Former NFL Quarterback, Doug Williams had a historic career in the NFL. In 1998, he was named Super Bowl XXII MVP as he led the Washington Redskins to victory passing for a record 340 yards and four touchdowns. Williams was also the first black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl. In 1998 Williams become the head football coach at Grambling St. succeeding the legendary Eddie Robinson who had coached there for 55 years! When Williams was introduced as the new head football, “You don’t try to fill those shoes. You just dip ‘em in bronze, kiss ‘em, and sit ‘em on your mantle.”   In simple terms he was saying about his new tenure, "This is not that!” 

We often need a new lens to see a new opportunity. When we’re trying to adjust to something new, something different…maybe the least helpful thing we can do is try to compare it. When it comes to our faith, we all have a reference point that helped shape who we are, what we believe, and what we like and dislike. We all come with an expectation, a hope, a desire but only God can meet that in the most personal and maybe surprisingly different way!

As we create Mission Hills Church together, whatever your church experience was (good, bad or indifferent), can I just say, “This is not that”? This will feel different simply because it’s new, which might be what Austin (and each of us) needs. While we want to create a dynamic worship environment with some familiarity, we also want to see our lives — that is, our gifts, resources, time, and influence — align us with the God’s heart in Austin as it is in Heaven. 

If you’re used to a small group with curriculum and easy answers…
If you’re used to a lotta talk and large crowds…
If you’re used to merely being divided up by a stage of life and calling it community…
This is not that.

Tribes are designed to be more like an extended family group who offer encouragement and support in friendship and living out our faith. 

This is…surrogate aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.
This is…finishing the night in the kitchen cleaning up together.
This is…investing in other’s kids because they’re a part of the life of the tribe.
This is…connecting with different stages of life and discovering what's common among us.
This is…experimenting, practicing, embracing and implementing the Rhythms as a way to follow Christ in community.

Many are skeptical of religion yet are spiritually curious. We need a place to ask questions and express doubt. We also need a community that offers a way to express care and justice in order for faith to gain traction.   This can be that.

Many are far from family physically, perhaps emotionally. Yet we all need a community who stays current in our lives, reminds us of who we are, knows our potential, and calls us to make a contribution. 
This is the dream that is Mission Hills Church.