When I Grow Up - Part 3: Bold Risks

I'm in the middle of a series here on the blog about what we envision Timber Ridge Church to look like when we "grow up" and the plans, values, and steps we're taking now to get to that point.

You can read part 1 here.
You can read part 2 here.

When I think about what Timber Ridge Church will look like in the future - 5, 10, 15 years from now - there is one thing I am certain that I want to define us and that is this: We Act In Bold Faith. In fact, one of our core values is that very statement. We believe that without faith, it is impossible to please God. We also believe that the message and grace of Jesus really can change our lives, our communities, and our world. So we want to follow Him with radical, audacious faith.

Acting in bold faith is not the norm. In fact, we've created a culture in many churches and places in America where the norm is to play it safe. We want to live protected and safe lives, avoiding risks at all costs. But Jesus didn't call us to be safe. He never talked about our faith being comfortable or sheltered or free from danger. He taught quite the opposite. Jesus has called us to live out a bold, audacious faith that believes and acts in a way that shows anything is possible for our God. At Timber Ridge Church, we believe that bold faith is birthed from bold commitment and obedience. If we want to have a radical faith it is going to be directly related to our radical commitment to Jesus and His mission.

So from the very beginning we will refuse to play it safe. When God leads us to do so, we will make bold moves and take audacious risks that are doomed to fail unless He intervenes on our behalf. We want to live and lead in such a way that people see God at work simply because of the risks we're willing to take because of the faith we've placed in Him. And we want to be bold from the start, because if you're not willing to risk it all when you have nothing, you sure won't risk it all when something is established and there is something to lose.

We believe that bold faith honors God...and that God honors bold, audacious faith. So we will exhibit radical commitment and obedience to Jesus in order that we might live out bold, audacious, risk-taking faith that honors our God.


When I Grow Up - Part 2: Maturity

A few days ago I started sharing a series of posts about what we want Timber Ridge Church to look like once we "grow up." You can read about the idea here and you can read part 1 here.

Today I want to share about our core value of teaching the Bible for life transformation. At Timber Ridge Church, our desire is to teach the Bible - through our weekend services, small groups, and other avenues - in order that people's lives might be changed. That means that as a church, we will measure success by life transformation. The trend in some churches today is to measure success and growth by Bible knowledge. Some churches are consumed with how much of the Bible their people know. But the problem that creates is that in most cases this produces spiritually obese Christians who gorge themselves on knowing the Word, but don't practice it and do what it says. Don't get me wrong - I believe that people need to know God's Word. I believe God gave us the Bible as our playbook & blueprint for life. But biblical maturity is not measured by how much Bible you know. Maturity is measured by how much Bible you do. At Timber Ridge Church we want to measure our success and our growth by Bible action, not Bible knowledge.

With that core value in place, we have the desire to be a church that is strong in it's spiritual maturity. That maturity will be shown not in the number of verses we can quote or the number of Bible study classes we can schedule. Our maturity will be shown in how we practice God's Word in sharing our faith, loving our neighbors, caring for the poor, and living out the commands God gives us in His Word.


The Weekend Update

The Weekend Update is a quick, bullet-style recap of the weekend at the Burleson household. Enjoy!
  • Friday was Family Day for us. We took Hayden on an adventure to the Children's Museum that is a part of the Ft. Worth Science & History museum. Cool place. It was PACKED with kids that were there for school field trips, but we still had a blast.
  • Saturday we spent getting the house & yard cleaned up and prepared for Launch Team meeting on Sunday.
  • Saturday evening we ate with some family at Cook's Fish Barn - a little place in Sipe Springs, TX. If you are ever in that area (Brownwood, Comanche, etc) you have got to check this place out. The food is amazing...and yes, it is a literal barn!
  • Sunday morning we worshipped with the folks at Rocky Point here in the Ville.
  • Sunday night we had our weekly launch team meeting. We talked about our core value of taking bold risks of faith in order to follow God. Great stuff. More on that here on the blog mid-week.
Hope your weekend was great!


When I Grow Up - Part 1: The Vision

I announced last week that I'm going to be sharing a series of posts here on the blog entitled When I Grow Up. It's all comes from a challenge I was given in a church planters training course to envision what Timber Ridge Church would be five years from now & put practices in place now to lead the church to that place. I shared the basics of the concept in an earlier post that you can read by clicking here. So today, I'm going to kick things off with The Vision.

The vision of Timber Ridge Church is very simple and succinct. Timber Ridge Church exists to move people from where they are to where God wants them to be. The vision is simple...but the vision is BIG.

We want to be a church that meets people exactly where they are in life. That means that we're willing to accept and love people just as they are - baggage, junk, and all. Loving people right where they are in life can be messy and it can get hard...because let's face it: All of us have made a mess of our lives when we've tried to do it on our own. But we're committed to meeting people and loving people right where they are - mess and all - because that's how Jesus approaches us. Jesus loves us - mess and all - and he died on the cross to convey that unconditional love to us.

And once we accept people just as they are, we refuse to leave them that way. Every single one of us - whether we've been trying to follow Jesus for years or whether we've turned our back on Jesus and tried to live life on our own for years - has not arrived. No matter where we are in life, we can all get closer to who God wants us to be. Plain and simple: None of us are there yet. In fact, we have a saying that we've started using at Timber Ridge Church already: No Perfect People Allowed. That's right - there are no perfect people allowed, because quite frankly there are no perfect people. We all have our own issues & struggles and have work to do to get closer to being who God made us to be. And we're committed to help people through that process. We're committed to walk with people as they discover who God made them to be & as they pursue the great purpose & plan God has for their life.

So Timber Ridge Church will be a place full of messy, imperfect people who accept & love others just like them - and who will stop at nothing to help others become everything God designed them to be. When I grow up...I want to love people right where they are - mess & junk and all - and help them see that, through Jesus, God has an incredible plan for their lives!


The Weekend Update

Here's the Weekend Update...just a couple days late!
  • This past weekend Johanna spent Friday afternoon through Saturday early evening at Stonewater Church's IGNITE Women's Conference with a couple great friends. Hayden & I had a blast hanging out together, although several of our adventures got cancelled because he was a little under the weather. And I'm so thankful my wife got to get away for a little while & spend some time being ministered to & have people pour into her heart.
  • Saturday was our 6 year anniversary as husband and wife. I simply cannot imagine my life without Johanna. She is simply amazing. She brings out the best in me and challenges me to be the best that I could possibly be in every area of life. I thank God every day for the gift He gave me when he brought Jo into my life. We celebrated by having dinner at the Buffalo Gap Steakhouse in Granbury...and is was G-O-O-D!
  • Sunday morning I preached at one of our partner churches, New Hope Baptist Church, in Gorman. New Hope has been beyond generous in their support of what we are doing at Timber Ridge Church! Their generosity & help is simply unbelievable! (If you'd like more info on what we're doing in planting Timber Ridge Church or how YOU or your church can partner with us click here!)
  • Sunday evening we had our weekly launch team meeting. We had a great night talking about God's heart for his lost children. And we threw down some massive amounts of pizza too!
A weekend spent with the people I love and sharing about the God I love...doesn't get much better than that!