California Megachurch, North Coast Church, Cancels Sunday Services to ‘Be’ the Church

October 27, 2008 at 2:50 am Leave a comment

A Vista, Calif., megachurch is canceling all worship services this weekend and leaving no excuse for Christians to stay in the pews and out of “being” the church.

“So many people think of a church as a self-contained religious club
– but it’s not,” said Pastor Larry Osborne of North Coast Church. “A
healthy church is a community of Jesus-followers who live out their
spiritual commitment 24/7.”

Over 6,000 North Coast attendees are living out their
commitment as they tackle 139 community service projects at 70 sites
throughout North San Diego County. On Oct. 25 and 26, the church is
closing its doors for a “Weekend of Service” and providing churchgoers
the opportunity to show the love of Jesus.

On Saturday, participants completed a lot of prep work for
painting, landscaping and other renovation projects, according to a
church news update. The temperature rose to 90 degrees but the church
community still went on strong, kicking off the Weekend of Service
“with a bang.”

The weekend event takes place every 18 months and is the culmination of the small projects North Coast engages in regularly.

“Our weekly service projects and our Weekend of Service are
simply one more way help our members understand that church is what we
are, not just something we go to,” said Osborne in a released
statement.

The Weekend of Service aims to mobilize the entire Vista
congregation of some 7,000 weekend attendees. The event is almost
entirely volunteer-led.

“We get a chance to all come together and accomplish huge tasks
that we can’t do without everyone in our church pitching in,” said
Community Service Pastor Casey Yorman.

Last year, some 5,500 people participated and worked together
on 92 projects at 54 sites, yielding $1 million in materials and labor.

North Coast had drawn a little controversy and concerns from
other Christians when it first canceled worship services for community
service work. The Vista church might have been the first megachurch to
close down all its services to serve the community, according to
Osborne.

“What we tell people is ‘this week, we’re going to be the
church instead of going to church,'” Osborne commented, noting that
critics have become fans of the Weekend of Service and that this year,
North Coast has received no complaint.

North Coast’s Weekend of Service is not part of a similar
campaign organized by World Vision, Zondervan and Outreach, Inc. The
three major Christian organizations have encouraged annual “Faith in
Action” campaigns in which Sunday services are canceled and the entire
congregation engages in service projects that day. The National Faith
in Action campaign was held Oct. 12.

Source: Christian Post

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