We believe that God is calling us to a "new thing" at Beaverton Christian Church.
After a long season of prayer, searching, and discussion, we believe that He has something bigger planned for us than we could have ever imagined and that He has been setting the stage for something really special to take place to grow His kingdom.
We believe that we are to join Willamette Christian Church, located in West Linn, OR.
Called an "adoption", we have asked that WCC would provide leadership, vision, and direction to the current and future congregation of BCC. We believe that joining efforts with WCC will help our body grow in its impact to the Beaverton community, and will help us attain a vision of reaching more and more people for Christ.
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What is an “adoption” and will we keep our name?
We will keep Beaverton Christian Church as our name; however, we are working to add language or a tagline that helps signal that we are together now. Adoption signifies that we will dissolve as a business/legal entity, and join our congregation, assets, and ministries under the WCC entity.
Why do we think this is the right thing to do?
When BCC was dedicated in 1926, the back of the program distributed to guests stated, “Always grounded on the Truth, may the Beaverton Church of Christ be a power in the evangelization of the world.” For years we have pursued this vision with great passion and witnessed the Lord do amazing things through our ministry.
In our most current season, we have an incredibly faithful and generous body of believers who seek to serve Jesus well. Home to almost 600 adults and youth, we have a variety of ministries to serve those inside and outside the church.
However, with a sanctuary that seats over 1,400 people per service, a community that is surrounded by 330,000 people within a five mile radius, and a campus strategically located to serve a population comprised of all ethnicities, backgrounds, and interests, we believe that there is more we can do to fully realize and leverage the incredible tools that we have.
WCC is a church that serves over 3,800 people and has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade. As they have grown, they have been blessed with exceptional talent on their staff and leadership team, but have experienced tremendous constraints to grow at their current location.
They currently run four weekend services at capacity, with individuals from over 14 cities who call WCC their church home. They believe they have been called to reproduce in other cities and have spent the last 24 months looking at properties and possibilities to grow in the SW region of Portland. The Lord has not provided the answer they were expecting, but they, and we, believe that He is creating an incredible story to help both churches leverage the talents and resources He’s given us.
It is for this reason that we have reached out to WCC for their consideration to bring their talents and passions for Christ to join our efforts.
What does joining WCC do for us?
Joining together allows us to:
- Mobilize Vision – We have the ability to bring our leadership and resources together in a way that will allow us to bring vitality and health to our community.
- Multiply Impact – Because of the resources that each church brings, we can hit the ground running and make an immediate, significant impact for God's Kingdom.
- Model Unity – Coming together allows us to model unity in a way not often seen in the Pacific Northwest, let alone the country. We believe this will serve as a testimony of how churches can come together to impact their local communities and the world!
We believe that these items together Magnify Jesus, allowing us to make disciples and make a real impact in our communities for Jesus. We anticipate Sundays which have rooms full of adults, youth, and kids across multiple services. We envision real changes in our schools, local government, and communities. As we grow in traction, we dream of planting healthy churches in nearby communities while experiencing thriving, healthy ministry and outreach both locally and globally.
How did this all come about?
Over the past 18 months, we have invested hundreds and hundreds of hours as a team praying, planning, and discerning what the Lord has for us. Believing that we needed to have fresh vision to help us grow and become more of what God is calling us to, we sought the counsel of consultants who help churches align around their vision and develop strategies to implement their plans. It is through this work that we’ve gotten to know the leadership of WCC and have developed great trust with, confidence in, and a desire to unify with them.
Each leadership team has prayerfully been seeking the Lord and getting to know each other at deeper levels, including our theological positions, our ideas about ministry, how we will structure ourselves, and our hopes and aspirations for what we could do together. We have worked closely with their senior leaders, and during this season when we have been without a teaching pastor, we have invited in WCC pastors Joel Dombrow, Jon Furman and Andrew Martin, who have been providing great teaching for us over many months.
While we did not set out a master plan to create this future, it is clear to us that the Lord did. Many times over these last months we have been humbled and amazed at the clear hand of God involved in bringing us together.
Who is Willamette Christian Church?
WCC has served the greater West Linn area for 59 years, and over the last nine years has seen amazing growth and fruit in their efforts. They are a humble group of leaders who love the Lord, with a congregation that is at all stages of doing life with Jesus – from pre-belief, to fully-committed followers of Christ. Year after year they have celebrated over 100 youth and adults being baptized, served hundreds of kids and youth in relational and relevant ministry each weekend, and invited thousands of people to grow in discipleship with Jesus through serving, giving, joining in community life and reaching out to their neighbors. Their commitment to outreach and missions means they give almost a million dollars annually to local and overseas efforts.
They are not a perfect church. None is. But they desire to love people well, be a place that meets the needs of the communities they serve, and equip people to be more like Jesus every day.
Why not just hire a great senior pastor or executive pastor?
Hiring a new leader or leaders is certainly something we considered, but we sensed the Lord moving us in a different direction. Over the past many months, we’ve grown very close to the leadership and staff of WCC and have bonded over our shared vision of reaching the greater Portland area. As they’ve supported our teaching pastor vacancy since June, many of you have shared your same affection for their team.
Who will lead us? What about our staff?
We are excited about the leadership and vision that WCC brings. Given that, current WCC leadership will take the lead with directing our staff and ministry leaders, and will provide our weekend teaching. While some roles may shift, the staff are excited and motivated, desire to grow in this new season, and will have plenty of great ministry to do! As we grow in ministry, we will add staff to meet the unique opportunities that the Lord will bring us and work with urgency to ensure that our current core ministries are supported.
Each site will require very loving, dedicated, humble, gospel-centered staff and volunteers to serve the needs of its community. In addition, a centralized team, which may be made up of people who live in either community, will support the creative, communication, administrative, and financial needs of both locations. We will work hard to ensure that the talents and gifts of the staffs at both locations are considered and deployed in the best possible ways to achieve our overall goals. We will have an interim Elder Board made up of current elders from both churches to help direct this season of transition, and each location will have dedicated elders to support the shepherding and care needed for the body. During the next year, a more defined leadership structure will be rolled out to serve what is being built.
What are some of the unique similarities between WCC and BCC?
What excites us most about this new season of ministry is the alignment and similarities between our two churches! BCC and WCC are first and foremost united in vision and theology. We both desire to serve all those who come through our doors with extravagant hospitality and welcome them to services that are designed to provide biblical, approachable, and applicable teaching and worship through music. We both have a heart to see people grow to be more like Jesus, so you can trust that we will always be about the best methods in each of our communities to invite and make it possible for kids, youth, and adults to grow in relationship with each other and with Jesus. We each believe in making significant financial investments in local and international missions and get excited thinking about how much greater an impact we can make in this world by joining together! We are committed to serving our local communities through the use of our buildings, and through understanding the unique needs of those who live here and designing ministry to reach them.
What is going to change at BCC?
Our approach to ministry has met the needs of countless families and individuals over the years, but we believe the Holy Spirit is providing fresh, new vision to reach more people in the greater Beaverton area for Jesus. The mission and message of our church will not change, but the methods may. We want to courageously follow His vision and be open to where He is leading us. Because of this, some ministries and ways of doing things will change. And some things we’ve done for many years may not be part of our future. We are going to be wise as we roll out change, but open-handed to what He is calling us to.
How will financial needs be met and what will my giving go toward?
We believe that the Lord is asking us to move forward with great faith and great urgency, and are excited to grow the ministry of BCC rapidly and with Godly wisdom. As we come together as one church family, we will use the support of WCC to immediately pay off the current BCC debt. After many years of faithful giving to this effort, it is incredible to think of what the Lord will do in our ministry as we can deploy our generosity for our mission and purpose.
Many of you have been faithfully giving to the regular, ongoing ministry while also supporting our “Debt Free Pledge”. While we will be debt free immediately, we will quickly be sharing with you our plans to help ready our campus for the growth that we anticipate. We need your continued faithfulness. We need your continued sacrifice. And we need your excitement for this next season of ministry at BCC.
Finally, in the future, while funds received from the BCC campus will generally go toward ministry in Beaverton, we will deploy resources to grow our overall impact, wherever they are needed to accomplish God’s plans. We will always be transparent and thoughtful, discerning the right plans to invest in ministry in fiscally responsible ways.
What are the steps in concluding this adoption?
We are completing a due diligence process with both churches and fully anticipate that the outcomes will be favorable for us to complete the adoption. As part of our current oversight policies, we will invite those who are current members of BCC to affirm this decision to be adopted by WCC. Members of BCC can pick up a ballot after October 16 in the lobby, and return it by October 30. The members of WCC will be doing a similar process. Given that each is favorable to the adoption, we will move toward a celebration service later this year.
What are you as leaders most excited about?
We are so humbled and honored that the Lord is doing this work with BCC and WCC. We are excited about the work God will do throughout our communities, and the many more people whose lives will change forever when they come in contact with Christ – and we are motivated with urgency to move toward this new future.
While there are many unanswered questions and much work to be done, we believe that this is what the Lord is calling us to and are excited to share it with you, invite your support, and begin to move toward the new thing the Lord is creating.
Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your prayers. If we can answer any questions, please email Executive Pastor Dan Ferguson at .
And finally, please join us for a night of praise, worship, and getting to know WCC folks on Sunday, October 23, at 6:30-7:30pm at BCC!