Let's not get tangled up in the wording. Starting. Planting. Building. Launching. Whatever. This isn't a dissertation its a proclamation of our faith and of the passion that our faith has ignited. Disclaimer: there are days when faith is short and passion has waned; but, by the grace of God, it exudes again.
So, why are we starting a church? Decent question I guess but definitely one I have heard at least one too many times. Honestly, also one that I haven't adequately answered at least one too many times. So I dive in today. I share our heart today. I share our passion. Now.
THE LOCAL CHURCH IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD.
This idea has become very popular as of late. But I am so thankful that it has; because its true! Jesus didn't just die for individuals. He died for a group of individuals...the Church. When the church is firing on all of its Bible centered cylinders, there is nothing like it. Lives are changed. Hope is restored. Marriages are healed. Families are strengthened. Emotions are mended. Battles are won. Chains are broken. Jesus is honored and adored. God is glorified. And the world is changed for the better. This world needs the local church. Charities and para-church orgs have their place too but Jesus didn't put His seal and strength behind anything other than the local church. So we are gonna start one!
WHAT I LOVED, SHE HATED. OUR CITY NEEDS OUR APPROACH.
My wife and I both grew up in traditional churches. I loved church. She hated it. Don't get me wrong, I didn't always agree with everything. But I did enjoy the overall experience of "growing up" in my church. I can literally point to nearly everything I consider a blessing in my life and see how it stems from my involvement in the church. Brandy's experience was totally different. She was turned away and turned off by the rules and regulations and even the demeanor's found in the traditional church. She was excluded and alone. But still, she realizes the power and purpose of a church with the right focus and mission. We believe that God crafted our two experiences to give us a unique perspective and approach to how the church can truly and fully reach people from all walks of life. We want people who have been turned off and turned away to be included and loved. We want people who have loved the church but never found their purpose within Jesus' body to be able to step into the fullness of the life God has for them. So we are starting a church!
WE WANT TO HELP PEOPLE
Our world is a world of vice. By that, I mean we are held down and held back by so many things. Some things because of our own past decisions. Some things because of the decisions of others. Either way, these things keep us from all that God wants us to experience. Brandy and I fight our own battles everyday. We have our own weaknesses. But we have realized that the grace and truth of Jesus changes everything. When we get up in the morning, we still face challenges and they are just as rough as always and sometimes even worse. But we aren't bound by our past. We aren't slaves to mistakes or sins or shortcomings. We are free. Free in Jesus and the good news of life that He alone can give. We aren't weak. We aren't tied up or destined to fail. We are strong by the strength of the Spirit of Jesus that gives us power to overcome. We aren't facing death or life apart from God. We are promised a life that never ends in the presence of our God who saved us. We want to help people experience freedom, strength, and life. Thats why we're starting a church!
WE WANT TO BE PARENTS
Cards on the table here. Brandy and I want to be parents. We want to have a flourishing family and a loud house. Family should be dependable. Family should be forgiving. But family is dictated by each generation of parents. Though we are young, we believe that God has called us and challenged us to step into the role of spiritual parents for many who are infants in their faith and even many more who have yet to be born. We know this is a burdensome position to assume but its vital. God created the family unit and sin busted it. In our culture today, the family is all but non-existent. The good news is that Jesus died, rose again, and built His church to create a family. Brandy and I want to be the parents of a flourishing family and a loud house, so we are starting a church!
Jesus: "You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you imprison, God will imprison. And whatever you set free, God will set free.”