monday musings: our adventure

I mentioned it in passing a few weeks ago when I was putting forth my struggle about the thought of being an only child family.

Our adventure. It’s right on the brink now.

I am excited and terrified about it and somehow, that makes me feel like it is the right decision. If it isn’t scary, it isn’t a risk. And if it isn’t a risk, the gains can’t be very big. And we are hoping for eternal gains with this risk.

We are beginning to write a story of a church plant. We have been in discussion with some of our close friends about this for years now. I can’t even believe that it has been so many YEARS since this conversation begun. And here we are, getting ready to sell our home (yep, again) to move into the heart of the city. If you know me, you know I am thrilled about the location. I love the city. I love the people there and the way they think. I love the food. I love the houses. I love the trees. I love the messiness of the poor intermingled with the wealthy. Life has been lived in the city and there is history that you can breath and feel as you move through the space. My heart already lives there. I. Can’t. Wait.

And I am also terrified. The church that we yearn for is one with intense community, much like you would find in a family. And as an extreme introvert, community is scary for me. I like the written word (can’t you see?) but I am not eloquent in person. My mind blanks when I am asked to speak on my toes, I don’t speak up in group settings, I take days to process information and come to conclusions. But somehow, I know that this is what I am supposed to do. My sad little introverted self is supposed to lay down my fears for this church.

We don’t want to be just another church – we want to show that God is beyond the American box of church. We want to reexamine traditions and serve our community in a revolutionary way. You have heard me speak of a desire to bring heaven to earth and that is what we long for. We want to bring heaven to central Austin. We want to be Jesus to those that have not encountered him. We want to show Jesus to those that have been deeply hurt by past church encounters. We want to be Jesus to everyone – no exceptions. And I know that means we are going to be uncomfortable. My heart trembles at the thought of giving up my comforts, of sacrificing things that I hold dear but I know we will be called to this. And more. I pray that I will grow to embrace this.

We have begun writing our story and it’s going to be an adventure.

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13 Comments monday musings: our adventure

  1. Misty April 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I’m excited for you! Have you read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola? Even if you are not interested in an organic fellowship model (which is what my husband and I are part of), it’s a good breakdown of church traditions and why things are the way they are in the institutional church. I haven’t read the follow-up book, Reimagining Church, yet, but I hear that it’s a good look at ways to do things differently.

    I’ve actually been writing about our decision to become part of an organic church fellowship on my blog (it’s an ongoing series), so stop by if you are interested in reading a bit more.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about YOUR adventure. God is really doing some cool stuff these days!

    1. Elizabeth April 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Misty! I just bought both books – I’m completely intrigued!

      1. Misty April 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

        Awesome! I was thinking some more about you and where you’re headed and also wanted to recommend rachelheldevans.com (if you don’t already read it). I think you might enjoy reading about her faith journey and how she is working toward learning to marry her intellect and her faith.

      2. Elizabeth April 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        You pegged me pretty well: I already follow Rachel’s blog – she has been a big comfort to me! I loved her first book and I’m interested in her second book although my ‘to read’ book pile is growing pretty large!

        I read through your organic faith journey and I really appreciate you sharing. I think the church we are planting is going to be a lot like the one you are a part of now. I’m really excited about where this whole thing is going. It’s a little surreal but also encouraging.

  2. sheri April 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Wow! Congratulations on taking such a leap of faith, and following the call. I am looking forward to hearing more about the church and the impact God is going to make on Austin through you.

    I am currently reading “Reimagining Church”, but never read the first book. It’s insightful. And to add a couple more to your to read list: “Barefoot Church” by Jen Hatmaker’s husband and “When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor” – love it.

    Good luck!

    1. Elizabeth April 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      I just bought “When Helping Hurts” two weeks ago! It’s next up after I finish 7. I will check out Barefoot Church . . . although we may just show up at Brian’s church since they are about 20 minutes away! I’d love to see what they’re doing in person.

      1. sheri April 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

        In person would be even better!

  3. Stephani April 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    That’s wonderful that y’all are following God’s desire for this church in Austin. Also, I wanted to tell you that I can totally relate to you as I’m very introverted myself. Community can be scary, and so can unfamiliar people in general, but take comfort in that you’re doing what God wants and that He always holds your needs close to His heart. 🙂

  4. Darlys May 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    So exciting! And amen to your paragraph on writing vs speaking. that’s me too. completely.

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