2012–A Year of Growing Roots

Downtown Omaha.

Downtown Omaha.

As 2012 is coming to a close I start thinking about where we have been this last year and what the next year might have for us.  As I think about the last year I can’t help but smile.  It has been a challenging year.  (There’s always a refining process when a new idea or vision actually starts to roll out in real time.)  We have certainly experienced that.  But it has also been a year of great favor for us.  We have seen God open doors,  give us relationships, connect us to leaders and grow our team.

Gifford Park Bunch Ball!

Gifford Park Bunch Ball!

The theme for this past year really has been one of growing and setting deep roots…in our neighborhood, in our vision, in our funding, in our team.

Cultural Celebration at Yates Community Center

Cultural Celebration at Yates Community Center

In our neighborhood we know we have been able to set some deep roots because of the favor we have found with neighborhood leaders.  So much so, that in 2013 I will be the President of our neighborhood association. (Not that anyone is banging down the door to be the GPNA President, but this is a very proud neighborhood and it is an honor to be chosen to serve in this way!)

Our Trick-or-Treating crew.  Yes, we were a formidable bunch!

Our Trick-or-Treating crew. Yes, we were a formidable bunch!

In our Vision we have seen God refine us and lead us into a deeper understanding of His call on our lives. Our Vision for Kingdom Family has been affirmed and refined and deepened this year.  Our heart, more than ever, is to see people discover Jesus and a way of following Him as an “extended family on mission”.  Our hope is to catalyze a discipleship and church planting movement!

Gifford Park Youth Garden Program Kids trying to stay cool under the shade of the tent while singing songs with friends from Big Muddy Urban Farm.

Gifford Park Youth Garden Program Kids trying to stay cool under the shade of the tent while singing songs with friends from Big Muddy Urban Farm.

In our funding we have worked hard to raise enough to funds to be sustainable.  God has been faithful to give us just what we need.  God has grown us in what it means to live this life of radical dependence, taught us how to share needs, and deepened us in our faith.

The First Annual Newminster Omaha retreat and scavenger hunt!

The First Annual Newminster Omaha retreat and scavenger hunt!

In our team, God gave us the best gift we could have hoped for last August.  Dave, Jen, Silas and Myah Collie joined our team and moved into the house next door to us.  The last four months have found us dreaming of what will be and praising God as we get to know this lovely family.

Leading five young leaders through a discovery process called LifeCompass

Leading five young leaders through a discovery process called LifeCompass

Two years ago I set out a short list of two year goals.  They were:  have a team formed, submerge well into Midtown, establish community rhythms, identify “third” places we’re called to invest in, gather our first apprentice class, and begin hosting monthly parties.  Here at the end of 2012 I’m grateful to say that everyone of those goals has been met!

Digging into serving in our neighborhood!

Digging into serving in our neighborhood!

Last year the goals we set for ourselves were to: host monthly exploration parties, lead two LifeCompass workshops, finish our pilot apprenticeship program year with Jared and Anna Landt, get further training in coaching, mentoring and spiritual direction, go deeper in our neighborhood and in the places God has prepared for us to minister, and continue working with Streams of Life Church.  With the exception of only leading one LifeCompass workshop, all of those goals were also met!

First Annual Pumpkin Carving Party!

First Annual Pumpkin Carving Party!

In addition to that, in 2012 we were in close personal relationship with 20 people who are spiritually curious, three of which are beginning to explore Scripture; we led two apprentices; and coached, trained or mentored 7 young leaders.

The dishes can wait.

The dishes can wait.

As a community our goals for 2013 are to be in relationship with 60 people who are spiritually curios and to be exploring Scripture with 15 of them.  We want to have 2 to 3 young leaders apprentice with our community. We would like to coach/mentor/train 25 young leaders.  We want to start or partner in four Kingdom Initiatives and one Prayer Initiative in the city.  We’d like to see one new community birthed our of our ministry this year.

A view from Midtown.

A view from Midtown.

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