A blog whereby I motivate myself, and my readers, to punch me in the mouth.

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Friday, April 21, 2006


No, it's not a new economy car. Suddenly strikes me that it sounds a little like it should be...

And hey, in these times of Hummer-like resource-guzzling SUV churches, maybe that's how we should look at it. The alt-fueled Christian community of tomorrow, here today! (For more details, contact your local dealer.)

I don't know how many readers here are aware/care, but Greg and Jill Hunt (Greg, currently youth pastor at my church. Jill, currently putting up with him.) are going to El Paso, Texas, to start a new church.

I wanted to share the mission statement and core values of their new church plant (which they are calling "Paseo"), because they resonate so deeply with me. I want this pretty badly. Hope it moves some of you in the same way it moves me.

"Thy Kingdom come..." I say.

Paseo Mission Statement

Paseo is a community of Christ-followers who live Jesus’ generous love, action, truth, and beauty, attracting others to join us in following Christ.

Paseo Core Values

Community. The first community to ever exist was the community of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We long for this original connection with God, and one another. We long to be at home with each other. So community is us waking up to the reality that God is alive and well in the world. We, in community, link up with where He is and what He is doing. Together, we sojourn through and with the passage of Jesus and His way. Race, gender, age, and socioeconomic station fade as we sacrifice ourselves to and for one another. Giving and receiving, sharing and learning – we all eat at the same table and all wrestle collectively with the Kingdom of God.

Engage. We are real people; honest about our real lives engaging the world and not hiding from it. Jesus invites us, with our frailty and brokenness, to follow Him in His world-connected Kingdom. When we follow Him, being who he created us to be, we are to engage the world around us; befriending others, walking with them, and inviting them to join Jesus' passage way. This means that every human issue and every human life has value and dignity. Being aware that we tend to cluster with similar people, we, through Jesus, strive to meet people and generously, actively, and intelligently meet their needs. More than that, we are intentional and influential with the Hope of Jesus' Way.

Everyday Sacredness. God cannot be reduced to clichés or formulas. The reality of God’s wonder and mystery is profound. His ways are beyond ours. This reality causes us to daily live in tension between fear and relief. So, daily we struggle. In this struggle, we have opportunity to be drawn into God’s encompassing, incomprehensible, reckless love. Knowing this, we long to have a daily life permeated with respect and love for God. We want to live as part of the world we were placed without erecting barriers of “learned” or “churchy” behavior. We believe that living simply, with humility and wisdom, can be practiced daily. A “Sunday service” becomes part of our lives and not the spiritual artery. Daily we strive to practice our respect and love for God through worship, prayer, fasting, bible reading and study, servant-hood, generosity, forgiveness, loving people, loving our enemies and loving the poor. Although not exclusive or most important, we wrestle in these ways so we daily learn to trust and draw closer to God.

Meaning and Truth. Meaning and truth are what we seek. We seek these because at our core, God instilled a longing for purpose and identity in Him. For that reason, God has spoken to us and His words are truth. This longing for meaning and truth find satisfaction in the person of Jesus revealed in the Bible, through the Holy Spirit. This truth God extends to us is truth that changes us. Truth, then, is a person to be encountered, known, experienced, and loved. As we grow to understand Truth from the Bible through the Holy Spirit, our eyes are opened to the ultimate meaning of life. This fullness is available here and now, and not just after we die. Meaning and truth are available and livable now.

Worship and Beauty. God is the original creative innovator. God longs to be the central object of our affection. Because of this, God shared His creativeness with His creation. He has entrusted the created to use this outpouring of creativity to its fullest expression. In all we do, we strive to reflect God’s creative innovation. Through the arts, we communicate our love and affection for Him, as well as the truth of His Kingdom. Music, painting, sculpting, writing, poetry, etc are expressions of our love and affection for the Creator. As God has shared His wonder, we desire to return it through worship and beauty.

Entrust. Our story began thousands of years ago. We have been entrusted with next chapter of the story by those who preceded us. Because we have been entrusted with the next chapter, we strive to operate in team. We desire, with Christ, the Kingdom of God to increase. So, we desire to build a committed team of Christ-followers who realize they journey together as part of something bigger than themselves; entrusting one another with leadership, tasks, hope, life, and the “chapter” to follow. We desire people, Christ communities, and the Church to entrust the “next chapter” here and now; reproducing themselves. We desire to see the story that began thousands of years ago to continue while we are living.



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