We are launching this blog for our family and friends as an invitation to the journey of where the Kanaday tribe has been for the last six months as well as where we are headed…with that in mind, Spring Hill, Tennessee here we come!
Give me some context and backstory please…I am so glad you asked…
As we closed out 2015, Shannon and I both felt a gentle stirring that a new season was coming. We have spent the last 8 years of our lives in one of the worlds most beautiful places, at one of the nations greatest churches, and under some of the kingdoms best leaders. Destin, Florida is where everyone wants to live. Destiny Worship Center and Pastors Steve and Jackie Vaggalis are amazing gifts in the kingdom of God. Who would want to leave?
Nevertheless, Shannon and I sensed what we’ve come to understand as a “holy discontent”. God’s providential leading was preparing us for His next. In January of this year we began praying and fasting to gain clarity on the season we found ourselves in. In February, it became clear that a transition would be in our future. During the month of April, while away on a sabbatical we identified two things: 1-our season at Destiny was ending; and 2-God was leading us to plant a church near the Nashville area.
Why Nashville? For the last 5 years, Nashville has been a place where God has spoken to us, healed us, directed us and invited us into His adventure. Spring Hill, Tennessee is 30 miles south of Nashville and is the 14th fastest growing city in the Nation. Once known for farmlands, it has now become a thriving city with over 35,000 people where 80% of the population is unchurched.
Our hearts are full and the vision has been made clear. In January 2017 we will launch Christ Chapel at Spring Hill.
So what will Christ Chapel be…..
Christ Chapel will be a life giving church focused on beholding the beauty and brilliance of Jesus Christ. We will be a Christ centered community of believers committed to equipping people to become the kind of persons Jesus is, so that they may do the things Jesus did.
This will be our vision…
Someone once said that “beholding is becoming.” Our great hope and highest aim is for the person of Jesus Christ to be seen, loved, obeyed and treasured above all. This will be what it means to “behold” Him. Beholding His beauty will ravish the heart and awaken a passion and desire to become a committed follower. Beholding His brilliance will engage and enlighten the mind to understand that Jesus is the smartest person to have ever lived. He indeed has the last word on everything as He knows how all things are created, exist and live. Jesus was not just a “nice” guy, He was brilliant.
In John 14:12, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”
Jesus heart was always that his disciples be like Him both in ABILITY (doing) and NATURE (being). This is what it means to become the “kind” of person Jesus is so that we might “do” the things He did. In Galatians 5, Paul reveals the kind of person Jesus is when he states the fruit of the Spirit. Christ’s life, death and resurrection was about us being able to participate in the divine life He provides which is evidenced in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.
But how can this happen? It is by grace through faith. This requires our complete dependence and absolute trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It also will require our effort….there is a huge difference between effort and earning. Although we lean in to Christ’s work in, with and through us, it does demand our cooperation and placing ourselves intentionally in the way of the Master.
Seriously though, how can the vision become reality? In a practical way, the mission of Christ Chapel will have a three fold expression which will seek to give life to the vision that not only could be but more importantly should be. The area of Spring Hill, Tennessee is most known for its General Motors plant. A new line of Cadillac will be made there over this next year. As God revealed His mission for the type of congregation He was calling us to lead, it came through the picture of a car.
The engine of the car for Christ Chapel will be DISCIPLESHIP. The dream of Jesus’ heart when he left the earth was for his disciples to go and “make disciples.” Jesus didn’t say go and make church members, children’s workers or dream team members. All of these are necessary and good but they are not the best. When the end goal is making a disciple, all of the others occur; however when the end goal is less than that, then one may hit the mark of other things and never make it to disciple. What is a disciple? A disciple is someone who is learning how to live from someone else. We want to be learning how to live the life Jesus promised from the one who is both beautiful and brilliant. Who else is better to learn to live from than Jesus?
The fuel of the car for Christ Chapel will be WORSHIP. Entering the life Jesus said he came to give is found in obeying his commands. Knowing his commands, understanding them and in turn obeying them grant access into the eternal life now. Jesus summed up all of his commandments in two. The first being to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing calibrates our love for God like worship. Learning what Biblical worship is, discovering what and who we worship and understanding how to worship will center our affections on the One who is worthy of our worship. This will be both a corporate expression and a personal practice. Worship is one of God’s greatest gifts that allow us to love God and so fulfill the first commandment.
The wheels of the car for Christ Chapel will be TEACHING. Teaching the scriptures and focusing on the commands of Jesus will empower persons to obey the second greatest command which is to love your neighbor as yourself. The gift of teaching is meant to bring understanding, clarity, correction and encouragement to believers as they learn to walk out the commandments which focus a lot on how we treat our neighbors. Teaching will focus on helping others take their love for neighbor to another level. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His disciples by the way we love our neighbor.
This will be our mission…