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Extended family

This is not that.

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. 

Making Awkward Look Good

Remember the feeling of the first day of school on a new campus?
Ever relocate to a new neighborhood or city and you were the outsider looking in?
Have you ever started a new job in a fast-paced office where you knew you were a step behind everyone else?
Ever show up to a workout class or gym and feel like you stick out like a sore thumb?
Last question . . . Ever start attending a new church and feel like everyone already has their friends, knows what to expect, and knows what to expect?

None of these experiences make us feel comfortable. They tend to create an awkwardness we’d rather avoid. The good news for all of us starting Mission Hills Church is that we’re all starting in the same boat. Maybe another way of saying this is, We make awkward look good! 

The only thing worse than an uncomfortable moment is when we go through it alone. We all desire spiritual growth but stepping out in faith alone is hard to sustain or enjoy. Yet, we can find strength in numbers.  Mission Hills seeks to re-imagine church as a shared practice of faith by embracing Rhythms, together. 

We see Tribes and worship gatherings as two-sides-of the-same-coin that we call church; Sharing meals, extended conversations, faith applications, intergenerational fellowship, expressing gratitude in worship, study of God’s living word — all spells a dynamic community of faith.

We see the church as an extended-family living on mission together in how we care for each other, respond to needs and opportunities around us, and offer our hearts up to Christ. We seek a living faith that looks 3-Dimensional – Inward, Upward, & Outward.

My hope is as you invest in Mission Hills long enough, you’ll find someone a little further along, someone to come alongside, and someone you can invest in. Trying anything new feels uncomfortable for a season but we have a chance to make awkward look effortless! Glad you’re in for the journey!