Tag Archives: resources

Finding Joy

Recently started reading Philippians. We are going through the book as a core team and going through it with one of our neighborhood gatherings. I have always thought of the theme revolving around joy and just quickly concluded the joy was in reference to Jesus. Kind of that whole “Jesus loves you, be happy” kind of thinking, but it seemed there was always a disconnection. I would read that Jesus loves me, but I didn’t always “feel” joy. I still believe Jesus is the focus, however, recently seeing the practical part of that joy is found in how we live through Jesus.

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10 Reasons “Why Not To Start A Church”

10. Unless you like being tired, don’t start a church. I don’t mean tired like I need to get a nap, but tired like my brain is spinning with about 100 ideas of what we could do and how we could do what we are doing better. See what I am say’n.

9. People are messy. Including me. Honestly if everyone would just do what I want, when I want, and the way I want it then we could knock this thing out in no time, however, that is not reality. Reality is that people are complicated and no matter how charismatic or passionate, you can’t make anyone do anything for any length of time. Nevertheless, if you try to do this on your own it is impossible or will lead to a really boring church.

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Who Is Leading Worship?

This is a question I am starting to get lately. Never before did I wish that I grew up playing the guitar to get girls to talk to me. I could have a one man show that was all about me.

This is one of our challenges right now. There is a part of me that believes it will all come together and it will work out fine, however, there is another part of me that believes I am being naive and need to have more urgency in this area.

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Four Myths About God

As I have spent time with people over the last 10 years I have seen a common misconception of who God is. Due to our life experiences, background, family, and religious influences it seems there are at least 4 myths of God:

Santa God: This is that God that we turn to when we are in trouble and we need him to come through for us. We will call out to him in desperation to get a house, car, spouse, job, etc. Or even call out to him on more serious matters like the health of a loved one, relational conflict, or financial strain. We crawl up into his giant Santa God lap and let our requests be made known. When we find ourselves about to get a speeding ticket we think to ourselves, “Santa God, if you let me go with a “warning” then I will be good for the rest of the year.”

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Lucy Read Pre K

Dropped off the paper work today for the school. It isn’t 100% done but it is moving us in the right direction. Our hope is to solidify some dates in the summer for us to provide “previews” and work our way toward a weekly gathering in September.

The school has some limitations as a location but overall we are excited about the opportunity. It is the only Pre K school in AISD and primarily serves low income families.

Timeline

September – December: Easiest mistake in starting a new church is to simply go with what is on the surface. Culture is deceptive and so are our emotions, intellect, and desires. Instead of making a quick decision we spent many weeks praying through neighborhoods, talking to people, spiritual conversations, and getting council as we waited for Jesus to show us where. We wanted to spend adequate time seeing what God sees before “doing”.

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Finances: Audio / Visual

In the next month we will be taking step to purchase a considerable amount of audio and visual equipment. This is tough because it is expensive.

On one hand we don’t want to waste money but we don’t want to purchase low quality equipment that will break and burn out or purchase equipment that we will hopefully outgrow. Meaning a microphone and a boom box only gets you so far.

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Neighborhood Gatherings

We have already started 3 neighborhood gatherings and hopefully start another in the next week! Neighborhood gatherings are simply getting our friends together to explore spiritual truths. It isn’t a formal process but something we encourage one another to initiate naturally so that we can create casual environments to explores spiritual truths with our friends.

Our hope is that neighborhood gatherings would take place throughout the city.

Meeting Location

“Where do you meet?” Is a question we get all the time and it is something we are constantly praying about. Our desire isn’t to put money into a building but to find a place to meet that is affordable and also meets our needs for a Sunday gathering. The above picture is one of the locations we are looking it. We met with the owner today and discussed the possibility of using his space on a Sunday morning for an affordable price. We are still thinking through the details but this is a possibility.

Austin Dog Fair

Yesterday we got to host a dog fair in central Austin and it was great! We had about 12 local pets shops, vets, and trainers come out to answer questions and serve the community. There were over 500 people that attended the fair between 2-5 on a Sunday afternoon and it was great! We heard positive responses from the local shops, people attending, and we had a blast being able to serve the community. This is something we will have to keep going! We will have more pictures coming soon at:

http://www.austindogfair.com

Austin Dog Fair

Yesterday we got to host a dog fair in central Austin and it was great! We had about 12 local pets shops, vets, and trainers come out to answer questions and serve the community. There were over 500 people that attended the fair between 2-5 on a Sunday afternoon and it was great! We heard positive responses from the local shops, people attending, and we had a blast being able to serve the community. This is something we will have to keep going! We will have more pictures coming soon at:

http://www.austindogfair.com

Post Christian. Really?

There have been a number of articles I have read recently:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0310/p09s01-coop.html

http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2009/03/09/daily9.html?ana=e_du_pub

http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2009/01/state-of-church-planting.html

It seems to be a common conclusion that the spiritual landscape in the United States is changing. There is a thought that Christianity is moving from majority to minority, settlers to sojourners, and maintenance to mission.

Institution or church?

Often times when I talk to people about Jesus they refer to the church and when they reference the church they perceive it as an institution. They seem to perceive the church as over organized, impersonal, hierarchy that is more focused on promoting a common mantra or doctrine than genuinely exploring spiritual discussion.

As a result, people are stepping away from church and sometimes Jesus and looking for spiritual insight in other measures. Today it isn’t difficult to find other avenues for spiritual insight. There are blogs, podcasts, books, sermons, translations, commentaries, and other forms of content that provide enough fodder for anyone to spend years sifting through. Therefore, what is the purpose of the church? Is it possible to still gather as a church body without becoming an institution? When does a church become an institution?

Why North Village Church?

I have lived in Austin over 3 years and in Austin that is a long time. We live in North Austin which is technically not considered “Austin” if you live in the south, however, it is the part of Austin that I love. It still has the folksy, artsy, creative side to it, but still has the feel of a city. Not sure how you get folksy and city in one place, but North Austin does it.

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