Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae:

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

What are you really living for?

Have you ever asked yourself, "what am I really living for?" or "what do I REALLY want to do with my life?" Well, Heather and I have known the answer for awhile - and we've been waiting. To make it simple, we are passionate about Jesus and his church, and we are passionate about the church being restored to its original intent.

Unfortunately, the church is
often seen as a place of exclusivity, judgment, ultra-conservative thinking, scandal and irrelevancy. Around the world the tide is changing positively about the church, but in the U.S. we have a different story with an alarming decline of churches. We are also overloaded with all kinds of new (and marketed) philosophies, life-style habits, theories, studies and turn-around solutions which temporarily disguise our issues. The comforts of our ever advancing culture are excessive and distract us from deeper searching and important life questions.

In stark contrast to our culture the life of Jesus was incredibly personal and transforming. People around Jesus were
surprised and impressed. Mark 1:21 says "Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. "What's going on here? A new teaching that does what it says?" Jesus Christ provides a wonderful and absolute solution to the issues we have - in ways we never expect.

It is also true throughout history. The followers of Jesus were the ones who established many of the great hospitals of todays world, initiated the greatest universities, started many of todays charities, fought to abolish slavery and much more. It is the message of Jesus Christ's radical grace that this generation needs to hear. There is still hope. If you've not thought much about Jesus please look him up - his claims and teachings are too great to ignore!

We feel personally responsible to tackle this trend in the US, not just because ground has been lost, but because anyone who follows the teachings of Jesus knows that going to new places, gathering people and forming communities of generous Christians is the foundation to our faith (See Matthew Chapter 28). It's not just an idea or an ancient text, but it's an earthy and tangible reality that we can't avoid. It's the most obvious and most pressing ramification to believing in Jesus.

Heather and I have a deep vision to see vibrant, genuine and generous churches established. We both grew up in new churches that sought to build genuine communities and positively impact the society around them. Having seen this firsthand, we are making a big life change to embrace this dream and do more of the same. We are joined to a worldwide family of churches called Newfrontiers which seeks to fulfill the great commission Jesus gave us. It is through this relationship that we intend to start a reproducing church. As Spiderman says "with great power, comes great responsibility!" - and because we have received a lot, we must give a lot.

Here's what we are planning to do:

  1. Move to St. Louis Missouri in Feb 2008 for 2 years to complete a full-time church planters training course (learning how to start new churches). We currently live in Kansas City.
  2. Learn from church leaders Rick Hein, John Lanferman and Brian Mowrey about starting and leading churches. Jubilee Church in St. Louis is currently starting a second location.
  3. During the training course decide where to start a new church. We feel particularly draw to urban areas.
  4. Raise support/sponsorship for the period of training. If you know us, or have randomly found our blog, please consider sponsoring us.
What kind of church will we start?
  1. Not just a Sunday meeting, but a family
  2. A reproducing church that will seek to plant out
  3. A group of people who contribute generously and sacrificially to the needs around them
  4. It will be non-denominational but associated with Newfrontiers, a worldwide family of churches that relate to one another through relationships and common vision
  5. It will incorporate contemporary worship (whatever that means!)
  6. It will teach the Bible
  7. It will be a charismatic, word & spirit church
  8. We'll let you know more as we figure it out ...
We will be updating the blog regularly once things start moving forward with our training. You may not see additional entries for a little while. But this blog will provide you with a way to stay connected with us as we begin the journey.

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