Posted in: Meet a Church Planter
College Students Need the Gospel – Interview with Jake Chambers
Jake Chambers officially launched Red Door Church in September, 2010. Located in the College Area near San Diego State University, a significant percentage of his church is comprised of and ministers to college students. Why plant near a college campus with transitory students in mind? “I felt like students are being preached to every day,” says Jake. “But the things that are preached are messages like ‘go party,’ and ‘your future career will save you' but nobody is preaching the gospel.” With SDSU also making the nation's list of highest rates of STDs and date rape per capita(not to mention the largest-ever drug bust – 70+ arrests in 2007), it was clear to Jake that it was a place in desperate need of the gospel.
Acts 29 staff member Derrin Thomas was able to sit down with Jake recently to ask him about his church planting experience and the uniqueness of working with college students.
Listen to the audio: (mp3 link)
- Can you tell us about yourself?
- You moved from Seattle to San Diego to plant a church – what brought that about?
- What does it look like to preach the gospel to the college demographic?
- What have been the unique factors of planting in a college area (obstacles, benefits)?
- What does raising leaders and discipleship look like in such a young church?
- What are the biggest needs that college students have in your church?
- Most of your college students will be leaving in 2-3 years, and leave every summer – so why bother going after them? (10:06)
- What are some examples of grace you've seen in your church as you've planted? (14:45)
- What's the best advice you could give someone who is thinking about planting in a college area? (18:05)
Jake’s Story and Timeline
Jake’s journey to planting Red Door was one of answering the call and networking with other Acts 29 planters. Originally from Seattle, it was a short matter of months from being called to plant until Jake started meeting with his core team in San Diego.
- 2007-2008 Jake becomes a member of Mars Hill Church and helps the launch of Proxy (Mars Hill Youth Group) at Mars Hill Church in Bellevue, WA.
- 2008-09: Jake begins serving as a deacon at Mars Hill and serving with church planting efforts at the University of Washington under Matt Jensen.
- February 2009: Mark Driscoll issues a call to men within Mars Hill Church who are called to plant churches.
- March 2009: The Seattle Acts 29 Boot Camp, titled “The Call”, is held at Mars Hill Church. Mark Driscoll shares 13 questions for men to determine if they’re called. Jake realizes he is called, but due to his young age (26) thinks he is several years out. God has different plans and immediately Matt Jensen introduces Jake to David Fairchild who expresses the need for a church planter to help transition a small, dying night service into a church plant near SDSU.
- April–August 2009: Jake visits San Diego, packs up with his wife and moves south. A few friends join and relocate to be a part of planting a new church.
- September 2010: After gathering a core, meeting regularly, preaching and growing, Red Door Church is officially launched and a full member of Acts 29.