Wow, what a year!
This time last year, the Auments were living out in Lakeway with Leslie’s parents. Fourth Tap Brewing Co-operative had just opened. The construction permit paperwork for our house was floating around who knows where. We only knew two of our future neighbors.
Now here we are!
Our missional community met this last Sunday for the second time. One of our families just welcomed a brand new baby girl this last Tuesday night. We’re starting things off by trying to cast a vision for what God is calling us to do – individually, as families, and as a group. It was really encouraging to hear some similar ideas swirling around.
2016 was a great year for church planting across ECO as well. I recently attended the first ever ECO Church Planter conference in Dallas, led by our new church planting catalyst, Matt Lee. He told us that ECO had eight church plants prior to 2016, and eleven brand new ones in 2016 alone! Matt has been planting churches for decades and his experience includes incarnational models like ours – which is extremely helpful as we try to figure things out together. We don’t just want to be the “church planting wing” of ECO; we want ECO to be a movement.
2017 is going to be an interesting year. We just endured the most contentious presidential election of my lifetime, which was probably just a symptom of the deeper anxiety and dissatisfaction that exist in our nation. Life is better with Jesus – that’s a promise today and eternity. We started this whole church planting journey because we want to be a part of God’s ministry of reconciliation.
Here’s one of my favorite passages – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
From a worldly point of view, our nation is fractured, our economy is fragile, and people distrust each other. It’s easy to be cynical – to despair of making a difference in the face of so many intractable problems. But if we belong to Jesus, God is sharing his message of new life through us! What is that going to look like for you in 2017? Don’t be like me and try to motivate yourself through guilt! “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Wow, what a promise!
God is good,