In just a few short months my family and I, along with dear friends from around the country, will be moving to the north side of Austin, Texas to start a church. It’s an exciting, daunting, humbling, motivating, captivating task—I can’t wait to get started.
So, what kind of a church do we want this to be? To cast a vision for the church is an exhilarating and dangerous task. It’s exhilarating because the calling to plant a church is a calling to lay solid foundations, to serve future generations of a church by building well from the start. The calling to plant a church is like coming to an empty field and imagining a future glorious structure through the eyes of faith—except this structure is not made of brick or stone. It’s a temple of human beings, captivated by God’s glory, converted by God’s gospel, filled by God’s Spirit, passionate for God’s mission—a temple that will be a platform for God’s Word to reach the city of Greater Austin and beyond. Even to play a small part in such a calling is exhilarating.
But casting a vision is also sobering—since the blueprints for our church have already been written and we are called to follow their designs exactly. A vision for a new church is not an invention or primarily about human creativity. We are not free to create a church in any way we choose. Our task is much more glorious than that. Our church has been in the mind of the Lord since before we were born. Its purpose has been declared in his Word and we are called—exhilarated and sobered—to work under His direction and for His glory.
So, what mission have we received from the Lord. What are His blueprints for our church?
Under the Authority of God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a gospel-centered church that worships God, loves one another, and proclaims the gospel to the world.
Over the next few blog posts, I’ll consider that calling one phrase at a time.