When God first called me and my family to the Santa Ynez Valley, the vision He gave me was of a large open field with a large modern looking barn structure on it. There were 1000-2000 people there standing around it equipped & trained and ready to be sent out to preach the gospel. The structure was large and had everything located inside of it; a large 600-700 person sanctuary, a bible college, classrooms, and the nations of the world were represented there. It was filled with people of all walks of life and demographic; old, middle aged, young families, and a large contingent of young people were present. Around the property was a well groomed landscape; picnic area, baptism area and gardens, a camping area, and even a retreat center. Overall, it was a place of refuge and peace. God was there, and there was an excitement and a feeling of joy and life that I can't seem to explain, nor have I ever seen before.
I believe God told me this place was going to be a place where the nations of the world would come to to be equipped, trained and sent out to bring the gospel to the world. "This is why I called you here, said the Lord."
Since that day, we have continued to be faithful with the people and the plans God has placed before us at The Ranch Church. Throughout our 8 years we have taken steps of faith searching for the place and the time when God would allow us to begin to break ground upon this vision He gave me so long ago. We have searched and searched and about 3 years ago God showed me the land next to Sunny Fields in Solvang alongside Alamo Pintado. As we began to research the 16 acre property we found that the land was designated solely for agricultural use, and ironically, in one line way down at the bottom, for "religious purposes" as well. You can say that was a coincidence but I believe it was divinely set apart by the Lord.
It has been a few years, much prayer, and the land still lay vacant, waiting for us to inhabit it and call it back to the Lord; to be faithful and obedient to not only occupy it, but to build the vision that the Lord entrusted to me so many years ago. God's timing is everything. We have long been patient and faithful to steward what the Lord has placed before us, and I believe now is our time. I Believe this land has been hand picked and set apart by the Lord for the purpose of why God began The Ranch Church. Our desire is to not only impact our community locally and to love and train everyone how to love others and how to live pleasing to God, but to also equip and train those called to go to the nations and send them out to preach the good news to the peoples of the world. This is so much greater and bigger than you or I can do on our own and for that reason, I know it is from the Lord.
If you are reading this, than I believe in some way God has led you to partner with The Ranch Church and our vision. All I ask, is that you pray and ask the Lord what your role is in this story. Maybe you feel called to faithfully intercede and pray, then please do so. Maybe you feel the Lord has given you gifts and talents that you believe can be beneficial to this journey and vision, then please join us and help us build, and maybe you feel led by the Lord to partner with us financially to help make this vision, this calling, and this place a reality. If that is you, then I pray you will seek the Lord on what He would have you sow into this project financially as a step of obedience and in faith ultimately declaring that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our valley.
No matter what, whether you know it or not, you play a role in the story of God and in the story of The Ranch Church. May God continue to bless you in everything you do and say, and may He continue to grow and bless our ministry so that we may not only be faithful to what He has called us to, but more importantly, that we will be a ministry that leads people to Him and that bears fruit that will remain.