From the desk of Michael Long

Recently, after a Sunday morning service, I was explaining to a friend that Neighborhood Church views Chico Christian School as being one of its primary ministries –and a mission field full of ripe fruit.  To be honest, my friend’s response surprised me:  How can a Christian school be a mission field?  Aren’t most of the students attending CCS already believers—and don’t the families have to sign a statement of faith?

I was so glad my friend asked . . . and then it occurred to me that if he had these thoughts, so might some of you.  The truth is that Chico Christian School houses people of many different walks of life.  In fact, approximately 60% of our students come from relatively unchurched backgrounds.  Many students and parents experience the presence of God for the first time on this campus, and as you can imagine, the results are often compelling and amazing.  Here is a recent story you might enjoy . . .

Before a rather candid and potentially painful discussion with a mother about her son’s behavior, I asked if we could pray together.  She looked at me with doubtful eyes and then smirked, saying, “pray all you want—if you feel like you need that stuff.  I’m not religious, but you go ahead.”  And so I did . . . and God was present.  About a week later, at my invitation, that same mother, “Laura,” came to visit our Monday morning chapel service for students.  Somewhat hesitant to let me see the tears in her eyes, Laura approached me during the singing, inquiring about what it was that she was feeling when the kids were openly worshipping and singing.  She couldn’t put her finger on it but she knew something was different.  

That morning, it was my privilege to explain to Laura that God inhabits the praises of His people and what she was experiencing was His very real and powerful presence.  After a long talk and several follow-up meetings, Laura is now reading a Bible and has lots of questions.  In fact, she’s right on the edge of choosing Christ and I’m so happy to watch the transformative Scriptures impacting her life already.

So to our church family, I say thank you.  Every time you give to Neighborhood Church, you are also helping us continue to reach the lost and seeking souls at Chico Christian School.  I am so grateful for your continued partnership and prayers for us—and people like Laura.  God is alive and well on this campus and we see His continued provisions daily.

May God grant you a marvelous Thanksgiving holiday—one in which you reflect on the goodness of what He has done for each of us.  And please do pray for Laura!


Michael Long

Principal and Pastor, Chico Christian School and Neighborhood Church