Church Planting in the Land of Desire

Ashley Hales | January 23, 2017


When we told our donors we were leaving the campus ministry to plant a church in the Southern California suburbs—land of affluence and megachurches—we not only lost several, we also heard the repeated question: Aren’t there enough churches there already?

I wondered too. Couldn’t we be more useful in an unreached part of the country? Or overseas?

We can subtly think that when Jesus said to “go to the ends of the earth” he meant only jungles and inner cities, not the affluent suburb next door. But all places—suburbs included—need the good news and abundant life found only in Jesus. And the good life isn’t the biggest house and the latest kitchen remodel. 

In helping my husband plant Resurrection OC, I’m learning how the gospel saves us from our suburban desires for comfort and self-sufficiency, and replaces them with something much greater. 

Desire’s Hunger

As much as we might say Jesus and his church are our first priorities, our actions often illustrate otherwise. How we spend our time and money reveals what’s in our hearts. What are we craving as we rush from kids’ sports practices to tutoring to piano lessons? What are we serving when we bend our calendars to bolster their résumé? Our frantic schedules reveal our…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/church-planting-in-the-land-of-desire.