Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Story Church - 4 months old

I've realized that if I don't stop to reflect every so often on the life of our young church it would be easy to forget the things we are learning and seeing take place. So here's a quick update on what we're seeing four months in.

  • People keep showing up. That's a win. I know it doesn't sound like much but when you start something like this you aren't sure that's going to happen.
  • New people keep showing up. So not only are people coming back, but we continue to see new faces just about every week.
  • Community is happening. This is one of the highlights for me. I keep hearing about families that are hanging out, couples getting coffee together or playing tennis, play dates happening, and friendships forming. It's exciting to see people forming relationships as a result of Story Church.
  • Continued opportunity to serve our school. The more we develop a relationship with the school where we meet, the more opportunities we are having to be a blessing there. We've had people volunteer at book fairs, in classrooms, and to proctor tests. We've brought breakfast to the teachers on multiple occasions. We've been able to help out with school wide events. And at the end of the year I get the opportunity to speak at the 5th grade graduation.
  • Community involvement. A key part of our vision is to be a blessing to our community. So it's been pretty neat to have been able to sponsor a local 5-6 year old soccer team, to give a single mom a fun day with her kids, and to bless some random people with cold water or a free car wash.
  • Global involvement. In our short time together as a church we've built a well in Central Africa for a community that previously didn't have access to clean water, and then when the earthquake in Haiti hit in our second week as a church, we ended up giving away our entire offering toward relief - more than $1,600.
  • Learning together. It's been so cool to be able to lead our people through the Scriptures. Many in our church are either unfamiliar with the Bible or have been away from any kind of church for many years. Together we are learning and growing and trying to understand what it means to be active players in the Story God is writing in the world.
  • Firsts. We've had a number of firsts now. Our first service, our first Easter, our first time of communion, and this last week - our first child dedication.
We continue to face our share of challenges as well:
  • As we grow, the need to organize ourselves and multiply leaders is an ongoing issue.
  • Keeping the vision simple. It's so tempting to add layers to what we're doing. It's also easier to do that. The harder thing is to stay true to the vision and keep it simple.
  • Of course there are financial challenges as well. We have some margin in place that is keeping us going for now, but to grow this church and pursue the vision we have we will need to grow in our finances as well. The church will need to be self-sustaining within a year or so, and we aren't there yet. We're paying the rent, but we can't afford any salaries for any staff at this point - myself included.
Anyway, lots to celebrate in these few months. I'm really glad I sat down and typed this up. As a leader, it's really easy for me to think about the future and to be a little bit bummed that we aren't yet what I see in my mind. But we have accomplished so much already. And in the grand scheme of things, we are still brand new!! 4 months in and we're just getting going!


I love hearing how things are going man and you guys are on our hearts and in our prayers,

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