leaders, first responders, and people from all walks of life turn to when in need – trusting that we will be a church that will meet them with gracious support. And you are just that church.

It's beautiful to witness each of you who call WCC home continue to deliver on this to our communities. You are a church that doesn’t just do church on Sundays – you are the church in your neighborhood. Let’s keep on with that. God has so much more in store for us as we continue to live out His legacy in our communities. Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing more with you and how this is shaping our decisions for the Lead Pastor search. Thank you for your grace and support.