Posts Tagged ‘new church’

Totally Out of the Box Thinking

August 22, 2010

Today after church we went to a presentation about a new church launch from our current church.  It will be about 5 miles away…. and it will be dual purpose… restaurant-church.  An amazing concept.  The point is to reach the 80% of people in our area who will never go to a church-church.  It gave me a flashback to when I was seven years old and my dad taught a college and career Sunday School class in a steak house.  I’m not sure what instigated that move?  Too few rooms at the church, perhaps.  But this is so much more out of the box than that. 

The restaurant will be staffed with volunteers who are there to serve their community.  Tips will not be accepted.  And get this, on the menu under each item it will state where 10% of the cost will be going for a missions project.  So, order the Pollo Fundido and 10% of the cost goes toward building houses in Mexico for the poor.  Order the soft drinks and/or bottled water and 10% of the cost goes to fund wells in Africa.  Isn’t that the best?  It’s not just a restaurant for adults either…. next door there will be a kids “check-in” center where the kids will eat and play and learn…. yes, all staffed with volunteers. 

Yes, some Sundays the restaurant will be used for a service, but not an old-school service like our grandparents enjoyed.  Big screens with video messages.  No pews.  No stained glass.  THEN, if that isn’t enough, they are thinking of having the church closed one Sunday a month so the members can take a family from their neighborhood out to lunch… and BE the church.  They even went as far as saying to use your tithe that week to pay for lunch.  I know.  I’m processing it all too.

They also are going to have man-church.  Sunday afternoons…. with sports games on the big screens.  No women allowed.  A guest pro-player of some sport or another will come and chat at them boys for 15 minutes.  My husband was sold on that point alone.  I think he’s assuming there will be a remote for everyone.  Probably not.

The plan for the missions outreach is to invite frequent burrito eaters to come FREE and help build a house in Mexico…. see the church in action.  I love it!

Do you think it will work to reach the masses?

Perspective – Year after Year

December 31, 2009

As 2009 draws to a close, I find my perspective of the past two years to be quite an image of opposites… without appearing so at first glance.  I remember sitting on New Year’s Eve 2007 with great expectations and excitement for the coming 2008.  I was absolutely giddy for all that was to follow…. and it did not disappoint.  We were booked on a cruise for my parent’s 50th anniversary with my siblings and their spouses.  Our first trip without kids….. as adults.  We were overjoyed. 

Early 2008 I was in the throngs of getting our first book published, my website up and book signings arranged.  It was a whirlwind of activity…. and it did not disappoint.  I still love my website, even though it desperately needs to be updated.  The motherhood book was cuter than I could have imagined and the book signings were so much more than I hoped they could be.  I was overjoyed.

Looking at 2009, you would think my anticipation and responses would be nearly similar, as our second book was published and Rick and I again escaped to a cruise ship for five days… alone this time.  There were plenty of book signing opportunities and speaking engagements to fill my calendar.  But my summaries of the two years are not at all alike. 

2008: thrilling, awesome, love to relive it all. 

2009: emotionally draining, glad it’s over, can’t wait to start a new year. 

WOW!  It makes me feel better just knowing that today is the last day of my most frustrating year ever.

Why? you ask.   It seemed that all things that I hold dear to my heart took a beating this year…. my family, friends, church and homeschooling.  It was a year of trials, disappointments, changes and a realization that we were on the wrong track.  That in itself is a good thing as we begin our new year aiming in a different direction.  Sometimes I like change…. like the change from a $100 bill when I only bought a pack of gum.  I also like change when it comes to dirty socks, sheets and past season flowers in my backyard pots.  I don’t appreciate change when it comes to churches, friends, or finances. 

Typically I’m not an emotional wreck, but most of June I spent crying and hiding in my room.  I read more Christian western 1850’s romances this summer than the past five years combined.  Why? you ask.  Because I needed to escape.  I didn’t want to face the facts that were dumped upon me and our family. I didn’t want my life to change.  I relished feeling secure in how things have been for years and there was a huge rock in the road that upset the apple cart.  My apples were everywhere but in the cart for many months.  I still don’t have them all gathered back.

One thing we realized (remembered) is we are becoming who we surround ourselves with… and we needed to seek out others who were truly like minded with us in regard to our family beliefs with church and school.  We slowly, over years, came to the place where we couldn’t even talk about our calling to teach our kids at home for fear of offending those we spent the most time with.  Not that we are abandoning friendships of old, we just needed to be encouraged and prodded and slapped on the back by others who understand our calling…. our lifestyle of homeschooling.  It truly encompasses all we do as a family.

After much soul-searching and over a year of prayers, we felt the time was upon us to find a new church.  For those who know me well, this is not how I roll.  I am not a quitter, and that is how it seemed to me at the time.  We have been at the same church for ten and a half years.  Our boys don’t remember any other church.  Our dearest friends were there… scads of them.  But I can honestly say that the day we walked into a different church for the first time, it was like a breath of fresh air that I didn’t know I needed so desperately.  I haven’t exactly embraced it wholeheartedly, but I know we’re in good hands, even though I can’t quite put their sticker on my back window of the van at this time. (Are back window church stickers only the rage in Phoenix???)

I haven’t come full circle with the challenges that arose, but I do see how the Lord has provided friendships for me along the way.  Awesome women of God to come along side of me.  God allowed challenges to force us to see the error of our ways and our need to seek His face.  So, for that, and for the bumps in our 2009 road, I’m grateful.  Supremely grateful they’re over!

2010… let’s roll.