I'm Jim Johnson, pastor of Good Shepherd Church, and a resident of Camarillo for the past 10 years. Linda and I are raising our kids here and love the city. We feel called by God to serve and work with the people in Ventura County who are looking for spiritual help and a loving community.
There is feel of a close-knit community here, and it does "take a village to raise a child," and that's what we're trying to do here as well. Good Shepherd Church is one of 25 churches in the city, and we' work side by side with the ones who believe the Bible is true and that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Currently we have about 300 people involved in our ministry, about 200 attending on Sundays, and about 20 small groups.
I grew up in Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism and completed my master's studies at the Free Lutheran Seminary, AFLTS. I come from a Lutheran background and appreciate the law-and-gospel approach to theology Luther endorsed -- along with his emphasis in salvation by grace alone through faith, and the need for every believer to use their spiritual gifts (priesthood of all believers). I love to work with new believers, and our church has a daily radio Bible teaching program that airs on KDAR, 98.3 FM, at 12:30 p.m. and 10:30 each night.
I was born again while a high school student and have been following the Lord ever since. Now in my fifties, I'm learning my limitations and working with the church to bring on another younger pastor to help us reach young families. I like hiking (above left n the Eastern Sierras), I do missions trips and evangelism in the Czech Republic (above center and above right, daughter Grace), and I support pastor-to-pastor ministry with a group called LEM. I have a bad knee, and I still enjoy softball (but not until I'm done recovering from a recent ACL surgery). I have a great wife (Linda), nine mostly grown-up children, and solid team of supporters around me. Our daughter LIz is a public school teacher in Minneaplis, Hannah serves in full-time ministry with Young Life, and Lydia is a young Mom in North Dakota. Ben and Grace and Seth are in college, and we have three kids at home -- Miah, Isaiah and Titus.
Since I started working full-time for the Lord in 1990 in Washington, I've prayed that I could be a part of a new harvest of believers. Previous to this call, I served a church in Fosston, Minnesota, and was for 10 years on the faculty and administrative team of AFLBS, a BIble school for college students in Plymouth, Minnesota.
If you're looking for a church, or just want to learn more about our ministry, please come and visit -- or take part in one of our summer outreach ministries. We run an outreach to middle schoolers called "Crave Camp" in mid-June. We set aside two weeks of children's ministry at the Camarillo Ranch House in mid-July. The first week of VBS features a fun, learning-filled, creative study called "Answers in Genesis." That day camp runs from 9 to 11 a.m. A Christian college ministry team called "Barnabas South" leads the classes, and children from ages 4 to 14 love it! The next week, Monday through Friday, during the same time slot, we run a camp called "The VBS Sports, Arts and Science Camp" at the Camarillo Ranch House, too.
Come and see!
As you may have heard, we're a church that sticks to the basics of Jesus and works hard at building friendships among believers. We also work hard at reaching newcomers to the faith -- and tot those who have not yet found the Lord Jesuis, but are open to letting the Lord Jesus find them. Coming out of a Biblical, Evangelical, and family-friendly church umbrella, we focus on the Bible and care about people. We spend our time on community outreach, daily Bible reading, prayer huddles and learning to witness. As a family that teaches the classical Lutheran emphasis of grassroots growth and Biblical inerrancy, we keep it simple. We promote the two evangelical foundations. We teach that 1) The Bible is true (2 Tim. 3:16), and 2) Everyone needs a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be saved (John 1:12). We're looking to plant other neighborhood-based congregations in our community that gathers like-minded Christians in loving circles of friendship in the Lord. We are affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC), a family of 280 churches in North America.
Our church teaches the Bible, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and hopes to plant similar Free Lutheran, neighborhood-focused churches in Southern Califiornia and, specifically, in Ventura County. As a ministry focus for the year, we're going back to the basics, too. "Can You Hear Him?" is our preaching and teaching theme for the year. With a plan work through the book of First Samuel, and study the lives of Samuel, Saul, David and Jonathan, we are studying how the Lord both speaks to and anoints spiritual leaders.
In December we host "Christmas at the Barn." With Christmas carols, straw bales, live animals, and great music, we invited friends to worship on Christmas Eve with us in a Camarillo Barn. Praise God for the 300 friends we expect for those sweet gatherings. With live animals, carriage rides, Christmas lights and great music, we worship the Lord together in a place that reminds us that Jesus was born in a stable. One of our major purposes is to introduce people to Jesus Christ. Among many followers of Jesus in the communities of Camarillo and Ventura, friends and neighbors of Good Shepherd are exploring purpose. We want to know Christ and we want to know the truth. "Knowing Christ and making Him known," is the primary purpose of one of our sister churches. It's our purpose, too. Services are available at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 10 p.m. Come as you are!
So thanks for caring enough to come to this page, to find out what the Lord is doing.
Please feel free to call or write if you have further questions.
Keep seeking the Lord!
Pastor Jim Johnson
380 Arneill RoadCamarillo, CA (805) 384-9243 Hours: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 3pm M-F
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