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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 4:34 pm | Fair 64º


Element Christian Church Is ‘Planting Roots’ in the Community

Element Christian Church of Santa Maria met in a tent last Sunday. Not because members don’t have anywhere else to meet, but because they are “planting roots” in the community.

Here’s how they explain it on their special website: “Element has been in a non-permanent home for the last six years; we have been slowly ‘growing roots,’ but in a temporary container. If you were to go buy a five-, 10-, 15- or even 25-gallon tree in a pot, you would eventually have to take it home and plant it, roots and all, permanently in the ground. Element is like that tree; we have been growing roots as a church in a temporary container, and now, God is taking those roots and planting them deep within a permanent home.”

Element started out in January 2008 as a small group of about 30 people meeting in an abandoned car dealership at the corner of Skyway Drive and Broadway with their folding chairs. They rented the building “as is” because it was set to be torn down to make way for new development. Each week they would hear a message from the Bible, then put away their chairs and get to work. They painted and cleaned and got things ready.

On Easter Sunday 2008, they had the first official Sunday service with real chairs that didn’t fold up and about 100 people. Since then they’ve grown to a congregation of almost 400 adults, plus children and teens, with three services each Sunday morning.

Element’s mission is “to glorify God by teaching and living out the Scriptures, transforming community into gospel community and planting churches.” This marks its sixth year of operation, and it has more than outgrown its temporary home as it has been doing those things in and around Santa Maria. It has now purchased the vacant four-acre piece of property just north of its current facility and plans to build a permanent home on it.

It just ended a five-week series called “Planting Roots,” where the entire church went through a journey to learn about stewardship and Jesus.

“It’s all about Jesus,” lead pastor Aaron Carlberg said. “We love Jesus and we love community. We need a permanent home to accommodate our growing community. We gather together on Sundays, and also in homes during the week, to worship Jesus, equip and train children, youth and adults to become disciples, disciple makers and leaders.

“From there we will then be the church in everyday life, taking the gospel into the community around us by building authentic relationships based on the primary message of the gospel, Jesus — because it’s all about Jesus.”

The service in the tent last Sunday was called “Commitment Sunday" where all the members made a three-year financial commitment to the new building. The amount committed will be announced on “Celebration Sunday” on Oct. 19.

More information about Element Christian Church, and the ways it is building community, can be found by clicking here. Services are each Sunday morning at 8:15, 9:30 and 11. If you are interested in making a commitment to its Planting Roots campaign, you may do so online by clicking here.

— Lisa Long is the director of women's ministry for Element Christian Church.

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