California church members show faith by getting tattoos
Some 12 members of a young, new Christian church celebrated their first year anniversary by getting tattoos of the church’s logo.
The City Church of Anaheim, with a population of 100 members, was challenged by Pastor Kyle Steven Bonenberger, 26, to double their congregants on their birthday Sunday Service, UPI said.
Bonenberger pledged that if they reached their goal of 200, he would have the church logo, a red heart, tattooed on him and encouraged others to do the same. He said that God “tattooed your name on his heart” and they could also make an everlasting commitment to Him, the AP said.
When the 200th person arrived, Bonenberger and some 12 others got their tats in fulfillment of their pledge. The church’s very first venue was in a living room when they were just a small group, according to the AP.
Bonenberger’s church meets every Sunday at the Chain Reaction Club, a punk rock venue. “We call ourselves the church for the people who don’t like church,” he told the UPI. “It’s the furthest thing from what people perceive church to be.”
In his blog entry dated Aug. 15, 2009, Bonenberger wrote that he had an urging to move his church to a secular space, like a night club, even though they already had a comfortable space at the Crystal Cathedral campus and he was receiving income there.
He wrote in his blog, “Some people are called to maintain, update and renovate things. For me, I am called to be an innovator. The gospel of Christ calls me to 1) GO and make disciples where Jesus is not Lord, and 2) Not to build on another man’s foundation (Romans 15:20).
When Bonenberger found the Chain Reaction Club he talked to the owner of the place about his vision, and the owner offered him the venue for free. He also got a significant donation shortly after. Crystal Cathedral was very supportive and encouraged members to visit his church, according to his blog.
Of his tattoo Bonenberger said, “I love the tattoo. I love these people. I’m stoked. They’re in my heart,” UPI reported. A church member, Holly Morales said, “City Church has really done a lot for our family, so I thought it would be a nice way to pay them back,” The Orange County Register News reported.
The City Church of Anaheim is known for being unconventional, including holding regular rock n’ roll revivals and using KFC buckets to collect the church offerings, according to The Orange County Register News.