Recently, I was unexpectedly given an exhilarating and terrifying opportunity to rethink my life - a dizzying, high-elevation, total re-imagining kind of opportunity.
Sounds serious, right?
Emily and I set aside the summer to reflect on who we felt that God was shaping us to be and what sort of dreams and callings we wanted to live into. It’s been an incredible few months, and I want to share a few discoveries with you.
A big part of this process was narrowing down the options. We chose to focus only on opportunities within the greater Milwaukee area. This is where we feel at home. Stuart Briscoe has often encouraged me to, “knock on a lot of doors, but don’t kick any down.” With this in mind, we began to explore 3 kinds of opportunities: Join another church staff, form a new church, live a kingdom life funded by a non-church job. We tested all of these as thoroughly as we knew how to see where doors were open and where our hearts pulled us.
Today in this process, we have found ourselves walking into not just one, but two of these opportunities.
1. We are beginning the process of forming a new church in the greater MKE area. This update is the first step of our formal efforts to pull together a team who can dream with us. Along with all the advances of modern civilization, the unfortunate by-product remains rampant issues of isolation, consumption, and distraction. What an amazing opportunity for a kingdom community that is centered around Jesus and His radical love! There is so much room for innovative, new expressions of Christianity that can participate in the healing of the world until it is ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’.
2. For many years, I have had a secret double life as a ‘paparazzi.’ I have always loved taking photos, and even in grade school used to steal my dad’s Minolta 35mm when we were on family trips. Over the last decade, I’ve taken over 100,000 photos of students on trips, awesome landscapes, beautiful people, and my own kids and many more things - It’s always been just a hobby that I loved, but over the next few months, I am upgrading my hobby to a new status. It’s going to help us support our kingdom lifestyle and give me new opportunities to lean into the creativity that is a huge part of who I am .
Bonus - Emily also has been pursuing a new dream in the midst of this chaotic time in our lives. She has been knocking off some prerequisite classes, with the hopes of entering a Nursing program next fall.
- In addition to all of these important new pursuits, we continue to raise our 3 amazing kiddos - and try to live a life that allows them to see that we love Jesus.
All terrifying and exhilarating stuff and we need a lot of help and a lot of prayer.
These are the kind of dreams that are better shared while enjoying good food and a bottle of wine. To this end, Emily and I will be hosting a series of meals with friends starting in October. Coming to a meal doesn’t commit you to anything, it’s just an opportunity to share about life and meet some new friends. I hope many of you can join us for one...
*Photo by Woodnote