The NewStart journey has been a vital part of my life now for close to twenty years. It began with a conversation with an individual that became one of my closest friends, Brad Mercer, back in the mid 90’s. It began with a conversation about what the church might look like if it was built around the premise that the foundational element of its existence was the nature of God –love. That didn’t seem like a wild step to anyone until we started asking the question about what we might do to adequately reflect that in ways that looked less institutional and more organic. By that I mean what if “love” is what was effectively communicated by everything the church did and not institutional goals and systems.
Honestly that was a tough question to come to grips with, and a tough construct to give expression to when everything that seemed “normal” could easily be understood as an expression of institutional goals. However, we started down that road regardless. The last twenty years have been anything but easy. From the first expression of the dream in Dallas, TX – which was NewStart Frisco – to the current context –NewStart RiverCity- the way has been paved with sometimes agonising struggle and often disappointment. Without a doubt the single most overwhelming obstacle was Brad’s passing in 2007. However the dream has lived on as we have sought to be a small piece in the revelation of the Kingdom of God.
The last seven months have been filled with a new sense of promise with the coming of the Tarrants – Stephen and Jaci – and the Chapmans – Emman, Jade, Caleb and Savanah Zoe. Together we have sought to rediscover the essential nature of the church as we have become ever closer friends. Over the last few weeks we have been challenged to believe that the time is now upon us to take the foundation laid over a long period of time and move toward the future that is beckoning. We believe that 2015 represents the next phase of the dream in a very real way. We look forward to unveiling that dream more and more over the next few months. As that happens it is my desire to continue to reflect upon that here.
To hear the threefold expression of what that means for us you can watch my video here: