“We’re glad you are here.”
That was the short, but powerful, phrase projecting on to the large screen in front of me this morning. A small theater at a local high school, with likely 100 or so people inside. You see, today I was at the first ever service for a brand new church in Vista, California. I know some of you reading this are not church goers, and that is okay. Like one of my mentors, John C. Maxwell contends: “You don’t have to believe what I believe, but faith and God are a big part of my life, and that is why I often write about them. If you want to skip ahead to the next chapter, go ahead.”
But I am asking you NOT to skip ahead today. Today’s blog is simply about starting something new. Whether that be building it yourself, or joining something that others are starting. If you are not a believer, no worries. I am not here preaching to you about my God. What follows is just an example. The fact that it has to do with building a church is irrelevant to what new beginnings have to do with your own personal growth.
Back to the story…
Anthem Church is that new beginning for me. The parent church, Daybreak, was started in Carlsbad in the early 2000s, and this is one of its new disciples. For the past few months the people of Anthem have been holding services in the old chapel on Daybreak’s campus. Today the church was on its own, at its new location, in a new city, and it would begin its mission of serving the community. The announcement of establishing the new church was made in March of this year, but then just one week later, Pastor Chase’s spouse was diagnosed with breast cancer. While things were diverted for a few months, nothing stopped and those in charge of planting the church continued their work.
I knew from the beginning I wanted to get involved. I was nervous. I had never been a part of something like this before. And I was a Catholic (some of you might think my pilgrimage to help a non-denominational church is blasphemous…and that is okay…you are entitled to your own opinion. My own cousin who is just a few weeks younger than me is a Jesuit Priest at the Vatican right now, so I can only imagine what he is thinking).
For me, it was simply the idea that everything starts somewhere. When you start something new, it will not be perfect, not even close. And that is why starting something new is so extra special because you get to create, experiment and refine.
And for those that celebrate Christmas, this is a great time of the year to start something new.
I am using the example of starting a new church today, because that is the “season” that I am currently in. I never expected this (or many other things) to be a part of my plan for 2017. Something compelled me to take this next step, even if many of those that know me believe I am already doing too much. This is all a part of the legacy that I want to leave for my daughters. To show them that you have to go outside of your comfort zone and try to be significant.
As Chase said during the service today, “The Christmas season is all about unity.” And for me right now, finding a way to give back that will ultimately unify the people of a community is at the top of my list. It is but another step for me in trying to make a difference.
For you it may be something else. Whatever it is, just do it. Start something new. You won’t regret it as long as you remain true to your own values. It could be as simple as beginning to write in a journal everyday. Or volunteering your time at a nursing home, or feeding the homeless. Perhaps you could find a way to read to children at a local school or after school program.
I wish you the best in your chosen endeavor, and whatever you do don’t look back.
Don’t do what I ALWAYS did by telling yourself that you will do something once you have more money or more time because it is a terrible excuse. I went through that phase and I missed out on many opportunities for growth. I don’t have more time, and definitely less money.
Stay humble and give yourself up to do something new, or more, or better. Enjoy the PROCESS and don’t have any regrets.