Relationship, not Religion.
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In the beginning, God created the church plant. The church plant was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the city. And the Spirit of God was hovering over Northwest San Antonio.
And God said, “let there be a new church,” and there was a new church. And God saw that the new church was good. And God separated the new church from the other churches. God called the new church Grace, and the other churches he called traditional. And there were evenings and there were mornings, the first year.
And God said, “let there be a new vision for the new church, and let it be different from the other churches. And God gave the new vision and separated the new church from the traditional churches. And it was so. And God called the new vision Relationship, not religion. And there were evenings and there were mornings, the second year.
And God said, “let the people under the heavens be gathered together in the chapel at TMI, and let the worship appear.” And it was so. God called the the worship “Fusion”, and the people that were gathered together he called Gracers. And God saw that it was good.
And God said, “Let the Gracers sprout service, service to each other, and service to the community, each according to its kind, from the Gracers. And it was so. The Gracers brought forth service on Sunday Teams and at GraceLand, and service with mission partners at Monroe May Elementary and Taking it to the Streets. And God saw that it was good. And there were evenings and there were mornings, the third year.
And God said, “let there be metrics in the strategy of Grace Church to separate Grace Church from the traditional churches. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for worship and connection, and let the metrics be lights in the strategy of Grace to shed light upon their strategy.” And it was so. And God made the two great metrics — # of visitors to rule evangelism and % of return visitors to measure connection — and follow up. And God set the metrics over the strategy of Grace Church to give light to the strategy, to rule over the evangelism and the connection, and to separate Grace Church from the traditional churches. And God saw that it was good. And there were evenings and there were mornings, the fifth year.
And God said, “let the people swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let Story Groups fly above the Gracers and across the strategy of Grace Church.” So God created the Story Groups and every living creature that joins them, with which the Story Groups swarm, according to their kinds, and every group leader according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed the Story Groups, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Story Groups with people, and let Story Groups multiply upon the earth.” And there were evenings and there were mornings, the seventh day.
And God said, “let the Gracers bring forth living creatures according their their kinds — family members and creeping babies and friends of the Gracers according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God brought the friends of the Gracers according to their kinds and the family members according to their kinds, and ever baby that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “let us make Grace Church a parish, after our likeness. And let Grace Church have influence over the de-churched people and over the un-churched people and over the should-have-been churched people and the need-to-be-churched people and over all of the people I will bring to them.”
So God made Grace Church a parish in his image,
In the image of God he created Grace;
Male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the chapel at TMI and subdue it, and have influence over the churched and the un-churched and the de-churched and over all of the people I bring you. And God said, “Behold, I have given you vision and mission and fusion worship. I have given you a place to worship and a place to gather. I have given you leaders for your teams, and staff members, and a vestry. I have given you servers, and grushers, altar guild and set up, an a/v team and a music team. I have given you a nursery and a children’s ministry and a youth ministry. I have given you connection ministry and follow up. I have given you Story Groups. I have given you mission partners and partners in the gospel. And to all of these that have the breath of life, I have given Grace Church.” And it was so.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there were evenings and there were mornings, the ninth year.
Thus the vision and the worship were created, and all the partners with them. And in the tenth year, God finished this work that he had done, and he rested in the tenth year from all this work that he had done. So God blessed the tenth year and made it holy, because in it God rested from all the work he had done in creating Grace Church.
These are the generations
Of the partners in the gospel when they were created,
In the day that the Lord God created the partners in the gospel.
When no partner of the gospel was yet in the land and no small church had yet sprung up — for the Lord God had not caused the Spirit to move in the land, and there was no church planter to work the ground, and the Spirit was going down from the heavens and watering the whole face of the ground — then the Lord God formed the church planter of dust from the diocese and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the church planter became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a church in San Antonio, in the northwest, and there he put the church planter whom he had created. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every leader that is pleasant to the sight and good for leading. The senior warden was in the midst of the garden, and the leader of the knowledge of religion and tradition.
A highway flowed out of San Antonio to water the garden, and there it divided and became four roads. The name of the first is I-10 West. It is the one that flowed out from the city, where there was food. And the food of that land is good; enchiladas and tacos are there. The name of the second road is I-10 East. It is the one that flowed out of Fair Oaks and the whole land of Boerne. And the name of the third is Camp Bullis, which flows out of Crown Ridge. And the fourth road is West Tejas Trail.
The Lord God took the church planter and put him in the garden of San Antonio to work it and grow it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely use the gifts of every leader in the garden, but of the leader of the knowledge of religion and tradition you shall not use, for in the day that you use it, the church plant shall surely die.”
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the church planter should be alone; I will make him a partner fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every partner of the gospel and every participant in the church plant and brought them to the church planter to see what he would call them. And whatever the church planter invited them to, that was their ministry. The church planter gave ministry to all the leaders and to the partners in the gospel and every participant in the church plant. But for Jay there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused years of committee work to fall upon the church planter, and while he served on committees the Lord God took one of his ribs and closed up the place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God took from the church planter he fashioned into a women’s minister and co-planter and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
This at last is soul of my soul
And heart of my heart;
She shall be called Jamie,
Because she is the partner of Jay.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one heart. And the man and his wife were both church planters and they were not ashamed.