Jodi Hickerson is the Teaching Pastor and Programming Director of Mission Ventura Church, which she and her husband helped plant in 2011. Jodi speaks frequently at conferences across the country, including the Exponential East 2017 Conference. Jodi lives with her husband and children in Ventura, California.
What differences have you experienced coming from the “Bible belt” and planting a church in California?
How are you able to connect people to your church through the parties you throw for the community?
You talk about the already-established church that helped you when you were first planting Mission. What did this church do to help you?
“People are people. I think there are hurting, broken people everywhere.”
“Before we ever launched we started serving at places like the city center, showing up for work days, we hosted three free movie nights in the park…We just wanted show up going ‘We’re for this city.’”
“Our 5 values are: Offering tangible hope, practical help, significant ministry, throwing great parties, and Kingdom impact.”
“We like to throw these parties for people who are often overlooked or often under-celebrated, that couldn’t pay us back.”
“It takes five to seven positive impressions with a brand or…church before someone kind of goes ‘I think I’ll check that out.’”
“One of the things I love the most about the Church…is people that have been walking with Jesus so long and they have such a deep relationship with him that they realize it’s not about them. And they’re showing up at some 5-year-old church plant in a movie theater…because they want to walk alongside someone else, and they want to disciple someone else.”
“I don’t think I could have imagined where we’re at now [with our church plant] five-and-a-half years in. I know I couldn’t imagine what God’s done in my own heart.”