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'Transforming the Bay With Christ' Large Gathering: Nancy Ortberg on Reaching Communities with Gospel

( [email protected] ) Oct 03, 2016 06:33 PM EDT
Speaking at the Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC) Large Group Gathering held at Westgate Church in San Jose, TBC's CEO Nancy Ortberg shared her hope for the organization and emphasized the need for churches to unite and reach out to the local community with the truth of the Gospel.
Nancy Ortberg, CEO of Transforming the Bay With Christ, speaks at Epic Church in San Francisco, CA on January 9, 2016. The Gospel Herald

Speaking at the Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC) Large Group Gathering held at Westgate Church in San Jose, TBC's CEO Nancy Ortberg shared her hope for the organization and emphasized the need for churches to unite and reach out to the local community with the truth of the Gospel. 

TBC is a coalition of business leaders, venture capitalists, pastors, and nonprofit leaders, focused on helping to develop a grass roots activity that will transform the Bay Area through social compassion and service. Best-selling authors and pastors Francis Chan, John Ortberg, Jon Talbert, Pat Gelsinger and Chip Ingram are some of leaders who are also involved in this movement.

Ortberg, who served as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois for eight years and is on staff at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, began by pointing out the incredible things that happen when God shows up in places we least expect.

"It gets your attention, doesn't it? Bethlehem. San Francisco Bay Area," she said. "What's happening here is about us simply taking Jesus up on his word that He was right, and as leaders ... how do we lead well out of a place of a place of rest?"

One of the "craziest things" Jesus ever said was that His yoke was easy, Ortberg contended. Nevertheless, she encouraged attendees to "take him up on the fact that that might be true, and let's learn to lead over time from a non-anxious presence because we serve God."

"What is possible when we don't lead out of performance, but out of the belief that the kingdom of God is at hand at it comes to us unbidden and it works through us," she said. "I think it's possible."

Ortberg then addressed TBC's strategies, categorized in the three scopes: amplify, unify, and multiply.

"Unify is the belief that if we cultivate and serve kingdom-minded leaders in each domain...around purpose and mission, that something exponential is possible when leaders unite and know each other and collaborate around something," she explained.

One of the last prayers that Jesus had was one for unity (John 17): "Why would he pray for unity when he had a short period of time left? Because he knew that's where the power for a movement like this would come from," Ortberg said. "Think about a venn diagram...I'm looking for that center slice in the middle where every circle overlaps...and in the center circle there's Jesus, and serving...The goal of Christ is to bring all things together," she said, quoting the Apostle Paul. "What if, in the Bay Area, across our country, leaders were looking to this area saying, 'What is going on over there, in a place we least expect it?' Unity can get us there."

Second, TBC works to amplify: Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Ortberg said: "What if, in the next five years, every city official in the Bay Area said, 'I don't know what's in the water, but those faith leaders, when they come to the table, they are the smartest, they're the most driven, they are the most persistent, and they keep showing up."

She added, "When we start to amplify the good works, we cause people to start to pay attention to things that are overlooked...Jesus has invited you and I to step into brokenness with hope, not mindless optimism, but with hope that moves towards what's broken and hard and stays and shows up overtime."

Third, TBC seeks to multiply: "It's going to take lots of different kinds of churches to reach the Bay Area ... it's gonna take traditional church planting, tech churches on tech campuses..house churches, multi-site churches, urban churches," Ortberg said. "There are a little over 500 zip codes in the greater Bay Area. What if, over the next ten years, there was a new church in every zip code that was vibrant and Jesus-focused?" she asked. "God is not intimidated by the statistics in the Bay Area."

TBC's vision is to "see every person in the Bay Area thrive and flourish--in body, soul, and spirit by living life as God intended it."

Related: 'Transforming the Bay With Christ': Dharius Daniels Offers Biblical Advice to Ministry Leaders Combating Feelings of Inadequacy 

Tags : Transforming the Bay with Christ, TBC, Large Gathering, Nancy Ortberg, ministry