The Bay Area - the most churched place in the country

Too soon? Yeah, a bit, but...

We have now lived and served in the Bay Area for 15+yrs, and one phrase that I've heard (and said) too often, is that, 'the Bay Area is hard soil', or that, 'it's tough to do church in the Bay Area,' and while I know that's the current situation, I'm getting tired of hearing that.

I'm glad that term has been vexing me lately, because I believe that God is going to change that reality soon. It is not up to us to change this situation - it is only a sovereign work of the Lord - and I believe that this is on the cusp, but somehow our prayers, labor, and faithfulness can move the arm of the Lord - this is a great mystery! I have recently been discerning great unity in churches across the Bay. I have also been seeing this, though I put the discernment fact first because, "we walk by faith, and not by sight", yet the fruition will follow if it's true. The momentum of unity has been beautiful to see. The Saturday evening texts between various Pastors encouraging them, letting them know they're being prayed for as they finalize their sermon prep for Sunday morning. The increasing fellowship, coffee meet-ups, lunches, hikes, etc. I hope I'm not giving away any game-plans here, but it's been so cool, and as I said, the momentum builds.

Not only am I seeing the internal unity of the church, but the exterior need for the Gospel. It's a blessing to be able to be a bi-vocational Pastor (which means I also work a full-time job) in the Bay Area. It's no exaggeration to say that I've been privileged to work with some of the smartest people on the planet, and on some of the coolest things taking place in technology. It's also allowed insight into that culture, which can be a work-heavy, never-shutting-down-the-brain, grind/hustle, more, more, better, better, endless pursuit of...what? A new industry-changing product? A world-changing product? As cool as those phrases are (and that is what's happening in so many places of the Bay Area), it's all still temporary, right? Yep, and there is an ever-present nihilistic fog (not Karl) lingering to it that can't be fully drowned out by any amount of hedonistic pursuits. It can only be abolished in knowing the eternal God who made you, and being reconciled to Him through the death and resurrection of Christ. An eternal void is only satisfied by an eternal God. So the need is everywhere, as it always has been. I think the Bay Area/Silicon Valley culture has just done a, 'real good job' at drowning out the voice of God, somehow.

Lastly, there is also this little verse from Acts 18 that the Lord gave me before taking over as Lead Pastor @ Calvary, and it's this; "One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God." (Acts 18:9-11). I believe that the Lord has many people in this city...or these... (Belmont, San Mateo, Burlingame, San Carlos, Redwood City, Burlingame, Milbrae, Foster City, etc.) and this will come to fruition through the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word, making disciples, not being fearful of man...and hopefully staying longer than a year and a half to see this happen. It's already been over a year and a half since receiving this verse, so the timetable is different (which I always anticipated), but the principle is the same.

I look forward to talking about the days when the Bay Area was one of the least churched places in the nation, as a memory, fading into the past as the good work of the God of Heaven and Earth moves forever forward.

Would you pray with me for this?

For such a time as this,
Pastor Jason

Photo by Rezaul Karim on Unsplash

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4 Comments


Sean Tilley - October 16th, 2019 at 5:27pm

I will pray with you brother. As long as you are following Him, i will follow you both.

Calvary San Mateo - October 17th, 2019 at 9:06am

Thanks brother!!

Paana Sheldon - October 17th, 2019 at 1:57am

I will be praying with you folks.

Calvary San Mateo - October 17th, 2019 at 9:06am

Thank you!