Time flies when you have too much to do.
What in the world have we been doing in the last three weeks? In short, we’ve been laying good foundations.
I read a story recently about a young guy who was helping his dad build a log cabin. He spent days leveling the ground and setting the foundation. When he had finished with the foundation, he confessed to his father that it didn’t seem like he had accomplished very much. There was no house there. Not even a frame. Just level ground. His father replied: “Don’t worry; you’ve already done most of the hard work.”
I’ve been feeling like the son this month. I find it hard sometimes to push ahead in mission when I’m not seeing the house going up before my eyes. I’ve been eager to get right to hanging out with lost people. I want to start a house church. I want to throw some parties in the community. I want to initiate some justice projects.
But we’ve been trying to build good foundations: whether it be working agreements, staff covenants, office policies, financial systems, cultural research, vision and values, task lists or time lines. I suspect that foundation-laying will be a common theme not just in the next month, but in the next year. Pray for us as we seek to be fully present in the important work of starting well and laying good foundations—especially when we might be distracted from it by other good things.
I am excited because our people time will start to pick up significantly in the next month. On Wednesday, we’re hosting a dessert party to get to know our neighbors. Pray that someone comes; we’re trusting that God’s Spirit is already at work in the people who’ll be there. This night is the continuation of a weekly hospitality rhythm that the Porches and Kisers have started as a way of connecting with new people.
Another night of the week we plan on hanging out in local social hubs—restaurants, coffee shops and pubs (that’s right, I said it—did I mention that Jesus hung out with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?). McKinney Avenue, from Pearl to Blackburn, is in many ways the social epicenter of Uptown.
God has also connected us with some well-connected people—which is huge. One such person has invited us as guests to some significant organization meetings in the community. Pray that God will raise up other ‘people of peace’ who will open doors for the good news.
One last thing: I was eating lunch in West Village one day and wandered over to the Magnolia Theater, a place that shows independent films. I picked up an informational pamphlet inside and was ecstatic to read the following:
Play your XBOX, PS2 or GameCube on the big screen.
Call for rates, times and locations.
Can you say connective event #1? (And if it weren’t for our wives, #2, #3, #4. . .) One local told us that if we hosted a Guitar Hero party we’d have tons of people show up. Guess I’ll be getting the guitar accessory.
On another note, I went with a good friend to the Deep Shift conference this weekend to hear Brian McLaren. It was hosted by the Cliff Temple Baptist Church in North Oak Cliff. He presented ideas from his new book Everything Must Change. It’s a must read for anyone interested in how the gospel addresses the global crises of our time. I’m sure I’ll post more later about it.