I came home from my classes today feeling fairly under the weather. Not terrible by any means but headache, stuffy nose, etc. I took a long nap and now I have a cup of tea and thought that I would enjoy spending some time writing on my blog. I decided to tell you guys about a new adventure that might be on our family's horizon.
We have been going to Vineyard Community Church, here in Cincinnati for just a few months. Its a large church, I think 8,000 people but is doing some amazing things in the community around them. That's is why we love it there. They are actively reaching out. One of the other things that really got us stuck on their vision is that they aren't trying to bring people into their doors but instead are actively figuring out ways they can TAKE Jesus to the people of Cincinnati. So a couple things they are doing in the next few months are starting two new campuses, Uptown and Middletown and also starting 10 micro-churches (also known as house churches). Let me just step to the side for a minute and say that the coolest thing about this whole process is that they felt God calling them to do it and so they are "Praying, and Going". They took the steps and are just doing it without having any idea how it will all happen. I love it! They didn't make a 50 step plan in order to make sure they had enough money, people, resources etc. But they just said God is calling us lets pray and do it!
When Mark and I moved to Cincinnati we had a vision of what we wanted and felt church should be in our lives. It was all of the Acts 2 principles. Meeting together, eating together, teaching, prayer, fellowship, giving to one another etc. We wanted something on Sundays that was more than just sitting and listening, we wanted to do life with people. And we wanted that to be our church. We also really valued the idea of meeting in homes. We know a lot of people who would come to church if it was in a home with food. So anyways, God really started this journey in us of seeking him on church and what direction we should go. The first Sunday we went to Vineyard they talked about the micro-churches they were going to start. And the things they wanted them to be matched exactly our list of what we desired church to be. So we went to the meetings, we prayed and we turned in a little application/get-to-know-us/why do you want to do a micro-church and then left it up to God. Well there were 40 people who did what we did and the leaders said they were going to pray over them and get back to us. Well, they feel like we have the gifts and skills to lead a micro-church and have told us they would like to move forward with us. They have never met us, so I feel so very confident that God is all over this we felt pretty confidentially that this is the type of thing God had been calling us to do. Isn't it so cool how God works everything out?
So we will be meeting with them soon and making sure it will work and that our visions all line up but we are super excited. We will watch a video message from the Vineyard each week, and we will still be under their leadership in every way. But we will meet in homes and have a very missonal/outreach focus. At this point we are leaning towards young marrieds and couples as our focus but we don't really want to exclude people so we have to work that out still.
So its lots of excitement and also a little apprehensiveness. I keep thinking what if no one comes? Or can we really have church in our home!? But it is really exciting. So you can pray about the journey ahead and what God will do with it but we are super excited to see whats next. Here is Vineyards vision for their church--I love it so I wanted to share it!!
Imagine a ragtag collection of surrendered and transformed people who love
God and others. They are mesmerized by the idea that this is not about them,
But all about Jesus. They are transfixed by His story and His heart for their city.
They are seedthrowers and firestarters, hope peddlers, and grace-givers,
Risktakers and dreamers, young and old. They link arms with anyone who tells
the story of Jesus. They empower the poor, strengthen the weak, embrace the
outcast, seek the lost. They serve together, play together, worship together, live
life together. Their city will change because God sent them.
They are us.