In the fall of 2020, Crosswalk (CW) Foothills was recognized as a group in the Southern California Conference (SCC).
After a year of monthly pop-up worship services in the San Gabriel Foothills area to gauge community interest, the leadership team at CW Foothills was excited for the new possibilities God had in store at the start of 2020. That excitement quickly turned to confusion with the arrival of COVID-19.
“It felt like all the momentum we had for 2020 got swept beneath our feet,” said Joshua Estrada, leader of CW Foothills. “We spent the next couple of months figuring out how to be flexible and following what God was calling us to do.”
Estrada, who helped with the early pop-up worship services on occasion, joined the CW Foothills team permanently in the fall of 2020. Previously, he was a part of the worship team at Crosswalk church in Redlands, the congregation that planted CW Foothills here in SCC.
He met Danny Chan, SCC Los Angeles Metro Region director, in early March of 2020 when Chan was invited to preach at a worship service. At the time, Estrada didn’t know what the significance of that encounter would be, but he now sees how God was at work on behalf of this growing congregation.
“Part of my role as region director is to support churches through various stages of growth,” said Chan. “I am blessed to partner with Josh Estrada to provide the guidance and support his team needs to flourish as a church. CW Foothills is a beacon of hope to young, disconnected believers who need a place to learn how to love well.”
Estrada credits their “lovewell” witnessing-focused mission to Tim Gillespie, senior pastor of Crosswalk church in Redlands. “If you can learn to love a person well where they are,” said Estrada, “they’re likely to, at some point, ask where that love comes from.”
Now, CW Foothills, like many SCC churches, is currently worshipping online, and Estrada is navigating how to lead during an ongoing pandemic.
“There is a unique thing that Jesus is doing in our community: God is bringing us these people because our community can be trusted with them,” Estrada said. “We’re trying to figure out how to be a church that doesn’t just ask people to attend, but really embodies ‘go and make disciples.’”
*photos were taken prior to COVID-19 restrictions.