Got a question about VOX? Here’s a few responses.
If you don’t see your question below, feel free to ask someone at the next Sunday gathering or Wednesday meeting. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All good!
What is VOX Community? Is it a church?
Pretty much. VOX started out as a podcast, hosted by Mike Erre and Andy Lara, in 2016. In time, a church grew up around that podcast, meeting weekly in Placentia, CA, with a 501c3 and everything. That church grew into our current all-volunteer community.
If your concept of church is a building with a steeple, stained glass, and lots of programs, well, that’s not us. We’re a group of people doing pop-up church, huddled around a table with a guy named Jesus. It’s our community! You can kind of call it what you want.
Does VOX have a lead teaching pastor?
Nope. We don’t really want a single institutional voice speaking to and for VOX. We do have an awesome mix of gifted teachers that rotate in a few times every month, each a little bit different. It gives us great diversity of thought, within a Christian framework.
VOX’s unique teaching structure allows us to do some other cool things on Sundays, too. Sometimes, we’ll hear an extended interview with someone from the community. Other times, we might watch a compelling video, then discuss it over donuts and coffee.
Once a month, we meet at a different location – maybe a park for a potluck, or a few homes for VOX-style house church. In a good way, every Sunday is a little different.
What does VOX believe?
This response is basically duplicated from the About page.
By design, VOX does not have a doctrinal statement. We don’t really think that’s the point, anyway. In our community, you’ll find people across the spectrum of Christian faith, representing different views on different issues. The result is a mild, intentional tension that we approach with humility and a desire to listen, learn, and serve.
At VOX, we prioritize personal discernment – you can listen to the teaching, dialogue with the people around you, and decide what you think. That goes for everything from the biblical story of Creation to the Lausanne Covenant. It’s okay to be in process.
At the center of everything we do is Jesus and the Eucharist. That’s our tent pole.
Who goes to VOX?
Honestly, all kinds of people. If you survey the community, you’ll find some folks who participate at VOX because they’re tired of ‘the big church experience.’ Others are here because they find themselves questioning their beliefs – all of them – and they need a place where they can honestly, safely work through things. Many VOX people are good, old-fashioned Christians, but enjoy engaging with a different style of church.
VOX has ‘deconstructing’ believers, people ‘reconstructing,’ progressives, conservatives, Agnostics, Evangelicals, and a bunch of people who are a little bit of everything. There are some folks who are skeptical, cynical, and have been hurt deeply by Christians and the Church. We aim to be safe to belong for everyone in the mix, as best we can.
It is good to remember that not every gathering will be perfect for everybody. We aim to be ‘safe to belong,’ but since we value honest diversity of thought, one week might feel off-base or slightly triggering to someone, while another week might be a home run.
That’s our imperfect community.
Who’s in charge at VOX?
The community is! VOX doesn’t have a traditional church leadership structure, with elders, a head pastor, and so on. Instead, we have a volunteer leadership group that is open to anyone in the community. That group usually meets on Wednesday nights to discuss and plan VOX, a few weeks or months at a time. (Everyone is welcome!)
As a 501c3, VOX is required to have a Board of Directors with certain ‘corporate’ roles. This Board is chosen from the community and meets semi-regularly to fulfill certain legal responsibilities, ensure the books look good, and shape VOX at a higher elevation. So, VOX has a volunteer President, who is also a participant in the leadership group.
What you see at a Sunday gathering is all shaped and powered by our people.
When and where does VOX meet?
VOX meets most Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM at a local community center for roughly 70 minutes. After the ‘gathering,’ we usually have donuts, and if you want, you can hang out for a while, chat, and connect. We do usually start tearing down right away.
Typically, once a month on a Sunday, VOX will meet at a different location – it could be a park for a potluck, or a few homes for VOX-style house church. If the month has a fifth Sunday (it happens four times a year), we use that morning to do a local service project.
On Wednesday nights, whoever wants to can attend our VOX planning meeting, when we map out VOX activity for the next few months. That’s usually hosted by someone in the volunteer leadership group in the Brea / Fullerton / Placentia / Yorba Linda zone. If you’re looking to connect or contribute at VOX, Wednesdays are a great place to start!
Does VOX have other ministries?
Like junior high or high school youth groups, college group, adult fellowships, men’s and women’s ministries, small groups, or mission trips? No, not really. Here’s why:
1) We don’t want VOX to be a community that packs the schedule with lots of activities, even good ones. Instead, we’ve always wanted VOX to be outward-facing, more involved in our local communities than our own church culture. We’re not anti-programming so much as we’re pro-‘get out there.’ (Though, yeah, we’ve all been burned by programs.)
2) VOX is a small church with a lean budget! We’re perfectly okay with that – we don’t harbor megachurch dreams. Practically, we keep our focus on what the community can afford, based on our monthly budget, and what we can do well with a team of volunteers who have day jobs, families, school, and a bunch of other stuff going on.
Here’s the caveat.
We are passionate about people at VOX connecting, and we’re not opposed to someone deciding to start something up under the VOX banner, so long as it’s done right. Since 2016, for example, multiple ‘small groups’ have popped up organically, some meeting regularly for years. So, if you feel a need, come to a Wednesday night meeting, pipe up, and let’s figure it out together. Fair warning: you might end up running the thing!
This sounds awesome. How do I get involved?
Come check out VOX a couple times! We suggest giving it a few weeks, just because we have different speakers and types of content each gathering – the first week might not represent the whole. If you like it, you can always come to a Wednesday night meeting sign up to volunteer, or attend one of our seasonal ‘New to VOX’ lunches.