World Renegade is a Church For The Outsiders
And we have been given the privilege of connecting the disconnected.
Jesus completed His mission on earth over 2,000 years ago and following in His footsteps we are renegades of this world sent to the world to change the world. Our mission is to have local and global impact on the earth through the power of the Holy Spirit by using all of our uniqueness and creativity to engage our culture with the truth that has set us free!
The Great Comission
Matthew 28:19-20 is the driving force behind all that WRC endeavors to do; the ruler by which all ministry opportunities are measured. Our method of doing that is Breach, Teach, Beseech.
We BREACH by loving people where they’re at. Being real and living righteous while discovering common ground with people.
We TEACH by sharing everything we know about Jesus while inviting them into the family of God (His Church).
We BESEECH by walking side by side with someone and intentionally make followers of Jesus that make followers of Jesus.
Though we yearn to serve our community in charitable acts, they are not be confused with preaching the Gospel. To quote K.P. Yohannon, “It is a crime against lost humanity to go in the name of Christ and missions, just to do social work yet neglect calling men to repent- to give up their idols and rebellion- and follow Christ with all their hearts.”
We are still learning how to walk the journey of being a healthy church. We’re not perfect but our God is.
The year was 2012 and on a chilly fall day in Chicago, Pastor Adriel (24) prayed a prayer saying “God if we had a building to meet in that would be cool.” At this time he, his wife Vanessa and less than a handful of people who recently were converted in their apartment would go out and preach in the streets. On one Friday soon after that prayer, a pastor in a big green van did a U-turn in the street and signaled Pastor Adriel over, saying “Hey do you need a building?” A couple months later on February 18, 2012 World Renegade was launched in a small storefront on the northwest side with no seasoned launch team, no singers or musicians, no money and no support.
This is the true story of World Renegade Church.
We had the call, the vision and the Holy Spirit alongside a few willing souls who were ready to embark on the great task of helping to plant what would be called World Renegade Church. Watch our first promo video here.
We met in that storefront for 3 months followed by transformational growth. Our methods of contextualizing the Gospel were troubling to the pastor who subleased the storefront to us (people walked in as they were, with hats, tattoos and Christian rap music was played after service). While I on the other hand was dressed with the finest wool blazer the thrift store could find. On a Saturday night right before our service was going to start the pastor said to me as I was standing out front “you all need to leave” which led to some very confrontational moments up to that point in our history, and that’s factoring in all of the encounters while street preaching. I calmed every nerve in my body thanks to the Holy Spirit and asked if we could simply, finish our service at the least and the spanish speaking pastor obliged. The Gospel was preached that night and once we left the building we were never to return. Oddly enough, the small group of people present that Saturday night were filled with an overwhelming joy as opposed to sadness and as a church we were pushed to a place of nothing but fasting! This small group of new believers had to learn how to pray and quickly! In a weeks time before our next service and another act of confirmation after prayer on a Friday morning, a church opened their doors to us for Saturday night, that we did not know, for free!
During that time God continued to laydown His foundation for us. We met in Humboldt Park and in the midst of the dangerous streets surrounding the building, lives were added, people were encouraged, the Gospel preached, love made steadfast and genuine community was happening with the few of us but I knew it was only a matter of time before we had to relocate, as it was not our building. Being freed from paying rent for a few months caused us to bring in a very small and steady enough income to rent an inexpensive office space in another location further north, which unbeknownst to us was our next meeting place. It’s primary use was for counseling.
I do want to add at one point in my early walk as a “church planter” I was against the idea of buildings being God’s way of doing things, in fact the whole thing was rubbish to me. “Why must we meet in a building you can meet anywhere even at home!” I’ve since grown from that way of thinking and realized God reaches people in tons of ways and uses many means to draw people and I have every desire to be a part of that.
After about 6 months we relocated our small church to meet in the office building we had rented. So there we were, 13 people and the usual 2-3 first time visitors, in one 8 x 10 office. By God’s grace and the drive of a few, we did it, we made it happen. I had a very vivid dream about people outside of the office watching our service, the very next day a flatscreen was ordered and set up outside the office as a makeshift overflow room, two feet outside of the office. We did this for 2 years! Packed like sardines experiencing tons of gospel, our love for one another broadening, struggles, tears, awkward moments and some growth which maximized our income to rent 2 more offices in the building. All of this while developing a handful of people to make up a solid core team of the faithful who wanted to go to the next level in their faith and commitment.
In the beginning of 2015 we prayed a very specific list during our January church fast. We sought the Lord for clarity, wisdom and very clear direction regarding what neighborhood we would impact and for a location that we can meet in and have offices. My desire was to lead the church faithfully and as accurately as possible. We prayed for our future and fasted alongside it, while occasionally searching for other spots to grow as a church, but none of them worked for us.
During the first week of our 2015 #Fastforward I had a dream, it was me in a seemingly vacant building near Sacramento street and an asian man was showing me rooms, there was something different about this kind of dream so I woke up and told my wife. We got ready and drove to that very street, in specific Belmont and Sacramento. I felt it, the dream was fuzzy but this had to be it..it was a sign….but to my surprise we saw nothing that grabbed our attention. I pushed it aside and said, “Hmm, maybe it was just a dream.”
At this time we were making the current rent by the skin of our teeth, IF THAT. We rented the extra rooms in faith and had to believe with that same faith every month. After 7-8 months of paying rent this way, being that everyone are young adults with no careers, and in between jobs or no jobs at all, the landlord who was understanding with us for the most part (thank God) finally sent the “either you pay on time or you have to relocate, I have a mortgage” text. At this point in the “game” I knew there was nothing we could possibly do.
There were months we’ve cried, we’ve prayed, we pushed, we even became scared but we pushed anyway not for my sake but the sake of the very real noticeable work of God in these people’s lives every week. We were even offered to pastor elsewhere quite a few times but we went forward in this elaborately intricate struggle of building something eternal from nothing. Sometimes we were encouraged by the few faithful people to remind me of this at my wife and I’s lowest moments of pain and uncertainty.
At this point after that text from the restaurant owner who was our landlord, I said “God this is all you.” 10 minutes after that I receive a text from someone who recently had befriended my wife saying the following “Would you guys be interested in moving your church to our building? We can work with you, we know where you’re at. We think our location would be a good fit for you.” At this point you bet I was like….
The very next day we had a showing for the space they were offering us and it was just 4 minutes east of the office we currently met at! Looks like God wanted us in this area since day one.
Once we got to the beautiful 70 year old massive church building and huge parking lot right on a busy avenue, we were greeted with a sign with our initials! WR very bold, which really stood for west ridge. I was floored again. I walk into the building and who do I meet to show me around? An asian man! A pastor who oversees the building! Never was I happier to see an asian person in my life because at this point the dream came back to my memory and it hit me and get this…one street away from this building was SACRAMENTO street!
You can imagine how I felt after very clear instruction was confirmed. All along I was thinking Belmont and Sacramento, it was only several streets further north! God had been leading the whole time and we kept trusting. I’ve seen God’s hand throughout the years and He is always faithful in displaying His confirmation in my pleas for guidance as His word promises. Ask anything according to HIS WILL and it will be done! Amen somebody!
God has proven to us time and time again, that He makes a way where there really is no way. We don’t have a building to call our own yet, but God is establishing His church where we are and we’ve already doubled in every area!
Join the fight, there’s a plow we are working, this isn’t a church to sit, it’s a church to grow and sometimes the growth may hurt for our benefit and the benefit of generations to come. You can’t be selfish when a selfless God is working. Ride with us and get ready to experience God in a very real way, be a part of the rest of our amazing odyssey!
God is with the Renegades.
For His Fame,
Pastor Adriel Cruz
We believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. Their complete unity being matchless in power.
We believe the bible (from Genesis-Revelation) to be God’s inspired Word, and that it is the full, sufficient, and only source of ultimate truth, faith and practice.
We believe Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned ( paid ) for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and by His resurrection death was defeated and we could be born again! ( 1 Corinthians 15:23 )
We believe Jesus Christ to be God. We believe He is our Intercessor seated at the right hand of the father. ( a.k.a He prays for us sitting next to His dad. )
We believe the second coming of Jesus Christ to be the hope of the church, and that all prophetic signs indicate that His coming is imminent. ( a.k.a He’ll be back. )
We believe those who respond to the Gospel are called to follow Jesus, thus not merely claiming christianity but by action-in full dependent submission to Christ.
We believe in the on going sanctification that goes on during the lifespan of every disciple ( follower ) of Jesus. The Holy Spirit continually making us holy as we submit to Jesus. ( Philippians 1:6 )
We believe our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we honor God by observing such health principles as will preserve them in the best possible condition. Externally and internally.
We accept the doctrine of spiritual gifts, that every spirit BE TESTED by the Word of God, displayed in an orderly fashion as prescribed by 1 Corinthians 14:40.
We believe the Church is the bride of Christ. The Church is made up of many members andJesus gave it all up for them. ( We’ve got to be ready for His return as a bride prepares for her wedding day. )
We believe Church membership ( finding a home church, sticking to it and trusting it’s leadership ) is key to the growth of a disciple of Jesus as strongly implied by 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Acts 20:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, Acts 2:37-47 and more.
We believe an authentic bond within the church and Christ is the primary way we evangelize our communities. ( John 17:21 )
We believe it to be the mission of the church to proclaim the unconditional love, coming judgement and future kingdom of God to all mankind.
We believe the Church should be involved and intentionally reach out to every sub-culture, ethnicity and background while shining brightly in darkness. Always.( Matthew 5:13-16 )
We believe in church organization and that it is our duty to support the church by the stewardship of our finances ( managing our money while growing in generosity) and protecting the witness of the Church ( a.k.a don’t bring shame to God’s bride ) as we advance the kingdom of God in our City.