There is something incredibly refreshing about encountering the authentic and genuine, especially when it comes to leadership. Filters and Photoshop have us all on edge, questioning the realness in everything. Is anything we perceive truly palpable? A growing desire surges throughout our society, creating an ever-present longing to exchange the seemingly perfect for a “no smoke and mirrors” authenticity. A prominent landscape in our great nation that demands a resurgence of such leaders is nestled within the walls of the church.
People that know Mark and Rachelle will openly tell you that's who they are. Perfect? No. What meets the eye? Yes. Collectively, they have been in full-time ministry for 30 years serving at Capital Church as youth & young adult pastors in Boise, Idaho. During this time, they’ve witnessed God awaken & rescue thousands in jr. highs, high schools, and universities all across the Treasure Valley, including Boise State. In this journey, the Franceys have displayed true, unwavering faithfulness - continually dedicated to God's call, consistent in love for people, and always making more room for the WHOSOEVERS in God’s house.
You see, if you have known Mark and Rachelle very long, you know that starting a church is far from an outlandish idea; it is the organic evolution of nearly two decades of following Jesus. In 2008, God planted a small seed in their hearts. That very seed, nurtured and watered for years, has finally come to fruition. This seed is Oceans Church. Through ongoing open and honest conversations, they have submitted the dream, the timing, and the destination to their pastors and leaders. The elders of Capital Church have confirmed the call and the timing to start a life-giving church in South Orange County, California.
With excitement and great anticipation Mark, Rachelle, and their two daughters, Kenzington and Chloe, are stepping out to follow the purpose God has put in their hearts so many years ago.
It is no secret that Orange County, California, is one of the most beautiful locations in the United States. After all, it is home to the happiest place on earth: Disneyland. However, when people ask me why we chose to start a church in South Orange County, the response has nothing to do with the geographical beauty, but rather the deep spiritual need. We believe that some of the most difficult people to reach in the world are the ones that already seem to have everything. The gospel isn't solely for the down and out, but is equally needed for those that are up and out. Means can express meaning but never give it - only God can do that.
Growing up in Southern California, I knew first hand that many would claim to have some form of belief or faith in God. It just didn't seem to affect the way they lived their everyday lives. I didn't become a Christian until I was 18 years old, so my understanding of Jesus based upon what I saw growing up was that he was kind of like your insurance agent - the person contacted only when you got into an accident or after you made a big decision you wanted him to insure and bless. I merely thought of faith as eternal fire insurance. When I moved to Idaho and started following Jesus, I realized that Christ did not simply come to provide a means to Heaven, but to put Heaven into us. Through the local church, I discovered that I could really KNOW GOD, FIND FREEDOM, DISCOVER PURPOSE, AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE in this life after all. Now, this is all I want for all people.
By 2010, Rachelle and I knew, because of multiple confirmations, that we would one day move to California and start a life-giving church. We didn't know where exactly, so we took a vacation with our (at the time) two-year-old daughter, Kenzie. We drove all over Southern California, praying we made it to the last stop on the list: South Orange County. I’ll never forget driving into Laguna Niguel when, in an instant, something like a water balloon simultaneously burst inside of our hearts. With tears streaming down our cheeks, we pulled off the road for about an hour to process it all. It is difficult to put into words holy moments like these, but we knew then and there that God was putting His love for these people and for that place in our hearts. I once heard Chris Hodges say that one way you know your called to a city is when you are ready to buy your cemetery plot there. That's how we have felt since that very day.
Although we have a long and challenging road ahead of us, we have never been more convinced that this is God’s will for us and that, through our faithfulness, sacrifice, and obedience, He is going to do something special.1.6 million + people have no church/faith within forty miles of where we will plant. The need is massive, even overwhelming, but we know God does some of His greatest work when the odds are stacked against us. Sharing God's love and building a community that honors His power and presence is what we are committed to spending the rest of our lives doing.
We have an incredible life in Idaho. The majority of our family is here, we are part of a marvelous church, a beautiful house, and amazing friends. The comfortable and convenient thing to do would be to stay put. Jesus doesn't call us to comfort, though. He calls us to mission. I am a Christian today with thousands of others because of a young married couple from Portland, Oregon. They were living a ‘good life’, but made the decision in 1983 to pack up all they owned, their three babies, and risk everything to obey God's call to start a life-giving church in Boise, Idaho. 21 years later, I married one of their daughters. I often wonder where I would be, along with countless others, if Ken and Connie Wilde opted for a comfortable and convenient life. We believe there are a multitude of people and destinies connected to our willingness to take that same risk.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for believing in this God dream with us. Your partnership in this Kingdom endeavor is so greatly appreciated. We count it a privilege to serve God along side you all. The best days of the church are ahead of us and a global awakening has already begun. Lord, let your grace be upon all of us. Amen.
Mark Francey Oceans Church