By Shana LiVIGNI
Mission statement: Open Bible Church exists to share our abundant life with our neighbors. Jesus has given us life, not just physically – breathing, talking and eating – but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He has awakened us to fullness of life – life that enjoys God and His creation, life that renews us daily instead of dragging us down. Best of all, this full, abundant life comes with eternal life!
“I was talking to my next door neighbor about what it is to be a born again Christian. He explained it to me, at which point I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal savior, I then went on a mission to read the Bible and spent the next year and half doing so,” explained foothills resident Debbie Taylor. “Open Bible Church is a very welcoming church to newcomers, and they go out of the way to make them feel at home. It’s like a big huge living room of people giving praise to God as a family. Pastor Mike steps it up a notch by bringing together all the pastors of many churches in the community, working together for the churches as well as the community in which they serve.”
Pastor Mike Shaffer and his wife Barbara attended Open Bible Church in Tujunga for years before he felt the call of God to full-time ministry. Before becoming the senior pastor in 2003, Pastor Mike served in various leadership positions, both staff and volunteer. The church is also very excited to share the story of Jesus Christ with the youth in the community through regular children’s ministry during the week. Reality Youth Ministries is Open Bible Church’s ministry to junior high, high school, and college-age students by helping young people to change the world around them for Jesus Christ.
In mid-July, the new youth pastor, 27-year-old Jasen Hatten, his wife Charissa and their 6-month-old baby boy relocated to Tujunga to begin his new position as youth pastor of the Open Bible Church. He had his calling at the age of 19, attended a training discipleship school called Master Commission for young people who want to give a year of dedication to God, ministry and service. He then began a four year internship under his youth pastor in Spokane, eventually getting his diploma in theology.
Hatten loves his job. “I get to speak to young people about life issues. On Wednesday nights, we have a youth service and I share from the Bible things that affect our lives whether at school, their family or their personal life. That’s really why I like to do what I do here. I talk to kids about how to be a good friend, how to respect your parents, how to get good grades and receive the rewards of hard work.” His students range from ages 11 to 17, his ministry is held on Wednesday nights beginning at 7 p.m. and all teens are welcome to come by and check it out. Sunday worship and prayer services begin at 10 a.m., coinciding with Breakout for junior high kids and Kids Church for the children.
Open Bible Church is located at 9641 Tujunga Canyon Blvd. in Tujunga. For more information call (818) 353-1138 or visit their website at www.openbibletujunga.org.