I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing it is to work for a gracious and generous leader. A generous leader finds ways to empower others, and in doing so, sees their own work multiplied exponentially. Pastor Brady Boyd, my pastor, is that kind of leader.
The story of new life DOWNTOWN is just one example of how.
new life DOWNTOWN is not a separate church; it is an extension of New Life Church. It's a campus, but not in the way you may be used to thinking of campuses. Many campuses are, for better or worse, replications of the "main thing." They follow a franchise model, and there's nothing wrong with it. But what New Life is venturing into is something of a hybrid between a church plant and a campus. There is unity of purpose and identity but there is freedom to let the work of the Spirit take a unique shape.
Pastor Brady saw the work of the Spirit in my own life and called it out of me. He invited me to begin a service on Sunday nights in the Fall of 2009, where I'd preach the same text and theme as he did that morning, but give the service a slightly different shape. Because he knew the ways I was exploring the practices and roots of our ancient faith, he encouraged me to let the Sunday night service reflect that. Then, in the Fall of 2011, we talked about what it might look like if that service became a campus-- a congregation--in downtown Colorado Springs...on Sunday mornings. The elders prayed about it and decided to commision it. And so, new life DOWNTOWN began on Easter Sunday, 2012.
It's been a year now, and what a year it's been. To see the people, to know their stories, to feel the warmth of their love for God and one another displayed in worship in fellowship...all these are more than stats and numbers could say. Becoming a congregation is a slow work, a hidden work. It will frustrate the pragmatic and disappoint the idealist. What it takes is a prophetic imagination-- the vision of an alternate reality-- the sight of the Spirit at work reshaping us, changing us, making us one Family.
So...a big thank you to our amazing team who see with this imagination and serve each week so faithfully.
And a massive THANK YOU to Pastor Brady Boyd for living your life message by leading like a "son" (not an orphan or a slave) and raising up sons and daughters in the House of God.