Connecting Community, home-to-home
Mike and I have done the camp thing, the small church thing, the traveling thing, the large church thing. We’ve written music and curricula for small and large companies, doing that thing. This ministry of Cre8 became “the one thing” for us. Together, we discovered that in every conventional organization, we would find the 80/20 principle to be accurate: 20% of the people doing 80% of the volunteering. Not only that, but many left the spiritual growth of themselves and of those they love most in the hands of that organization without learning how to truly “take it home” and live an activated and positively influential Christian life. Frankly, this never seemed quite “right” for Christians.
Remember, I love words?
Well, “Christian” literally means to be a follower of Christ, a “little Christ.” When Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, he changed everything for us — he changed our walking IDENTITY! Jesus said, “Upon this Rock, I will build my Church,” and he was telling the sold-out-with-everything-he-had-to-offer follower Peter, “You (and those who also follow in such a way) carry my Name; you are a smaller piece of a Much Bigger Rock!” Then when Christ ascended to Heaven, he left us the Holy Spirit; and with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, shouldn’t we be… about… more?
So, Mike and I began to seek out ways to follow after the Lord more and more fully, and connect with families who wanted to do the same — families who EVEN wanted to spark opportunities for such living in their kids, too! As we began to draw from the “bests” of camp, and of children’s, youth, and family ministry, our desire grew to create a multi-generational worship gathering — one that would allow people of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest, to connect, celebrate, and learn from one another. We embraced “messy.” Mike wanted to see families grow together, and not apart. The question begs for an answer, “How can generations grow together if… we aren’t ever together?”
So, what’s in the name? What’s in the connection? What’s in the home?
The Name Cre8
There are 8 components to what we wanted to see bubble up into action with this people group! The “8” in the logo is also a vertical infinity symbol. You see, it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to create anything without the Creator, so in all of our expressions, we first receive from Him and then we can give back to Him the best we have to offer for the Glory that He desires from His people. Our purpose is to connect and celebrate with God and then with each other. Pretty simple. But surprisingly, the simple is not always easy… Some people just don’t feel comfortable connecting, and others are not at all used to celebrating or being celebrated! What we did NOT anticipate was how HARD it would be to DO such simple things. We found ourselves realizing that the life-style of God is in much opposition to what we’ve all become culturally accustomed to and comfortable with. So, the adventures began, and I’m THRILLED that my husband chose to fill his computer with his thoughts and Scriptures on living through these challenges. I believe we can face them, and together, we can overcome!
Cre8, used as a name, is a noun; BUT it is from the word CREATE, which is a verb. An action. The LIFE of a sentence! So we never wanted people to “come to Cre8” as if naming a place on a map, but rather to “come to Cre8!” Our “win” is found in families connecting with God and with each other, and then leaving the gathering place in order to keep creating through conversations at home and through actions in and around the community. That’s where the LIFE happens! (I love verbs.)
The Community Connection
When reading about the early church, the breaking of bread together, the reading of Scriptures, and the sharing of prayer and generosity… Mike became like a King Arthur with his dream of Camelot. (By the way, the author of that classic story could not have dreamt up a place like Camelot if it weren’t already somewhere in the story of our Creator.)
I used to often say, “Michael! You are sounding like King Arthur again!” to which he’d reply, “As long as you also love me like your Lancelot!” I loved everything about that!
While living through the first week after Mike’s passing, I felt defeated. I even cried out, “Well, God! I guess ‘Camelot’ really is impossible. All Mike wanted was to see the Church BE like the one we read about in Your Word. Now what? Are the kids and I just going to go and do what everyone else is doing?”
Well, we’ve had months of healing, and we have been so beautifully surrounded by the Body of Christ, experiencing an activated community. Here is what I have discovered, and this is what is causing me to want to present anyone and everyone with Mike’s writings on how to Cre8 Community — The outpouring and connecting over our lives has come from “a few people from this church,” and “a few people from that church.” And from “a few people who hop from church to church” and “a few people who don’t even go to a church.” (I hope you see my point here.) This shows me that there is a rising within every “church” that is the passionate walking IDENTITY of The Church. Can you even imagine what could happen in a community if from time-to-time, such people got together? Can you imagine ridding the “80/20 rule” and connecting with a Body that is “100/100?”
I believe that if God put the type of community described in Scripture into words on pages that you and I can read, then we can walk in such a way with Favor — We have His Supernatural Power behind us to RISE UP and BE that Body. True understanding comes AFTER something has been ACTIVATED. I’d like to see this happen, and share the understanding. Would you? You see, The Church is horribly misunderstood. If there is a rising to happen all around the world, then we want to do all we can, sharing the small understanding that we have gleaned to this point, and DO something to be a part of that rising.
I don’t think ANYONE would disagree that the Home is messed up. The Home begins with you in your physical body home, and me in mine. Then when there is healing happening there, healing can spread through the walls of our unique family homes. Mike used to say that when storms of life hit hard, people will be looking for help from the homes still standing. I believe that as the kids and I are rising through our greatest storm, and connecting with others who are doing the same, that together, we can work on some great home repair. Then home-to-home, a community can be made strong again. You see, what would a broken school system look like if the homes were strong? What would our political climate look like if we had a rising of self-sacrificial champions? I hope that some of the challenges and writing, as it is made more and more available here, will help in healing individuals, families, communities, and beyond. Perhaps I’m grandiose to think some daily words can make that kind of a difference, but as the saying goes, “I can’t; but together, we can.” I hope that the interactive portions of this site will become full of activity. There is Power in Together. It begins inside of you and me.
Let’s begin to find practical ways to “take it home.”
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