Why the Name?
Cedar City Church (CCC) was derived from a desire to deeply love and identify with the city of Lebanon, Ohio. Since no person from our planting team is originally from Lebanon, we want to focus heavily on immersing ourselves into their culture so that we might learn from and develop a heart for Lebanon and all its residents.
Lebanon, Ohio, is named after the biblical country of Lebanon (Middle East) where cedar trees are robust and are a fixture in their culture. If you travel around Lebanon, Ohio, you will see several evidences of the importance of cedar trees from the naming of popular establishments to the very logo designed for the city. The name Cedar City Church communicates our passion to be specifically for the city of Lebanon, Ohio, in every way we can.
Lebanon, Ohio, is home to several different types of churches which we hope to partner with for years to come. You would not go to Lebanon (or many other areas in southwest Ohio) thinking… “they need another church.” Although there are many churches in our area, we believe God is calling us to plant a very specific type of church.
Lebanon is the county seat of Warren County which is the 2nd fastest growing county in Ohio. Lebanon currently has approximately 20,000 residents and since the year 2000, is growing at a rate of 18%. When thinking about church planting, we are excited to see new people moving into the area. This speaks well for church planting due to the fact that most church planting growth comes by way of evangelism and new people moving into the city where the church is being planted. We desire to reach non-believers in Lebanon, people who are moving into the Lebanon community, and also Christians who are looking for the type of church we are establishing. More on that below…. Consider these words from pastor and missiologist Tim Keller on church planting;
“Dozens of denominational studies have confirmed that the average new church gains most of its new members (60-80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshipping body, while churches over 10-15 years of age gain 80-90% of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means that the average new congregation will bring 6-8 times more new people into the life of the Body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size.”
A new church plant depends on evangelism and new members moving to the community. What we also know about Lebanon is that it is classified as a quaint city with a small town feel, yet is conveniently situated between two major metro markets; Cincinnati and Dayton. With the expansion of suburban areas surrounding Lebanon, it is projected that Lebanon will be a destination spot for decades to come. What’s more, Lebanon can be accessed easily from I-75, I-71, SR 48 and SR 741. Lebanon is a premier location for all types of people and we are praying for gospel influence in the lives of newcomers as well as long-time residents.
Along with these demographics, we desire to plant a church that is located in close proximity to our sending church, The Village Church (Hamilton, Ohio). We foresee a lifelong partnership with the Village Church in terms of shared mission, resources, encouragement, and support. As currently constructed, all the of the core team members of CCC are members of The Village Church which brings about an enormous sense of continuity.
Who is CCC?
We desire to GLORIFY GOD by being a COMMUNITY formed by the GOSPEL and sent on MISSION.
- GLORIFY GOD → We exist to bring glory to God in every moment and with every part of our lives.
- COMMUNITY → The gospel brings people together. Because God has given us a new identity, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and desire to pursue Jesus together.
- GOSPEL → The gospel changes who we are. God is holy, we are sinful, but Jesus is sufficient to redeem, redefine, and restore us. He is our substitute in life, giving us the righteousness he earned by his good works. He is our substitute in death, removing our guilt and God’s wrath on the cross. And he is our hope for peace and life with God today and forever because of his resurrection. Our identity is found in the person and work of Jesus.
- MISSION → The gospel sends us as missionaries. Jesus came to gather people into God’s family. We get to continue what Jesus began by inviting our neighbors into God’s family, too. The gospel frees us from pursuing people as projects. Instead, we get to live in the ordinary with gospel intentionality, inviting our neighbors to share in daily life with us and our community. We are sent to make, mature and multiply disciples of Christ among our neighbors.
Lebanon Needs the Gospel!
Lebanon, in many ways, is a community that has an established identity. One of its former residents recently made this comment “Lebanon is not a place you go to try to change. It’s a place you go to fit in.” Through this statement and our observations, Lebanon is a wonderful place to live, yet has a sense of superiority regarding surrounding communities. Lebanon boasts of fantastic schools and sports programs, the largest YMCA in America, a beautiful downtown district, a number of parks and golf courses, and beautiful homes (both historic and new). The American Dream is alive and well in Lebanon and so are its idols.
Man’s greatest need is to be reconciled to God. The gospel is powerful and our desire is to be gospel people. We believe that God consistently makes himself known through the local church, therefore we desire to plant a church that is an expression of God’s grace toward all people at all times. We desperately want to make God known through our bold proclamation of the gospel and also by our way of living. We want to see men, women, and children pass from death to life and we desire to be an instrument of God’s grace to the individual people of our city. We want to introduce people to Jesus!
Lebanon is a broken city. In Lebanon, you will find drug use on the rise, poverty, orphans, homelessness, hunger, and violence. You will also find arrogance, racism, alcoholism, mental illness, and lostness. We want to be a light in the dark. We want to shine bright the message of the gospel in all of these dark places. We want to impact local schools, neighborhoods, shops, businesses, playgrounds, ball fields, salons… you name it, with the love of Jesus Christ. We believe we have been equipped and commissioned to these places for the renewal of Lebanon, Ohio. We hope and pray that Lebanon, Ohio will be served by us, loved by us, and, in many ways, changed by our presence in the community.
CHURCH PLANTING CHURCH
Our immediate desire is to communicate and live out the gospel in every way we can in the city of Lebanon, Ohio. But, this is not the end of the plan. We are a church that desires to build up, send out, and support others to plant churches in our region, country, and to the uttermost parts of the world. We believe the local church is the primary means by which God establishes his Kingdom on Earth, therefore, we will play our part in planting new churches.
We are pleased to partner with the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. A29 is a singular issue network that exists to plant Christ-centered churches. A29 will assist us through prayer, assessments, resources, a network of like-minded brothers and sisters, and through regional and global gatherings. We also will support the network through prayer and by assisting the network and its pastors/churches with our gifts and resources.
GATHER | Weekend gatherings and community groups will be the primary ways we gather as a church around the gospel, to sing together, learn the Scriptures, pray for one another, and create space to hear from the Spirit. This space is where we come together in one heart and one vision to make much of Jesus and encourage one another in our pursuit of Him.
SCATTER | We scatter back into our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and in other parts of the world as servants and missionaries. We desire to take the gospel with us wherever we may find ourselves on a given day.
Who Will Lead CCC?
CCC currently consists of 12 adults who have a desire to plant a church in Lebanon, Ohio. All 12 adults and other future Core Team members will lead the charge of planting CCC. As well, David Hackney has been identified as the Lead Pastor of Cedar City Church.
David and his wife, Renee, along with their 3 children moved to Lebanon on June 1, 2018. They previously lived in Ansonia, Ohio, where David served as a youth pastor for five years and a lead pastor for four years. They then made a quick stop in Hamilton, Ohio, for 9 months to begin a Church Planting Residency at the Village Church. David and Renee are excited to settle down in Lebanon and look to make an impact in that community for decades to come. David is originally from Middletown, Ohio, and Renee hails from Englewood, Ohio.
We have broken our plan down into 4 phases with an emphasis of slowly building a strong community of believers. Our goal is steady and healthy growth that will be sustainable for decades to come. The public launch is important, but much more so is the DNA we are building.
Our overall plan is to infiltrate Lebanon, Ohio, in as many ways as possible. We will meet residents and business owners. We will visit other churches. We will attend events. We will physically move our families to Lebanon. We will also establish a Community Group in Lebanon in May of 2018 and plan to expand to a second group by the end of 2018. We see God opening doors in terms of jobs, houses, and opportunities to share the gospel. We will be sent out from the Village Church on April 28, 2019 to become our own church. From there, we will continue to gather people and prepare for a full launch in the Fall of 2019.
Cedar City Church Timeline
(March ‘18 – July ‘18)
Communicate + Invite
Move + Integrate
(August ‘18 – November ‘18)
(November ‘18 – April ‘19)
(May 5 ‘19 – September ‘19)
How Can I Get Involved?
Cedar City Church is looking for partners who value the gospel and the community that it creates. Primarily, we see this playing out in two primary ways; you can join the family by your tangible presence, or join the mission through prayer and financial assistance.
Join the Family
From its inception, Cedar City Church has been about collaboration for the gospel. Our Core Team are those committed to being a part of Cedar City Church. Core Team members must be believers in Jesus Christ and also be committed to seeing Cedar City Church grow by carrying specific roles and responsibilities. If you live in the Lebanon or Warren County area, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions (937-344-8395 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Join the Mission
Support Cedar City Church Through Prayer
Prayer is powerful and effective (James. 5:16). It is not simply the means by which people are changed it is also the means by which God accomplished His purposes. CCC needs prayer. Our primary way to share prayer needs is through our monthly newsletter. Here, we give updates on where we are in the church planting process as well as prayer needs we may have. We will also be creating a Facebook page and other avenues of communication in the near future. To be added to the email list for the newsletter, please contact David (email@example.com, 937-344-8395).
Support Cedar City Church Financially
Planting churches means raising money. Few church plants enjoy the privilege of being fully funded (by either their sending church or their parishioners). We currently fit this category and are trying to raise funds for start-up costs as well as to supplement costs for a rental space and our pastor’s salary. We are doing our best to try to zero in on a budget that adequately reflects our needs but there are still some unknown expenses. If you would like to financially give to CCC go to this link https://cedarcitychurch.com/give/ for steps on how to do that.
The Village Church will hold the funds for Cedar City Church until 2019. This will provide Cedar City Church time to attain a 501c(3) status as well as begin 2019 with a fresh budget. At that time, you will be given new instructions on how to support Cedar City Church through giving.
We hope that you might join with us in engaging God’s world for His greater glory. It is His gospel which creates His church (Titus. 2:14). It’s our desire to see a new expression of His life-giving work in Lebanon, Ohio. It’s our joy to invite you to participate in God’s kingdom purpose with us.