STORIES from the Coast

Juan H. teaching the Current Youth Movement in Oxnard, CA. 

Juan H. teaching the Current Youth Movement in Oxnard, CA. 

As a new church in Ventura, CA (a church plant started in early 2015) we have intentionally focused on STORIES.  In particular, we are focusing on seeing Jesus write incredible stories for people who may not have been writing the best chapters previously.  

Juan is one such story (you can see him teaching our Current Youth in the photo above).  We started teaching Juan our Starting Point Bible studies before we even had our first Sunday gathering.  Without going into all of the details, Juan had been through some tough pages of life and he was wanting to rebound in a big way.  He was at a place of going "ALL IN" for Christ.  I'll never forget the afternoon when we baptized Juan in the Pacific Ocean in Ventura.  I'll never forget the night he received the Holy Spirit.  It's been so cool to see the pages unfold in a life when the pen is handed over to the Author. 

In the fall of 2015 Juan felt to start a Bible study at his apartment complex in north Oxnard so we discussed some ways of going about this.  We had an open house, meet and greet night and a bunch of young people showed up.  It was pretty obvious that there was an open door to reach the youth in the area so we started having a weekly Bible study there in Oxnard, CA.  The STORY is still unfolding but we've seen these young people touched by the Scripture, we've seen them learn how to pray, how to read their Bibles, and even how to share their faith with others.  

What started with one man wanting to turn his life around has turned into a group of 15-20 young people meeting every Wednesday evening to learn about Jesus Christ and now they are turning their lives around.  The STORY is where it counts and we value every STORY that God is working in.  


P.S.  If you feel moved to partner with us financially, we are currently raising funds to purchase a van to transport youth and the disabled to Sunday gatherings, special events, etc.  You can read more information just a few blogposts down and you can always click the "GIVE" option up top.  Thank you and God bless you, Pastor Scott 

SAN BERNARDINO - Making Sense When Tragedy Strikes

The senseless.  How do you make sense of it?  I believe that this very question is the answer that explains much of the talk you're hearing on social media, at the coffee shop, and the water cooler today.  We live as human beings who seek to compartmentalize everything and find answers to the most senseless and vile acts of humanity.  When we come up with an answer or try to "make sense" within the first few hours of a tragedy, we typically miss the mark. 

I watched within minutes (not hours) as desperate souls beat the air for answers, for "sense", today.  They blamed white militia, Islam, workplace violence, drug cartels, guns, and even the mentally disabled for the tragedy.  As soon as political candidates began to make statements it all hit the fan.  The NY Daily News let us know emphatically that, "GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS" and apparently rebuked several politicians for praying for the families of the victims (I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure this is a first).  ISIS isn't claiming responsibility but they're taking to the interwebs to glorify the fact that Americans have been killed.  Then, in the fray, the average and sensible American searches to make "sense" out of this tragedy.  Like a child in the middle of a domestic dispute, amidst the yelling/screaming/fighting we sit down and weep over the tragedy but even more so we weep over the lack of "sense" that is to be found in it all.  

The "sense" cannot be found.  I would imagine that we'll find a motive, we'll find some of the issues that led up to this act of evil but will that "make it all make sense?"  I doubt it.  What does make sense is that our world is in terrible shape and people are hurting.  What does make sense is that we have a heart problem in our nation.  What does make sense is that there are many who have never seen good or known it, so they turn to evil.

What does make sense is to "overcome evil with good."  What does make sense is to "love your neighbor."  What does make sense is to "be a peacemaker."  What does make sense is...wait...yes, what makes sense is that we may not have all the answers or be able to make sense of senseless acts, but the messages of truth that Jesus Christ spoke over 2000 years ago are still ringing true today!  

I re-read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount this evening as I processed and unpacked my emotions from a very tense, emotional day.  What unfolds in Matthew 5-7 is absolutely the most relevant answer for the world today.  IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES SENSE!  

What would it look like if this "Christian Nation" started acting like "Christians."  What would it look like if we started following this Sermon on the Mount that our fearless Leader Jesus Christ left for us in the pages of the Scripture.  We need an awakening, a revival, of true love and compassion!  The kind of love that drives us to pray for those who carry out evil acts and the kind of compassion that wins over the most hardened of hearts.  Some scoff and say it can be done.  The spirit of cynicism and criticism creeps in and tells us that it will never happen in our day and age.  But I still believe in the Word of a loving Savior.  I still believe there is power in that Word!  Let us bind together and know this: there are still a few things that DO MAKE SENSE.                                                                                  -Pastor Scott

North Oxnard Community Group - Meet & Greet

We're excited to be adding another Coast Community Group in North Oxnard that will begin meeting weekly November 11th.  To kick things off we'll be having a "Meet & Greet" with a FREE Thanksgiving craft for the kids, FREE hotdogs/chips/drinks and dessert.  It will be an informal, open house format and we welcome you all to get to know us.  RSVP 805-215-3558 (text/call)

-November 11th (Wednesday) 6:00-8:30pm
-Cedar Glen Apartments (main clubhouse)
-701 Aster St. Oxnard
-(hablamos español)

What is a "Coast Community Group?" -These are small groups (up to 18 people) that meet in homes, cafes, parks, and other public places weekly.  We gather together as a group and get to know each other, read from the Scriptures, hear an encouraging/life-giving word, and typically share some snacks.

What other locations do you have?  -Currently we have a group meeting in Ventura on Wednesdays, a student (ages 12-18) group meeting Fridays, a group in Calabasas on Tuesdays, and are always looking to add more groups in locations throughout Ventura County.  

What topics do you cover? -We cover everything from practical, daily living inspiration from the Bible to deeper topics like forgiveness/battling addiction/etc. to basic teaching about salvation/prayer/devotion.  Every group is filled with people who are caring, loving, and free of judgmental attitudes.  

What if we have kids? -Most groups have something for the kids to do and as the groups grow we will begin some short Bible lessons for the kids.  

Any more questions?  Would you like to RSVP?  Feel free to call or text us at 805.215.3558 or email at

805 Community Nights - Ventura Outdoor Movie Night -10/23

Back by popular demand!  We have a huge 12' screen, fresh popcorn, and a family friendly movie all under the stars in beautiful Ventura.  Invite your friends, neighbors, kids at school, etc. and join us in the outdoors for a good time of community.  FREE ADMISSION for ALL! 


When: Friday, October 23rd at 6:00pm  Where: 4300 Telegraph Rd. Ventura, CA on the lawn across the street from Ventura College.  Who: Open to all.  What to Bring: a blanket, a chair, a friend.

7 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Go to Church (even if you don't)

At Coast Church we're HUGE believers in kids and we want to see kids from all over Ventura County thrive, succeed, and do incredible things to impact the world around us as they grow.  Even if you're not a "person of faith" we want you to know that there is a place your children can find community at in a safe, loving, and caring environment.  Here are a few of the reasons our team came up with of "Why Your Kids Should Go to Church (even if you don't).  Enjoy. 

 1. They have BIG GOD questions and we don’t have all of the answers. 

Where did God come from?  Who is God’s daddy and mommy?  Was God a baby?  Is God real or is he like Santa Claus?  Can God bring me presents?  Can I talk to God?  The questions only get bigger, tougher, and gnarlier from here on out!  Kids are full of questions.  Where do you find answers to these “God questions” that they are sure to ask?  Google, pull them out of the air, go ask grandma, etc. are all some of the ways I’ve heard of parents address these questions.  At Coast Kids we strive to answer the tough “God Questions” in ways that are understandable, appropriate, and relevant for children.  We want their eyes, their mind, their hearts, and their futures to be open just as you do!  


2.  Church is a place to experience community in a diverse, totally selfless way.

At Coast Church we want to be a community that reflects our local community.  We are not an old church, a young church, a white church, a black church, an asian church, a hispanic church…we are a community of people from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, faith experiences, and histories.  What a better place to allow your children to experience diversity than in a place that truly cares for them.  A church community is a place where we leave behind our “identity” to embrace the “identity of Christ” to serve others in a selfless way.  When children catch on to this concept at a young age everyone around them will be doing double-takes saying, “who is this kid and where did they learn to be so kind?”  Church.  


3.  The principles taught in Sunday School will benefit your children. 

Where did our criminal, civil, and justice code originate?  Mosaic (from Moses) Law has been the single biggest influencer on the way we do life as humans and societies.  We teach precepts and concepts that deal with how we treat our fellow man, how we take care of the resources God has given us, why giving is better than receiving, working hard and thinking of others before ourselves.  Whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, etc. I think we can all agree that every child in the world could use a bit more emphasis in these areas.  Math is great, learning to read and spell is fantastic but where are our children learning the source of these principles?  Church.  


4.  We reinforce creativity, art, and music. 

Art and music programs are typically the first place that our public education systems make budget cuts.  Nearly every week we draw, color, paint, cut (with safe scissors), art projects that coincide with our lesson.  We encourage creativity, art exploration and sharing our work with one another (and of course with our families when we get home).  Music is a big part of our church community and it carries over into Coast Kids.  We sing, introduce them to fun instruments, and encourage them to be a part of music even if they’ve never tried.  It is no wonder why so many famous musicians trace their musical roots to church…we value the arts and music as an extension of who God created us to be.  Where does the next Picasso learn to paint?  Church.  


5.  Hope. 

Where do children go to find hope?  School?  Schools reinforce many great things, but they don’t reinforce hope.  They don’t give hope, they’re not a source of hope.  For a lot of children, school can be a place of frustration when dealing with bullies, homework, pressure for grades, etc.  How about family?  Family should be a place of hope, but unfortunately it doesn’t always pan out that way.  At Coast Church we want every child to learn that not only can they find hope but they can grow to be a source of hope in their world.  Spiritual, intangible concepts are hard to understand when we grow up, but children have an incredible way of grasping concepts like “hope” and living them out.  Where can they find out what hope is and how to be a source of hope for others?  Church.


6.  The “Anchor Concept”.  

Kids need anchors, places where they know they will be and things they know they will be doing.  Consistency is hard to maintain in our busy day and age.  When you incorporate something like church/Sunday school in your child’s life, it gives them an “anchor” in their life of consistent teaching, art, friends, community, and giving.  We love soccer teams, Little League, swim clubs, art classes, etc. but we believe that Coast Kids gives every child “meaning” to their life and their future more than a team championship.  Once your child gets plugged in, makes new friends, they’ll be bugging you for this “anchor” in their life: church. 


7.  Our church communities NEED the children.  

Children, with their wonder and amazement, their creativity and craziness, their charm and their mischief, are an inspiration to every single person who follows Christ.  We have come to the realization that we need kids around to show us how we are supposed to respond to Jesus’ great love…with awe and wonder!  When children are present, smiles abound.  When children are present, the weight of responsibility for our future seems more significant.  In other words, we NEED children in our church community.  We are totally okay with the messes they make, the glue-stick clean up, the mischief, and the spilled Capri-suns because it means that children are present and where children are present, HOPE is present.  We never want one gathering to go by where we don’t see smiles from one certain group of little humans…can you guess where we want to see you and your children this Sunday?  You got it, CHURCH!  


At Coast Church we are a grass-roots community of faith, growing weekly, reaching out to our city and county, serving others and lifting up Jesus Christ.  We’ve seen some incredible stories unfold in the short time we’ve been meeting together and we can’t wait to see what happens next.  We have several Coast Kids volunteers who have backgrounds in child education, art, music, parenting and huge hearts to see children thrive!  We meet each week at 4300 Telegraph Road in Ventura in the round building on Telegraph (look for the orange and blue signs).  Our children meet in a safe place connected to the building where we hold our main gathering, accessible by parents and of course filled with fun and smiles.  If you need a ride to church, if you’d like to schedule us to pick up your children for Coast Kids or if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call/text 805-215-3558 or email  Much love to you all and we hope to see you soon…at CHURCH!  

The Artisan Soul - A Journey Through God's Call on our Lives to be Creative

Over the past three weeks, we've been discussing what it means to be "An Artisan Soul" and some thoughts from Erwin Raphael McManus' book "The Artisan Soul."  It has truly been an inspiring time as we've uncovered some of the hidden talents/creativity/calling that God has in each of us.  We've learned that a "creative" is not just a person with a passion for art, music, graphic design or photography...but in the soul of every human being is a "creative nature" that God put within each of us.  

So many times we feel that we don't have anything "creative" to contribute to our world and we begin to listen to every voice we've ever heard that tells us "we can't" do something.  The fact is that we are "created in the image of God" and part of that is each of us have a creative side.  Our world has some incredibly large, looming issues to face from pollution, racism, famine, clean water, food shortages, disease, etc. and the only way we're going to be able to see these issues resolved is through creative thinking and creative acting.  God gave us the ability to do this and our prayer these past few weeks is that Christ followers around the world would start realizing the gift of creativity that God has given all of us and start using for good around the world.  It is truly the will of God that we would step up and be cultural influencers, thinking outside of the boxes and rising above the voices that tell us "what we cannot do."  

We have one more week (Wednesday 9/2 at 7:30pm, contact for location details) of our group study in The Artisan Soul and it is going to be awesome.  If you're looking to grow as a Christian, learning more about faith, or simply looking for a place to draw weekly inspiration we would like to invite you to join us at a Coast Community Group midweek gathering.  We meet in houses and places like Chick-fil-A, Coffee Bean, etc. to discuss the Scripture and it's application for our lives.  We hope to see you soon!  

7 Reasons to Join a New Church Plant


  If you’re looking for a new church, a new place for your faith to grow, the task can be daunting.  Not only are you asking, “what do I choose: Presbyterian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Mormon, non-denominational, Methodist, Episcopal, etc. etc. etc.?”  But you have to consider the size of the church, the people there, the location, the programs, etc. etc. etc.  I know what you’re thinking, “wow, yes, it is crazy, I don’t know where to start…I just want to grow in my faith.”  

  Well, here are some reason why you should consider joining a new church, also known as a “church plant.”  Despite the statistics of most mainline denominations trending downward in numbers of Sunday attendees, there are actually some Christian groups who are opening up new church gatherings in cities all around the world and seeing tremendous growth.  Think of a church plant as a place where fresh life is being breathed into the community.


  If you’re currently a Christian and want to help out a church plant, that’s a great and noble thing to do.  We highly suggest that you pray about it and talk to your lead pastor about it before making the decision.  You would, no doubt, be a tremendous help if it is truly something that works out, but keep in mind that your church community needs you too!   

1.  A Fresh Start 

There’s nothing wrong with a brand new starting point for your faith.  Maybe you’ve been wanting to renew your faith in God but don’t know where to start.  You’ve checked out a few churches but nothing really clicked for you/your family.  One of the greatest hardships of a “new church” is one of the greatest blessings: you see, the very reason a church plant is “planted” is to see new people join them in walking with Jesus.  So every person counts, every person matters and a church plant takes that seriously.  

2.  Dreamers/Doers

There’s dreamers and doers, but sometimes those two qualities join together in a person’s life to make them an indelible resource in God’s economy.  Chances are if you’re a dreamer/doer you will love the environment of a church plant.  Growing up in the Silicon Valley, I’ve seen start-ups in the tech world and watched the driving passion behind incredibly successful entrepreneurial endeavors.  In a church plant, we take that same “start-up” mindset of passion-based, goal oriented gains but we pare it with prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit and heaps of love/compassion.  It’s way more than “business as usual.”

3.  Authentic Community

There is something special about the community that takes place in a church plant.  I know it can be had, and felt, in larger churches but I can’t describe how awesome the feelng of community is in a church plant.  Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t take it for granted, or better yet, that we don’t take each other for granted.  If you’re looking for a place to truly “live the Christian life” with others in a community of faith, a church plant is the place to be. 

4.  A Trial Run

If you are feeling called of God (and your pastoral leadership has recognized that) to plant a church in the future, there is no better place for you to spend six months to a year than in a church plant.  Seriously, I wish I would have done it before we planted Coast Church in Ventura, CA.  For instance, when I got into free diving and spearfishing I did extensive research.  I read books on breath hold techniques, researched gear, watched videos of pros, and read accounts from many veteran divers.  But the first time I got in the water with a friend who had been diving for many years, I learned more from him in three hours of diving than all of the books and Google searches combined.  Do your homework, but get involved in a church plant if you feel led to plant a church some day.  It is a win-win for you and the church planter. 

5.  Show Your Kids an Alternative

Bratty, spoiled church kids that have endless pizza parties, bounce houses, Sunday school giveaways, amusement park outings, skateparks in the church parking lot are THE WORST!  Trust me, I was one of them!  Until I was a teenager and attended a church of roughly 20-30 people and they didn’t have all the bells and whistles.  What I learned, very quickly, was that there was more to church than just being entertained.  Believe me, I would LOVE to have a sweet little skatepark (yes, Ventura needs a real skatepark) in the church parking lot some day, but what I want more than that is an environment where my kids can experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Most church plants do have some exciting things going for kids and it is only going to get better, but even if they don’t have all of that stuff, encountering Jesus is worth it. 

6.  You Want to Serve

Every church plant is looking for people with servant’s hearts who care deeply for their community.  Of course there are many avenues to serve in the weekly gathering such as: set-up of the facility, greeting, parking lot team, sound tech, AV, photography, graphic design, singing, music, Coast Kids, etc., but in the vision of Coast Church we see a community of faith that serves the community at large in Ventura and the surrounding coastal area.  We’re already planning to certify people in Life In Focus Education (a drug/alcohol rehab, juvenile delinquent education program), putting together a focus group for parents/families of children with special needs, exploring how we can serve the elderly of our community by mowing lawns/fixing things/holding services in convalescent homes, and asking tough questions about how we can simply serve our community better.  A church plant is constantly in need of creative minds and servant's hearts.  If you’re looking for a place to utilize your talents with an eternal impact on the lives of others, if you truly want to “serve” then a church plant is for you. 

7.  The Spirit Led Life

Everything in our “consumer oriented” world drives us to the biggest and the best.  One of the things we see recurring in the Scripture is that the Holy Spirit led people to do things that nobody else was doing, with tremendous outcomes in the end.  Jesus raised the bar high for that one and we should follow His example.  If you feel to join a church plant (as a permanent member or simply to serve for an interim) you should pray about it and ask God to truly “lead” you in making that decision.  We truly believe that when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives GREAT THINGS HAPPEN!

   Every community of faith has a “starting place” and a new church plant is a great place to be a part of to invest in and experience those infant moments.  Will it be perfect?  No.  Will people come and go?  Sure.  Will it be one of the best, most rewarding things you’ve ever done in your life?  I believe so!  I hope this has been educational for you and thought-provoking.  It is incredible to be a part of what Jesus Christ is doing in our time.  There are some incredible new churches being planted all throughout the world and the Gospel is touching lives like never before.   

-Pastor Scott