RiversideChristianAlliance Church河濱縣宣道會 by David Aguirre
Riverside Christian Alliance Church is a smaller non-denominational church located on the outskirts of Jurupa Valley. The true benchmark for this smaller 40-member church is the ability to offer services in their native language Mandarin Chinese. The reason this is so remarkable is the fact that many smaller churches in America struggle with competing with larger churches because of consistent pressures to produce. Allow me to elaborate, mega-church phenomena swept through the heart of America beginning in the early 90’s with the birth of T.V. evangelist many churches rushed to compete with this new excitement. For this reason, many churches sought to bring in the latest, hippest, and coolest forms of entertainment to compete with mega-churches that brought in large crowds but failed to drive depth into the new converts. In other words, mega-churches and T.V. evangelist quickly became the standard by which other churches started to gauge their growth. Basically, churches across America began to change things around and adopt worldly principles in an attempt to become seeker friendly and bring in big crowds. In a broad sense, churches began to see an influx in church attendance but a decrease in true discipleship. Truly, according to scripture Christ did not command us to go make mega-churches Christ commanded us to go make disciples.
Therefore, my visit to an intercultural church service on April 8th, 2012 was definitely a humbling experience. At first glance Riverside Christian Alliance Church had nothing exceptionally desiring that would draw me to their congregation. In fact, the building across the street (a small elementary school) seemed massive in comparison to RCAC. Nevertheless, I was reminded of the prophet Isaiah and how the Spirit spoke through him in reference to Christ saying “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). What drew people to Christ was not a great marketing scheme; Christ did not hire a public relations manager. No! What drew people to Christ was the power of God working through Him to accomplish God’s kingdom rule over sickness, death, and sin. In the same way, Christ drew crowds of people because He alone had the power to save and forgive. Therefore, when it came to my intercultural church service experience my first impression was the humble appearance of the church and the people. It surprised me that come Easter Sunday a day churches across the globe face enormous pressure to be seeker friendly RCAC were still recognizing an older church tradition.
What was the tradition you might ask? Well, RCAC asked two women to step forwarded to share their testimonies because Christ first appeared to Mary and the Lord choose a women to bring testimony to His disciples about the power of Christ’s resurrection. Again, because this was a cross-cultural church the women that shared their testimonies spoke in Mandarin but at the same time they provided an interrupter. The first women to share her testimony her name was Mindy she seemed shy but graceful and told the congregation right away that she was a baby still growing in the Lord. This acknowledgement was delightful to hear in my opinion such labels are something churches fail to recognize and practice but necessary for spiritual growth. After the two women shared their testimonies Pastor Chu got up to pray for them and then it was time for breakfast. I was well received at RCAC and definitely stood out from amongst the other members of the congregation. I felt at home as I sat with some of the other members of the church at the breakfast table and began to share my own testimony on how Christ saved me.
At the end of the day what the Lord began to press heavily upon my heart was the necessary component of the church in the life of a follower of Christ. For within this little church on the outskirts of Jurupa Valley was a kindhearted Pastor passionate to see growth and compassionate in tending to the spiritual needs of his sheep. Indeed, the Good Shepard has set the bar high and expects nothing more then His followers to abide in the example in which He set. Christ did not lay down an example in humility and service in John 13 so modern day “Shepard’s” could come up with new business plans to fill their church attendance sheets. On the contrary, churches need to be in the business of discipleship and driving in depth in the saints. For God’s home is the foundation and the pillar of truth the world should be drawn to the church not because of the music, videos, or guest speakers but because of the power of God that resides in her. Christ drew massive crowds to Himself because He was totally 100% committed to doing the will of His Father and God is in the business of saving souls. The church alone was founded upon the principle and confession that Christ is Lord and the power of God over death and sin resides in her. Therefore, the gospel should be the main attraction that brings in crowds and draws people who are dying into a church building that springs forth life.
Sunday Worship Schedule
10:00am – 10:50am | Sunday School (available classes: English , Mandarin, Cantonese, Youth, Children)
11:00am – 12:15pm | English & Mandarin Bilingual Worship Service
11:00am – 12:15pm | Children Worship Service
12:15pm – 01:00pm | Free Potluck Luncheon
01:00pm – 02:30pm | Free Mandarin Class (2nd& 4th Sundays) Learn Chinese!