Dear New Life Family,
What do you dream about? Right now I’m looking forward to a little get away next week as my family and I travel to southern Colorado for a family reunion with Jacie’s family. I’m also looking forward to my daughter Natalie getting her driver’s license. And for those of you don’t know about my love for the Houston Rockets, I’m also looking forward to seeing how the team does this year with James Harden and Chris Paul (two of the best guards in the NBA) on the same backcourt. Lots to look forward to!
But these aren’t my dreams. Dreams are bigger than the next big thing. Dreams are ideas or aspirations that capture your imagination and fuel your passion. They are the reason you get up in the morning and give you energy. As Christians we would say they are pictures of the kingdom we pray and long for. God gave dreams to Joseph, Daniel and Martin Luther King Jr. and used these for his glory.
One of the reasons I like summer is because of the slower pace and the time it gives me to “get on the balcony”—i.e. step back and look at the big picture. Ten years ago I put together a vision statement for my life. It captures the dreams God has given me. Looking back I’m amazed at how accurate these statements still are today. Here is my vision statement. It comes in two parts:
My vision is to see Jacie grow and thrive in her faith and ministry and for Natalie and Caleb grow up to love and serve Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and to make a kingdom difference with their unique gifts and passions.
My vision is to see the most number of mission-focused churches that are healthy, growing and reproducing so that lives and communities are transformed for Christ. I want to be used by God to be a part of this movement by using my unique gifts—catalyzing and starting new ministries, identifying and modeling simple and reproducible strategies, and selecting and developing new leaders.
As I reflect on these words I put down many years ago, I am thankful for the way God is answering my prayers. These dreams are becoming a reality! With my family, Jacie is growing and thriving as a mom, as a teacher, and as a follower of Jesus. She’s taken off spiritually through her training in Faithwalking and since she went back to full time teaching last year, I have seen her find her niche with her gifts, serving the Lord. Natalie and Caleb are also growing in their faith and using their gifts. Thank you Lord!
With ministry, there are bright spots as well. Our church is definitely mission-focused and working on transforming lives and our community. People have a solid grounding in their biblical beliefs, are active in the church, are growing in different ways and we are reproducing new churches here in Houston and beyond. I feel joy using my unique gifts and am thankful for New Life’s leadership that has given me their blessing to do this. Thank you Lord!
However, we still have more work to do. Our Reveal survey showed us areas we still need to grow and identified weak areas we need to shore up. Our Discipleship Team is working through this right now. But for me, I am praying for God to help our church engage people who are far from God, encourage people who are stuck or stalled spiritually, and clarify our discipleship pathway so we can help people grow, no matter what level of spiritual development. Lord, help us become a healthy growing church!
I share this with you to let you know what God has been putting on my heart lately. If you would like to talk with me about this, I would love to do that. Let’s grab coffee! Grace and peace.