Have you ever had a moment where you realized some of the smallest things matter most in life?
A few years ago, we were at the beach – and if you have a family, you know that this is both an awesome, but exhausting experience. (Seriously, how does a trip to the beach feel like packing for the Himalayas?!)
Anyway, as I was unloading all the beach gear, my flip-flop broke. This soon led me to one of the strangest Google searches: “how to fix the thing between your toes on a flip flop.” If you’re curious, it’s called a “toe thong,” and it’s pretty essential.
I tried to repair it and that didn’t work. I wanted to pretend it wasn’t a problem, but I ended up tripping over and over – it was pretty frustrating. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a huge difference.
Pastor Aaron says something every week. Do you hear it?
“Would you join us in welcoming Fontana and those watching online?”
This may seem like a small, little insignificant introduction, but it’s a massive culture shift for us here at Hillside. We are no longer just “the church on the hill” – we have expanded because our vision has expanded. God has invited us to “expand our territory” (1 Chronicles 4:10), and we are doing our best to respond in obedience.
One of our core values at Hillside is that we are a prayerful church. There has been a group of people fervently praying that God would use the people of Hillside to share His love not just with Rancho Cucamonga, but also with Fontana and the surrounding cities.As a result, Hillside Fontana officially launched almost exactly one year ago on September 9, 2018 at Falcon Ridge Elementary. Each week since then we have set up and tore down our church before and after every gathering – we turn a school cafeteria into a sanctuary!
Easter weekend we fed over 3,000 people in Fontana “to see God’s hope transform our cities… one story at a time!” Not only are we seeing people come to know Jesus and be baptized in Rancho Cucamonga, but now we are seeing the fruit also in Fontana – isn’t that awesome?Oscar is one of those people.
Ten months ago, he was invited to Hillside Fontana by a neighbor where he soon stood and said, “I believe.” In fact, he was the first person to accept Jesus at Hillside Fontana. He then got baptized, went through Next Steps, and is now volunteering on our production team. This is a HUGE deal! This is one story transformed by the love of Jesus – and now he is transforming others. There are so many more people to be reached with this love!
And now, as Hillside Fontana approaches it’s one-year anniversary, we find ourselves in an exciting place. Having grown and welcomed more to our community over the past year, we are now in transition to make a move to A.B. Miller High School (6821 Oleander Avenue, Fontana, CA 92336) beginning Sunday, August 11.
We know God has already gone before us with all of the details, and we are so excited to see what this new location will hold for us as we continue to seek what He has called us to in Fontana!
We are ONE church in multiple locations, but if we’re not careful, we can become MYopic. “MY” stands front and center of this word. If we are not careful, the God-sized vision (for God so loved the world) He has given every person who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior can get trapped in suburban individualism.
This also happens when churches branch out and plant other locations. MY church, MY Campus… NO! It’s OUR church, OUR campuses, and OUR cities. The scope of what God has called us to has expanded, which means our vision does as well. There are 250,000 people in the Inland Empire with stories just like Oscars, and we feel a Holy Spirit-driven burden to reach them.So when you give and serve at your local church, you’re not just giving and serving at Hillside Rancho or Fontana. You are helping to accomplish the vision that He has laid on all of us to reach people for Jesus in our cities. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s culture changing. It takes us out of our myopic comfort zones and propels us to obediently follow after the mission and vision He has called us to. I’m in – are you??
By Jeff Gokee
Associate/Campus Pastor of Serve & Multi-Site
Join Us In Fontana!
Interested in being a part of the movement that is happening in and through our Fontana campus? Click below to learn more about this location, sign up to serve, and get connected.
God is doing big things at Hillside Fontana and we'd love for you to be a part of it!Learn More