To highlight the church planting work happening in the Western U.S., we sat down with Chris Lagerlof, executive catalyst for Mission Orange County, who’s working with churches in 34 cities to collaborate for the good of their city and plant churches that have a city focus. Here in this interview, Lagerlof talks about why churches must go “deep and wide” in their city, and shares insightful lessons all church planters—regardless of your location or context—can learn from as you make disciples.
Tell us about Mission Orange County and how it began.
Mission Orange County officially launched in February of this year, but our genesis was already cemented in my heart and the hearts of a few Kingdom-minded pastors in Orange County. Before launching Mission OC, I worked with a global organization (Vision 360) to help start collaborative movements in cities like Long Beach and San Jose.
My job became my passion! I wake up to see churches collaborate for the good of their city and plant churches that have a Kingdom lens and city focus. Unfortunately, churches don’t collaborate well, so we launched Mission OC to serve as a local convener and playground for churches to work with each other and take greater responsibility for the needs of their city.
Mission OC was launched to see churches go deep and wide in their city. By that I mean, just planting churches can cover the geography of your city, yet have limited impact. That’s what I call going wide. To go deep, churches must be planted that are focused on engaging the city and mobilizing disciples to impact their city. This is going deep.
This “matrix” is really simple math: deep + wide = city transformation. Mission OC wants to help catalyze a city-centric church planting movement and not a church-centric planting movement.
What is the ultimate vision for Mission OC?
There are 34 cities in Orange County and 3.1 million people living here. Our focus is to mobilize and multiply churches in Orange County to collaborate within their cities to impact every man, woman and child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We want at least 120 churches to partner with Mission OC and collaborate with each other. We believe this will have huge implications on our county.
We also want at least one church in each of our 34 cities to hold the heart of God for their city to convene with other churches, nonprofits and city leaders in their city to focus on how to make Jesus more famous in their city. If this happens, then the church in Orange County will see incredible fruit and growth! Our vision is really our geography and what is being done so that the 3.1 million people living in it need the church more than the church needs them.