Schafer family Church Planting
April 4, 2018

Church Plant Spotlight: RiverCross Church, Visalia, CA


Rev. Karl Schafer, Pastor : What is the vision for RiverCross The vision of RiverCross is to make relationships with Jesus real. We want to see everyone changed and impacted by finding or deepening their relationship with Jesus. We say that this means everyone must step into relationships with Jesus – For people just now getting to know Jesus, we hope they step into that relationship – For people who already have relationships with Jesus, we want to see them step further into those relationships.

This idea of “stepping in” is important to RiverCross because that’s how we see God began the church—and it’s how we see God continuing to move us. Our story is tied to the Bible’s story about Joshua, specifically when he was leading God’s people into that destination they had dreamed of for decades. Standing on the far banks of the Jordan River, they were poised to enter and yet at the same time wondered how it was possible. Looking at an overflowing river, it seemed impossible to take those last steps that would help them realize God’s promise. But God called them to step in and cross the river anyway. When they stepped, God moved. Our church planting team agreed that God was calling us to step in, and when we did, God formed RiverCross Church.

What are you most excited about right now?

We’re thrilled about these two things (and more!):

First, this past fall we launched an after-school Bible club on Mondays at the same public school where we worship on Sundays. Each week, students become “spies” as they investigate the Bible and Jesus at our R.C. Spy Club. Last fall, we saw many of the students make commitments to step into relationships with Jesus and it allows us to meet people not yet connected to RiverCross.

Second, we are thrilled for a growing, super-local mission field. Within one mile of where we worship, there are over 3,000 homes; this neighborhood is the fastest growing part of the city. This allows for a huge opportunity to meet people, build relationships, and display Jesus, which drives us to pray, dream, and work hard.

What has God done that has surprised you the most?

We were speechless when the principal of the school where we worship invited us to start an after-school Bible club. While a Bible club had been one of many of our dreams and brainstorms, we presumed that we would have to take the first step. That invitation pushed us into months of praying for discernment, visiting other local clubs, discovering our style, and stepping into the commitment of launching the club.

What can we specifically pray for you?

Please do pray!

– For a student ministry to begin, despite our so far unsuccessful efforts

– For at least a dozen new families in our neighborhood to get connected with RiverCross this year

– For our relationship with Shannon Ranch Elementary School to grow and continue to be positive

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