‘Beautiful’ Westside Striken with Spiritual Poverty a Unified Church Can Cure

From outward appearances it looks as though people on the Westside have everything they need to capture happiness. However, there is a spiritual poverty, especially among the young, that a unified Church can cure, says a longtime Santa Monica pastor.


“Being on the Westside, you see some things differently,” Steve Snook, lead pastor of Metro Church, told Together LA (SEE VIDEO BELOW). “We live in a big city, but when I look at the Westside and see our brokenness I think about our spiritual poverty because it seems like we have everything — you have the beach, you have the hills, you have the beautiful houses, you have the cars, you have the beautiful people, you have all the industry … even Silicon Beach right here in Santa Monica.

“And yet, when you think of spiritual poverty, you think of people, you think that they have everything, that they’ve figured it all out — that they’ve figured out how to live and to enjoy what they have… but it’s that brokenness that breaks my heart… because I see the children of this community.

“The over-privileged that seem to have everything yet they are crying out for their fathers who are so busy making a life for themselves that they have forgotten their children.”

Snook gave his observations prior to a panel he moderated and co-hosted with Together LA last month. The panel — Broken City – Is there hope for Los Angeles? — began with him giving a heads up to the direction the discussion will go.

“I’m going to tell you right now, there’s hope all the way across this panel,” he said. “You’re going to hear us being really honest about the brokenness that we see, but not spending much time on the brokenness without getting to a place where we talk about some of what we see happening even now and what is coming based upon the hope that is within us.”

Joining Snook were Michael Mata of Koreatown, Cedric Nelms of Long Beach, and Brannin Pitre of Pasadena, all sharing their heart for LA.

The importance of strong Christian-based leadership from fathers within families developed into one of the major themes of the panel.

“When I see the brokenness of the Westside I see the young child who has everything and yet no one has ever told them the hope of Christ,” Snook told TLA. “There’s no parent, there’s no grandparent. They’re finding that they are going to have to figure it out on their own.

“But on this corner, we have a coffeehouse [Metropolis Cafe Santa Monica] where we open our arms to the community and ask, ‘What can we do?’ The hope that I find in this brokenness is that there is one who has gone before us, one who understands brokenness.”

The Church

“When I look at who Christ is and I look to the hope of the Gospel I realize that one of the places of brokenness that I want to see change is in the Church — to see a united Church, to see that the Church is not about any one individual congregation, that it’s about the Church that Christ laid down his life for… that he says he loves this world that is turning away from him,” Snook said.

He would like Christians to “be in a place” where God’s Church is united so that together they can realize that “we’ve been given the answers.”

“We’ve been given the cure,” Snook explained. Therefore, we should be “willing to serve one another, to lay our lives down for a greater cause, to lay our empires down for the sake of the Kingdom.

“My eyes have been open to the brokenness of the Westside so I can understand how we can be a part of the cure.”

This article is the third in a four-part series about the panel discussion hosted by Philosopher’s Cafe and TogetherLA.net on June 15, 2017. The full panel discussion can be viewed on Facebook by clicking on Part 1 and Part 2.

Video and photos by One Ten Pictures.


Pastor Steve Snook of Metro Church says he’s seen the spiritual poverty side of ‘beautiful’ Westide. (Photo: John Fredricks)

4 Pastors Get Real About the City – Together LA Pop-Up Part 1 (Michael Mata)

Urban Church Planter: First, What Does the City Need? Part 2 (Cedric Nelms)

‘Beautiful’ Westside Striken with Spiritual Poverty a Unified Church Can Cure – Part 3 (Steve Snook)

LA Pastors’ Bottom Line: We Want to Help the City That We Live In – FINAL (Brannin Pitre)



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