“If your church were to have close down, would your community even notice, and would they care?”
I heard this question several years ago, and little did I know that it would become a question that drives me and shapes everything about how I approach “doing church.” It really opened my eyes to the idea that church was never meant to be just a building, just an event, just a denomination–it was always meant to be a verb! God calls the church to be a community of people actively serving and blessing those around them. The truth of this challenge is what gets me out of the bed every morning and has driven me to partner with God to try to create that kind of church here in Ocean Beach.
God calls us in Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city…pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” So that’s what we’re seeking and working hard to do here at Newbreak Ocean Beach. As we do that, we love living out the verse, “Make it as clear as you can to all that you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.” So we love finding ways to connect with our town and work alongside them to help bring more beauty, peace, thriving, and hope to all who live here and around here.
Newbreak Ocean Beach is crazy creative.
We are very intentional to partner with the many great events & traditions that already exist in OB, by supporting them through volunteers, participating with booths/floats, and even financial support:
- Ocean Beach Christmas Parade (we also sponsor the giant downtown tree 🎄)
- OB Street Fair & Chili Cookoff
- OB Kite Festival, Pancakes on the Pier
- OB Food & Toy Drive
- OB Gromfest, and many more.
We partner with anyone we can. We serve regularly with OB Elementary School, the OB Mainstreet Association, OB Town Council, SDPD Western Division, the lifeguards, and many local businesses whom we’ve built great relationships with! We also try to offer our own creative ideas to add more fun, more family activities, and more community spirit to our town: “drive-in movie nights” for kids, Open Mic nights (where I usually perform stand-up comedy or rap!), Chili cookoffs, craft fairs to support local artists, etc. We even had one of our volunteers start a new non-profit to help young girls rescued from human trafficking get back on their feet–so we’ve supported them from the start and partner regularly with them. We want to find as many opportunities as we can to live out our faith in practical ways and make God’s Kingdom tangible here in OB.
We want to talk a little more about GRACE.
Their vision is to see the end of child exploitation by raising up advocates in our community who will educate, mentor, and provide therapeutic programming to exploited, trafficked, and at-risk youth. Through their program we hope that every child will realize their worth and value and be given opportunities that will guide, encourage, and inspire them as they choose their path in life. We are honored to be partners with them and our all of our campuses have decided to partner with them to see their vision come to life through Kingdom Builders.
Our Newbreak gatherings are about bringing Ocean Beach and Point Loma together as a family.
We try to keep things “come as you are” so we can connect together relationally and authentically, as we learn about God, worship, laugh, share stories, challenge each other, pray, serve, and celebrate together weekly. It’s fun for me personally on Sunday mornings to see people walking to church, biking or skateboarding over, pushing strollers, bringing their dogs (and yes, driving in from out of the area too). We’re a diverse group of all ages, all life-stages, and all backgrounds. It’s powerful to see military families and teenagers and empty-nesters and widows and young single surfers all worshipping and learning alongside each other.
Since we value relational connection (we know life can feel isolating sometimes, and it’s hard to live out our faith alone), we’re huge fans of connecting people into Life Groups. We know that only so much connecting can happen at a Sunday gathering, so we want to provide smaller groups where people can ask questions, help meet each other’s needs, wrestle with faith, learn, and do life together. So we offer life groups of all kinds (men’s, women’s, couple’s, empty nesters, co-ed, teens, etc.) on all different nights of the week, to help connect people. They’re the heart and soul of who we are!
When you decide to visit, I know you’ll feel and be welcomed, like it’s a place where you can “belong” right away. And I hope you’ll have a real experience of God here. You can expect that we’ll give you opportunities to connect in Life Groups with people, and to join us in serving our local community. And we hope you’ll find Newbreak OB as a place to not just “go to church” but to actually “be the church!”