The story of a church that began in Bonney Lake
Sept. 2009 | Huff Home
Jan. 2010 | Launched Services in Regal Theater
March 2011 | Went Mobile, Victor Falls Elementary
August 2011 | Moved to Bonney Lake High School
December 2012 | Helped Launch Living Hope in Sumner, WA
September 2015 | Living Hope Sumner becomes Open Life Sumner
January 2018 | Open Life Sumner joins Open Life in Bonney Lake
Open Life is the result of a divine interruption during a board meeting at Northwest Family Church February 10, 2009 in Auburn, WA. The Northwest Ministry Network was present asking if anyone on that church’s staff would feel the call to start a new church in Bonney Lake that would exist for those who were not in a relationship with Jesus. Thad Huff, youth pastor for 13 years at that point with the last 4 at NFC, felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and the journey of trying to determine if it was God or the pizza began. Well, it wasn’t the pizza…having lived in Bonney Lake for 4 years at that point, Thad & Dana Huff and family accepted the shift in focus from youth in Auburn to the unchurched in their city!
Thad & Dana assembled a team by asking many of their friends through Facebook and neighbors if they would join in on the mission of Jesus in Bonney Lake; people leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus. During the summer of 2009 began the formation point of a launch team. They settled on a pre-launch gathering in the Huff home in the fall of 2009 and by January 10, 2010 the church had grown to need a gathering space; therefore launching a service in the Regal with 121 people (pictured above). Since the launch the church has experienced great favor and has become a key ingredient in the life of the city of Bonney Lake as they build and serve the community through moments like Love Week, Big Give and being strategically generous through various community partnerships. They have now moved the gathering to Bonney Lake High School and are enjoying the flexibility of meeting in this central space within community that allows for continued rapid growth.
We have discovered the reality of being a church movement and not just a church gathering.
The desire to reproduce churches both locally and globally took further shape on Christmas Eve 2012 when Open Life partnered with the launch of another expression of the church in Sumner, Living Hope. Living Hope chose to lean back into Open Life and become Open Life Sumner in the fall of 2015. Even after two years of recruiting staff and launching even more initiatives within the community this campus needed to combine with Bonney Lake at Bonney Lake High School where we all currently gather. We have learned what it takes to lead a self-sustaining campus and are thankful for the 5 years we were able to invest into this campus.
Next is Orting or Wilkeson, as we have been invited by multiple people to come and be a presence of the gospel in these cities. We are currently in the phase of neighboring and in Orting we have a couple called to lead this community, but still searching for our lead for Wilkeson. We could potentially go after these campuses in 2018/2019.
In total, we see at least 10 communities that will benefit from Open Life launching an expression or campus there that is living out our culture and DNA in the context of that community. We continue to apprentice and look for open doors as we lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.