Why We Exist
If you have been a pastor in Los Angeles, chances are you have been invited to several pastor gatherings. Some break down along denominational lines, others by geography, still others by a network of pre-existing relationships. While these gatherings are usually encouraging in their own ways, many run into similar difficulties:
Undefined or Ill-defined purpose
As pastors, we are generally convinced that we should not be isolated from one another, especially in the same city! Yet how to organize and pursue relationships is difficult. Our schedules are full simply shepherding own people and reaching the non-believers around us. If we are to take some of those hours to gather together, there must be a clear purpose and plan for that time to bear fruit in our churches, our own hearts, and our city.
The Size and Diversity of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County is incredibly diverse: Pasadena is not Culver City is not Bellflower. A pastor in South LA will face unique challenges that a pastor in Malibu likely will not, and vice versa. These two pastors can encourage one another, but they will have little to offer in the way of practical advice. Our congested highways make it difficult to maintain a relationship outside of the gathering itself, further minimizing the support each pastor can provide.
Too Narrow or Too Broad
When we gather as pastors, we are gathering around something. In other words, what brings us together in the first place? For some our common job means we should meet together, regardless of theological conviction. This gives us maximum exposure to other pastors, but carries with it the problems of such a broad ecumenicism. Other gatherings rally around something narrow: a particular area of theological agreement (e.g. reformed dispensationalists) or a single denomination (e.g. conservative Baptist). But this excludes like-minded pastors in that same area based on issues of second or third importance.
For these reasons and more, many Los Angeles pastors are not compelled to gather together regularly. Yet many of those same pastors agree that when it comes to inspiring and encouraging one another, we are better together than apart. We invite you to imagine a regular gathering of pastors with a clear purpose. One that loves and respects the size and diversity of Los Angeles. One that gathers around the gospel in a way that is neither too narrow nor too broad. A coalition of pastors for whom you are excited to make time because it is clearly a blessing to your church, your own soul, and this city God loves.
We invite you to imagine a revived network of pastors in Los Angeles that inspires you, equips you, and supports you as you minister the gospel in our city.
Who We Are & What We Do
“TGC LA is a coalition of local church pastors who aim to inspire, equip, and support one another to better grasp the gospel and to influence Los Angeles with the gospel more effectively.”
When we gather as pastors, we rally around the gospel. It is our purpose and joy to grasp the height, depth, and breadth of God's love as demonstrated in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. The gathering of local pastors provides a unique context for the gospel to bear fruit and grow among us and in our city.
A major gathering event to inspire and envision the work of the gospel in our city.
Every two to three years, we host a large conference featuring a well-known and gospel-centered speaker. This conference exists to galvanize pastors and leaders across Los Angeles with a renewed vision for gospel-centered ministry in our city. As we walk away inspired by the riches of the gospel and our mission in Los Angeles, we will be primed to continue meeting throughout the year in smaller groups.
Regular region-wide gatherings for the purpose of ground-level equipping.
Three times a year TGCLA pastors gather to hear from a guest speaker on a topic relevant to pastoral ministry. Topics range from general (e.g. the Sufficiency of Scripture in Pastoral Ministry) to specific (e.g. Counseling, Eating Disorders, and Body Image in Los Angeles), but all are meant to bear directly on the weekly life of the pastor.
Informal local relationships and gatherings.
The region-wide gatherings provide the opportunity to meet or reconnect with pastors who live and minister near you. Ideally these relationships will grow into informal means of mutual support, prayer, fellowship, and counsel. Some small groups of local pastors may choose to meet regularly, others might opt instead to maintain a relationship in different ways. In any case, TGCLA exists to encourage relationships amongst pastors who minister alongside one another in particular neighborhoods. We believe this is best done through warm, well-maintained friendships.