I wanted to start a blog here on our website and just share motivational, inspirational, and spiritual posts. To start it off, I wanted to just share a history of Outlaw Church and where we're going.
In July of 2021, I left my role at a previous church to start what I thought would be a 'Street Ministry'. I really felt God tugging on my heart to reach people where they were in life with no judgment or condemnation. I felt God was telling me to GO OUT. He was telling me that the broken, the unchurched, the church hurt, and the ones who would not step foot on church property needed to be reached. So, I left to start a ministry.
At the time, I had been advising Scenic Park Church of the Nazarene on increasing their digital presence. I was mainly just telling them how we had achieved success digitally through social media, marketing, and the development of an online campus. I told Pastor Jullie Kelley what God had been telling me and she advised me I needed to pray about not having just a 'Street Ministry', but turning it into a full-fledged church. The thought was intimidating and scary, but I prayed about it. It didn't take long to feel as if God was telling me that was the direction to go.
Fast forward a few months and on November 21st, we launched Outlaw Church. The place was packed and I feel we set the stage for what was to be our church. We had seven people recommit their life back to Christ in our first service. In the almost six months since we launched, we've seen more salvations, lives changed, outreach programs fulfilled, and so much more. At the heart of it is a team of individuals dedicated to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Our church has grown, our leaders have grown, and we are currently looking to find a permanent facility for our church.
Our Children's Ministry, The Junction, is thriving. We're seeing children learn about Jesus on their level and actually enjoy coming to church. We're so proud of our Junction team and the direction the ministry is going. We're seeing life change in children and it's so incredible to witness first-hand.
God is good and we're seeing the benefits of focusing on raising up the next generation of disciples. Our Easter event, our first-annual Easter Egg Shell-ebration saw record breaking numbers and community involvement that brought about an amazing time for all who attended.
God has been good to us, but it hasn't been easy. We've had some pushback and\or confusion on our church name, but we believe it's a ministry tool that opens conversation and dialogue that most churches don't get. We chose the name Outlaw because we feel Jesus was treated as an outlaw, someone on the fringe of society and the church of His day that received a criminals death. We have several scripture references that back up our tongue-in-cheek approach to a church name:
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16
So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24
We've learned so much about ministry, outreach, and God in general. Now, we're laser focused on getting our own facility, planting our outreach ministries, and making everyone who steps through our doors feel like family. The feeling of belonging to a church family is our priority for those who attend. It doesn't matter where someone is in life, when you walk into Outlaw Church, you're home. You're family. If you feel like you're not good enough, you are. If you feel other churches were too judgmental, hypocritical, or your didn't have a place there- give us a chance. Our goal is to offer a comfortable environment to worship Jesus Christ with no strings attached.
As we continue our ministry, I plan on using this blog to update people on the happenings in our church and community, share inspiration, and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope you join us.
Pastor Stephen Semones Outlaw Church