The leaves are turning.  New shades of brilliant oranges and yellows seem to be exploding from somewhere deep within.  As the world around us acknowledges the natural shifting of times, my heart and mind can’t help but also look towards new seasons.

Earlier this year, my family and I began to enter a new season of ministry.  Walking away from most of what we’ve known for the past 15 years, we began praying and seeking God to understand what could be next for us.  As we talked with friends and acquaintances in our life, the recurring thing we heard was that people were walking away from their churches in droves. People were hungry for community.  They wanted to be trained and mobilized for mission in their Monday-Saturday lives.  And having looked to their church for guidance, they were left wanting.  The statistics seem to validate the overarching sentiment of those we spoke with.

But if Christ loves the church enough to die for her, why were so many people finding so few answers in their weekly worship?  God’s people wanted much more than a worship service to passively observe and instead wanted to actively participate in the advancing kingdom in every area of their lives and families.

With this understanding, Jessica and I walked out in faith into this next season that God was calling our family to pursue him in.  To say it has been an easy journey would be an inaccurate statement, but we have seen God’s hand of protection, guidance, and faithfulness every step of the way.  After spending much time in prayer, seeking wisdom, and discernment, we are excited about God’s direction and how He has led us to plant a church in the Midsouth.

While this will be a different model than many people are accustomed to in the Memphis area, and while we are sure it will be more difficult than we are even aware of now, we know God’s hand has been with us so far and there is no reason to doubt that He will continue to guide and provide for us going forward.  I cannot wait to share the vision God has kindled in my family’s hearts over the past few years and allow many of you to pray through the opportunity to join the work of God in your own families too.  How incredible would it be to see God move throughout the greater Memphis area in a huge way?

We long to see families be the place God builds disciples.  We long to see disciples reach their workplaces and campuses.  We long to see students launched in their careers to cities and countries around the world that may not have a bright witness of the Light of Christ. We long to look back decades from now and say,”WOW! Can you believe all that God has done?”

To help everyone gain a greater understanding of what the church will look like, we will release the Church Prospectus early next week.

In the meantime, mark your calendars.  December 6 at 6PM.  The first interest meeting for this new work in the Midsouth will be held in my home (affectionately called StewCasa).  If you feel your heart being released from your current church or have been looking for a new church home for a while, please plan to attend.  We are excited to see if God quickens your heart to this vision of families being trained and mobilized for Kingdom movement.  We would love for you to be a part of this exciting move of God!  Even if you aren’t looking for a new church family, we would love for you to come and hear how God is moving.  We need as many people praying for us, and this new work, if we have any hope of God establishing another community of believers living on mission at home and abroad.   If you are anything like me, I am always excited to hear how God is blessing other believers in their faithful pursuits of God!

Please plan to come to hear how you can partner with us as well as join through PRAYER. It will be an exciting night of worship, vision, and a time of Q&A.

Written by Jody