Even with Advent and the Christmas Season in full swing, it is hard to believe that a new year is just a few weeks away. It is also hard to believe that this time last year Kasey and I were driving Jude back from Colorado!
As 2013 ends I am grateful that Preston, Joshua and I were able to get away before Thanksgiving to seek the LORD for His guidance in 2014. Last year we felt like the Lord was asking us to cultivate a renewed passion for God and position our church to “take the land.”
While it may be subjective to see if we have increased in passion for Jesus, we’ve heard testimonies of many people growing in their love for Him. Just last night one of the women at our church told me that seeing how passionate her community group has impacted her tremendously. As a result, that passion is something that she is beginning to experience in greater ways as well. That is awesome and has been apparent in the whole church throughout the course of the year. Her testimony is what we hope will be a continual testimony at Normandy.
As you all know, we felt called to establish our "beach-head" within Lake Highlands and God has graciously provided us a place to hold our services at Scofield. They have been exceedingly gracious to us and we are grateful to have a foot in Lake Highlands! Not only that, the majority of our Community Groups now meet in Lake Highlands. Slowly but surely, we're positioning our church into the land that God has called us to primarily focus our efforts over the long haul.
At our Elder's retreat last week, the overall theme for 2014 that we sensed was rhythm. We assessed the direction that we were feeling from the Lord, the scriptures that He had placed on our hearts, as well as assessed the current state of our flock, and the word rhythm seems quite appropriate for our next season of life together. In order to do all that we have in our hearts to accomplish for the Kingdom of God here and abroad, we need to establish a sustainable rhythm that will enable us to make it for years to come.
One image that comes to mind when thinking of rhythm is the ocean. The waves are consistent. They have a rhythm. The tides rise and fall each day. The seasons come and go each year and there is a comforting predicability of what changes are coming and why. When you go out on the ocean or learn to surf, you learn the rhythm of the waves and when to paddle hard or to rest and wait. Good sailors and surfers know the rhythms of the season. The same should be true for us. We want to see a church alive and well. We want to see the lost saved. We want to see churches planted in DFW and impact the nations. We want to see healthy, reproducible, Community Groups transferring Kingdom Values from one generation to the next. We want to establish a rhythm so that our people are spiritual fed and emotionally cared for, while at the same time refusing to abdicate our calling to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission. To do that, we have to plan for and build a lifestyle of rhythm that is full of intentionality and rest.
As we begin to work in 2014, one of the main places we will emphasize rhythm will be in our Community Groups. Since our first gathering back in 2005, these have been and always will be the lifeblood of our church. As 2014 starts you can expect to see some changes to our model with the hope of creating a rhythm that will help meet our needs as a family and support each of you in your efforts to "go and make disciples of all nations."
Let's keep positioning our hearts to love Jesus more and more this coming year. Our call to passionately pursue Him is never over and He desires to do more in you and our family than we could imagine. More now than ever, we are grateful for your love for Jesus and for one another. 2013 is past, 2014 lies ahead...
Hopeful and expectant,