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For the past three or four months Jeff and I have really struggled with our vision of church and what it’s suppose to be. Of course when you’re a pastor and you have a group of people who who rely on your leadership (or lack thereof) it can become complicated.

Much of our angst was trying to grasp what a faith community should look like. How do we operate, what is expected, what fruit are we hoping for?  We desire simple, effective, organic, healthy, missional and gospeling one-another church that serves God in their domains and has a passion for the new global world that we live in. 

Here is how this looks:

1. Sunday Gathering: Time of teaching, repenting, worshiping and celebrating.  Very simple. Worship for 20 minutes, teach for 40 minutes, worship and reflect for another 10-15 minutes. This is vital to our health as a community. We want to experience God together. 

2. COM (Communities On Missional): If you’re not apart of a COM Group you will not likely find community at Vista. We don’t cater to those who want to sit on the sidelines. We’re not event coordinators. These groups are “mini-churches.” We want COM Groups to be the heart and soul of Vista. We want to pour the majority of our resources into this area of ministry. As Elders we want to spend the majority of our time with these leaders (and deacons). Why? Because these leaders will be on the front-lines of ministry. 

3. Self-Feeding: Our desire is not to gather a group of people who are addicted to the Sunday event. We simply let people know that we expect them and want to encourage them to learn what it means to feed themselves spiritually. And we will partner with them to help build that foundation. 

4. Domains: Evangelism will happen when people love and serve their neighbor in their natural habitats. We want to partner will our people and help them do that. Evangelism is not an event but a lifestyle. We do it daily. We want our people to live in the midst of culture, and help the culture see the gospel story. We want to think “send” not “come.” Go…to you workplace, neighborhood, kids school, live music venues, coffee-shops, pubs etc…And be the hands & feet of Jesus. 

5. Glocal Renewal: We believe that God is renewing all things. Our passion is to help renew Austin/Round Rock/Cedar Part/Leander. We also want to think regionally and globally. Our church is a part of a global movement. We will learn how to follow Jesus better when we learn from our brothers and sisters across the globe. We will focus on Gospel Justice. We will deeply care about the orphan in Zimbabwe and and the latchkey kid in Round Rock. We care about our friends in Houston and our friends in Egypt. We want to be a gift to those around us. 

6. Wholeness: We want our people to be whole. Their marriage, finances, addictions, parenting etc. We want to start classes and programs that focus on praxis (money, marriage, parenting) and theology ( raising-up local theologians). We want to use those in our church who have the gift of teaching to lead these classes. 

This is the kind of church that I’m passionate about. This is the kind of church that I think is reproducible. Hopefully this kind of church can spark a movement of Jesus so we can become light in the darkness and provide hope for the hopeless.

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One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Change Is A Must « Simply Missional on 23 Oct 2008 at 12:02 pm

    […] at Vista for the past 2-3 months. Lot’s of vision frustrations. I addressed that in this post. So we made a few key changes that has brought life and energy back to me personally and our […]

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