There are two themes that we talk about a lot at Normandy, making disciples and taking the land. If you have known me for any amount of time, then you probably heard me share on discipleship and how important I think it is to be a church that continually makes disciples.
And if you have been around the last year and a half then you have possibly heard us say "taking the land". That phrase comes right out of our name, Normandy, and the history behind D-Day. It may seem difficult to wrap our minds around because that event took place 75 years ago. In a spiritual and practical sense, we hope to emulate the men and women that deliberately chose to live and sacrifice so much that others would be free.
In my first year of marriage I began to seriously pray about serving the vision my friend had for his church. I was also wrestling with my own personal calling. During that time of prayer and fasting and seeking counsel, I sensed God say to me, "plant a church in Dallas with the men you've been walking with".
Where in Dallas do we establish our church? What land is God leading us to take first?
If you haven't noticed, Dallas is big. Of course everything is bigger in Texas! And it is getting bigger as more and more people move to DFW. So the question became... where in Dallas do we establish our church? What land is God leading us to take first?
For the Allied forces it was Normandy. Normandy was their beachhead that allowed the rest of the allied forces to breakthrough into a continent full of oppression and darkness. For us, our beachhead is Lake Highlands. And that is why Kasey and I have spent years working, getting out of debt, planing, and dreaming with the purpose of buying a house in Lake Highlands.
Our heart is to walk in community and to have a big impact on the next generation. We are neither the biggest church nor the best church, but I believe if we will give all we got to this vision then we as a church will leave an impact that will effect generations after we are gone.
Think of the impact we will have on a community if we are together on mission versus being spread out across the city.
I know our people are all over the city: Plano, Richardson, Lake Highlands, Addision, Uptown (#trendy) and the M-Streets. If you don't live in Lake Highlands it doesn't mean you are any less a part of our church. It simply means you will have to be more intentional to partake in community and playing a role in the mission.
In a few years our kids will go to school and start playing soccer and going to ballet lessons. Think of the impact we will have on a community if we are together on mission versus spread out across a city. Not to mention, think how much fun it will be! I can only have so much influence with other men if I'm by myself on the sidelines at Jude's soccer game. But if I have other dads with me, our influence is multiplied and there is a community of grace and love to model for others and invite them into. Jesus said this in John 13:34-35:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I know that we can love one another anywhere at any time. However, think of how much more impactful our love for one another will be on the surrounding world if that love is demonstrated in the same community for 5 years or 20 years or 40 years. This has less to do with the actual location as it does with being as effective as we can in living up to our mission statement to "transform communities in our city and throughout the world." We gotta start somewhere!
God is pickier than you about where you live. Would you pray as a family and as an individual about "moving into the land?" Allow God to speak into your heart. Regardless of where you end up living, will you allow Him to determine where that will be? (Listen to Major Ian Thomas' take on it). Trust Him in the process. It took Kasey and I almost 3 years to get ready to move. And that's okay! The main question is will you allow Christ (not Normandy, not me) to determine the course of your life.
I am so grateful for you all.
Taking the land,