It has been quite a crazy couple of months. The Christmas holidays showed up, which included a family trip down to the Rio Grande Valley to visit Amy’s side of the family. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece came to town for a few days. My hours at Starbucks have picked up considerably – too much really. And I just finished a week long strategy lab with Mission Alive. On top of that is being a house church leader, father, and husband. With all that going on, I let the blog slip off my priority list. But now I expect things to get mostly back to normal, at least the new normal of being a church planting barista.
As I mentioned above, the Mission Alive Strategy Lab was last week. I had a great experience. It was a great way to conclude the Mission Alive church planting labs. We spent the week thinking through and planning a congregational rule of life. An important influence on the lab was a book called The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. In The Tangible Kingdom, the authors suggest that the Kingdom of God becomes tangible in the lives of people when they are healthy and vibrant in three areas – their communion with God, their participation in God’s mission, and their life in community. We wrestled throughout the week how to encourage/equip/disciple the people who will become part of our churches to live lives connected to God, focused on others, and in community. I would highly recommend The Tangible Kingdom as a resource to learn about missional life and church planting.
One of the best parts of the strategy lab is that it is filled with presentations and interactions with people in the midst of actual church planting ministry. One church planter from the Denver area was there the whole week to interact with us and provide his on-the-ground church planting experience. I am really excited about what the Clay Neighborhood church is doing to follow God and how Hobby is leading them to listen. We also got to learn from the experience of several other church planters who are planting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
It was really fun to share the experience with a unique and diverse group of church planters and church leaders. There were people there from Saskatchewan, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. It was a really fun mix of people who were all seriously asking questions about how to faithfully follow God in their own contexts. I was blessed by their participation as well.
The Mission Alive staff did a great job putting together this lab. I left with some good content and ideas that I feel will really help me should God choose to send Amy and me back into planting churches. I have been wondering how God has been at work through this experience to lead us toward our next steps in life. I am excited about the possibility of church planting again. Please pray for Amy and me as we continue to listen for God to direct our steps for the sake of his Kingdom.