We believe God is giving us a new vision for the next season: we are a movement of hope for the city and beyond. We are all at base camp right now, whether you have been with us for one day or since we began this journey. And, we can’t wait to write the next chapter together.
All right, everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. We are so glad that you are here with us today. Whatever campus you’re at, can we just go ahead and welcome each other together? I am so glad that you are here with us because today is a big deal in the life of our church. You see, last week, we kicked off a message series called Missional Move: Hope for the City. And if you’ve been a part of our church and missional moves in the past, you realize they’re a really big deal. They’re all hands on deck. They’re moments where we all engage our faith. We move forward with God to new places and we’re never the same again.
And we said last week that a missional move is simply when you take a next step for the sole purpose to create space or opportunities so someone else can take a next step on their journey with Jesus. A missional move is when you take a next step to create space, opportunity, and movement so that someone else can take a next step on their journey with Jesus. So at the heart of every missional move is the spirit of pioneering. It’s moving into the unknown for the good of others and the glory of God. A missional move is when you choose to move forward with Jesus so other people can move forward with Jesus. And I told you last week that this is the biggest missional move we’ve ever done. This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done in the life of our church. So before we could talk about where we were going, we have to stop and look back on where we have been. So we said that it’s God’s faithfulness yesterday that gives us the faith we need for today. And we talked about five mountains, five major movements or chapters in the life of our church. And if you missed last week, I’d encourage you to listen to this because this is everything you like about Valley Creek. We said we learn to follow the cloud, and value God’s presence, and develop leaders, and make missional moves, and live the three circles, and we said that this was either your history or your inheritance. You either pioneer this by faith or you’re now enjoying it by sight. But wherever you are, whichever is true for you, it really doesn’t matter. We’re all right here at base camp together. And I told you whether this was your history or your inheritance, whether you have been here for five minutes or for 15 years, we’re all right here, invited to climb the next mountain together.
You see, over these past seven years, God has done amazing things at Valley Creek. We’ve gone from about a thousand people to 7,000 people. We’ve gone from one campus to four campuses. We’ve raised up 95% of our staff. We are a debt-free church and own all of our campuses. And we’ve baptized more than 2,000 people. That’s like if you can catch it, that’s like a person a day for seven years. That’s incredible. Like God has done such amazing things and what we said last week is this is not a you-should-have-been-here-when kind of church. This is I’m-so-glad-you’re-here-now, let’s-write-the-next-chapter-together kind of church, okay? So wherever you are, you’re at base camp today and you get the choice whether or not you want to climb on this next journey with us. And so I want to tell you what’s next for Valley Creek because I think some of you are here today because you want to know that. And so we believe that God is giving us a new vision for the next season which means our vision is no longer to help people take a next step on their journey with Jesus. Now, I know before some of you throw stones at me, we all love that vision and it’s been amazing and it’s brought us to where we are today, and yet, now we believe God wants to do a new thing or a fresh thing. And so we’re going to use my favorite board over here and I’m going to walk you through what we believe is next for Valley Creek. You see, we believe our new vision is to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond, that the new vision for our church is to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond. You say, “What does that mean?” Well, let’s break it down. We feel like God is inviting us to be a movement. You see, the church of Jesus was never meant to be a corporation or an organization. It was always meant to be a movement. The church is a force. It’s a community with a cause.
Jesus says the Kingdom is forcefully advancing, that we get to make disciples to the ends of the earth, that we’ve been empowered to go to all nations that the same way Jesus was sent, we are sent. And if you think about what a movement is, a movement is when individuals take their unique giftings, passions, talents and resources and submit it to a common vision for an exponential return. It’s all a movement is. It’s when individuals take their unique stuff, what they’ve got, submit it to a common vision for an exponential return. If you think about streams, streams by themselves don’t do all that much but when streams choose to join up and become a river they become a force that changes the landscape, that shifts the atmosphere, that creates the culture around it. You see, when you start to believe in the message of Jesus, you become a part of the mission of Jesus. And when enough of us choose to be on mission with Jesus, we become a movement of the people of Jesus.
A movement is simply when we all take a lifestyle of next steps together. So we feel like God is inviting us to be a movement of hope. Hope is not wishful thinking, hope is a person and his name is Jesus. You see, Jesus came to bring us hope. In fact Jesus’ primary message that he came to preach is Matthew 4:17, where he says, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Just primary message. Repent, the Kingdom is here. In other words, what is he saying? He’s saying, ”Change your mind, the Kingdom is coming. Change your mind, hope is here.” That was Jesus’ primary message. You see what I love about Jesus is he just gave people hope by doing whatever they needed. If they were sick, he healed them; if they were hungry, he fed them; if they were in need, he provided for them; if they needed a friend, he befriended them; if they were lonely, he hung out with them. Whatever people needed, that’s what Jesus gave them. You see what I think is so cool about Jesus is Jesus answered the questions they were asking so he could answer the questions they should have been asking.
Jesus gave people what they wanted in a sense so he can give them what they needed. Like think of the blind man, one day Jesus is walking by and he calls out, “Jesus, have mercy on me.” And Jesus walks over to the man and says, “What is it that you want me to do for you?” The guy should’ve said, “I want you to give me eternal life.” But he said, “I want to see.” Jesus says, “Okay.” Gave him what he wanted, sight, so he can give him what he needed, salvation. Or how about the woman at the well. Jesus gave her what she wanted, friendship, so he could give her what she needed, springs of living water. How about Peter? Jesus gave Peter what he wanted, a net full of fish, so he could give Peter what he needed, to speak to the purposes in Peter’s heart and say, “Peter, you’re no longer a fisherman for fish, I’m now making you a fisherman for men.” Jesus came to bring us hope, he doesn’t make us go looking for hope.
So we want to be a movement of hope for the city. See, Jesus loves cities. We forget how Jesus wants to redeem entire cities and entire regions. And if you think of a city, what are cities made up of? Individuals. And when an individual has hope, a family has hope. And when a family has hope, a neighborhood has hope. And when neighborhoods have hope, education has hope and then businesses have hope and government has hope and healthcare has hope. It’s amazing what starts to happen when you become a movement of hope for the city and beyond because hope is contagious, hope cascades, hope flows. When you get touched by the hope of Jesus, you can’t help but share it with other people. And so we want to me a movement of hope for the city and beyond in this little moniker, hope for fill in the blank. You’re going to start seeing it all over the place. Hope for what? Hope for you, hope for your marriage, hope for your kids, hope for school, hope for your finances, your career, your calling, hope for Marcus and Flower Mountain and Lewisville and Denton and Guyer. Hope for whatever you want and put in there because we want to be a movement of hope, okay? And so the way we do that is two things, harbors and hope carriers. You see years ago, we had this prophetic word in our church where we said that like a campus –a church campus is like a harbor. And there’s this old saying that says, “Ships in a harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” Ships aren’t made to be in a harbor, they’re made to be out there sailing the ocean, doing their purpose. But every ship needs a harbor, make no mistake about it. At some point in time, a ship has to come into a harbor and it pulls in and it unloads its garbage and gets rid of its refuse and gets filled up fresh with fuel, gets new cargo, a new crew and a new mission and then it goes back out to do what it was created to do. Well, years ago we discovered that Christians in a church are safe but that’s not what Christians are made for. And yet every follower of Jesus needs a harbor.
See, you were made to be out there in the world, bringing hope to the world around you, but you need a harbor where you pull in and you unload the garbage in your heart, the bitterness, the anxiety, the anger, the sin, the brokenness, the defunction. You get filled up fresh with the presence of God. You hear a fresh word from God. You get reminded and inspired by the people of God so that you can go back out and live out your life mission and purpose. So we want to create harbors, harbors of hope that raise up hope carriers to carry hope to the areas of life. And so our strategy is simply you, people. Our strategy is to help people take the next step on their journey with Jesus from lost to leaders. So there you go, we didn’t lose it. We took our vision and we moved it to our strategy because God has given us a bigger vision. And now, our old vision becomes our strategy. You see, all of us start lost or hopeless. The Bible tells us everyone of us starts without God and without hope in this world, and so it’s our job to reach, connect and develop them.
Reach them right where there are, connect them to God and to his people and develop them into their life purpose. And as they start taking next steps, they start to discover who they are, who God is, and what they were created to do. And as they receive his grace, they start to experience his presence, they’ll start releasing his kingdom, and eventually, at some point, they become a kingdom leader. Now, they’re happy because they have a heart. You see, we really believe that every follower of Jesus is a kingdom leader. You’ve heard me say this for years if you’ve been here. Think about it. You have the spirit of God inside of you, the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, you are the head and not the tail. You have the keys of the kingdom. You’ve been empowered by Jesus, commissioned by Jesus and yet, we struggle to believe that. For some reason, the average person struggles to see themselves as a kingdom leader, even though they are. So we are not so prideful and arrogant that we’re going to keep driving vocabulary that doesn’t work. And so if you can’t see yourself as a kingdom leader, maybe you can see yourself as a hope carrier.
All of a sudden, it’s like, “Wait a second, I can carry hope. I might not think of myself as a kingdom leader, which I am, but that’s okay. But I could be a hope carrier.” See, the Bible says, “Within you is at treasure chest of hope that’s just waiting to be opened and shared with the world around you.” And so all of a sudden, when you start going from hopeless to becoming a hope carrier, it changes everything about how you view what you do in your daily life. You see, Romans 5:17 says, “Even though death reigned through one man, how much more will those who receive the abundant provision of grace, the gift of righteousness reign in life through one man, Jesus.” In other words, in Jesus, we’re called to rule and reign with him, but where? I would submit to you, not primarily in the church.
I mean, if you think about this, the Kingdom of God is a movement of hope. That’s what it is. Jesus said it’s forcefully advancing, it’s bringing heaven to earth, and where heaven is, there is always hope. And what you have to understand is that the church and the kingdom are not the same thing. The church is a part of the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is much bigger. The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God wherever it’s wanted. It’s where everything is submitted and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. So God doesn’t just want his rule and reign in the church, God wants all things to be submitted and surrendered like family, education, health care, business, government, media, sports and technology. That’s where God wants his kingdom to come. In fact, if you think of the first thing God says to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it.” He says, “Hey, take hope to the ends of the earth.” Or how about 1 John 3:8 that says, “Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.”
Well, we’re sent to do the same thing as Jesus did, and I would just submit to you that the works of the devil don’t primarily need to be destroyed in church. If they do, that’s a bad church. The works of the devil need to be destroyed in family, in education, in health care, in business, in government, right? I mean, think about it, Jesus says in Matthew 28, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” When we think making disciples of all nations, we think of like Pakistan and Azerbaijan. And we think of a little missionary standing there with a Bible on the street corner telling people to repent. Okay, but maybe we need to change our thought on that. When Jesus says, “Make disciples of all nations.” The word nations is the word ethnos, that means people groups. Listen, people don’t just group by the country they live in, they group by the area of life in which they exist. And I would just submit to you, Hollywood has more influence than Pakistan. The NFL has more influence than Azerbaijan. Would you agree with that?
So maybe we need to change our mindset and start thinking the areas of life instead of just nation. See, Jesus says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. And within the Kingdom of Heaven is the answers for all of the problems in the world.” All poverty, and disease, and sickness, and chaos, and divorce, and brokenness, and pain, the answers are contained in the Kingdom of God. Well, if the Kingdom of God is in you, then when you show up in the areas of life that you go every single day, guess what? Hope just walked in the door. The hope of heaven just walked in because you walked in. And the kingdom is within you, and hope is within you. That’s why Jesus says, “Pray. Father, your kingdom come, your will be done on — Not the church. Earth. The areas of life as it is in heaven.
See, we’ve got to stop separating sacred and secular. We think sacred is the one hour we show up here a week and the rest of this is secular. No, no, no, if the Kingdom of God is within you and you’re a hope carrier, all of this is sacred. Everywhere you go, all the time, it’s sacred space. See, Jesus tells us we’re three things, salt, light and leaven. Salt, it’s not meant to be on one spot on your plate, it’s meant to be sprinkled out to bring flavor. Light, isn’t meant to be just in one spot, it’s meant to be spread out in all of the darkness. Leaven, you put a little bit of leaven in a lump of dough and it makes the whole thing rise. But if you put all the leaven in the lump and you put it in your oven, it will explode your oven. This is why churches explode because all the leaven is not supposed to be here, the leaven is supposed to be spread out here to make all things rise. We are the people of God sent out by our harbors to bring hope to the areas we go every single day. Are you with me on that so far?
Okay, so listen. Just think of who we have in this church, moms and dads, and sons, and daughters, and cousins, and nieces, and nephews, we have teachers, and principals, and educators, and trainers. We have doctors, and dentists, and nurses, and administrators. We have CEOs, and business owners, and employees, and sales people, and managers. We have town officials, and mayors, and town council people, and police officers, and fire fighters, and civil servants. We have artists, and musicians, and people who are newscasters. We have people who spend their whole life with social media influencing — influencing the world through social media as a life, as a profession. We have professional athletes and coaches, and trainers. We have people that understand technology, amazing, and then that all kinds of technology sectors nest, that’s who we have in this church.
Why on earth do we want to hold them all right here? We got to start realizing all of these is sacred space because the Hope of Heaven is in you and this is where it’s supposed to go. Like where are you? Where do you already have an area of influence? Because guess what, every single day, you walk into some of these spaces, maybe more than one. And when you walk in, the Hope of Heaven just walked in. See, this is what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t raise up a bunch of church pastors. No, no, no, Jesus raised up family men, Jesus raised up businessmen, they were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. And I submit to you that Judas worked in the technology sector. Always fails you when you needed the most. I’m just saying, I think there’s a reason Judas was taking money from the money bag because there’s always an upgrade that’s really expensive, that no one can afford. You know what I’m saying? Come on, are you with me on this?
See, here’s what I’m trying to tell you, hope leads. Hope leads. It doesn’t matter what your job is, what your title is, what your role is. If you show up in any of these spaces with hope, you’re the influencing agent. If you’ve ever read the Old Testament and got stressed out when God tells them to go in and kill everybody when they go in and take the land and it didn’t compute in your mind. You have to remember, in the Old Testament, sin was the influencing agent. So if the people of God got around sin, they became contaminated by sin, but now what Jesus has done, righteousness is the influencing agent. So when we show up with hope, the world doesn’t influence us, we influence the world.
What they took by force, we now take by hope. That’s why Romans 15:13 says, “The God of hope will fill you with hope until you radiate with hope.” You literally become radioactive, and when you walk in to these spaces, you start to change the entire atmosphere. So our dream is to see you live God’s dream for your life, and God’s dream for your life is that you would be a hope carrier in this space. We are movement of hope for the city and beyond by creating harbors, campuses that build up hope carriers and send them out into the world. One next step at a time, from lost to leader, hopeless to hope carrier, and going into the areas of life, which means we are one church that meets at multiple campuses but brings the hope of Jesus to thousands of locations. We have to repent because we used to say, “One church, multiple locations.” That’s wrong. It’s one church, multiple campuses. We exist in thousands of locations because we are wherever you are.
So that’s our new vision. Now — How do we get that started? Well, this is our year of pioneering. This is our year of taking new ground together, and so this year is a really big year for our church. We’re going to do two missional moves this year. Two major missional moves and let me just walk you through this for a second. If you remember the story of The Parable of the Talents, Jesus says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a master who gave talents to three different guys. One guy got one, one guy got two, one guy got five. He left. They were supposed to put them to work. And when the master came back, the guy that had two had worked really hard and he turned his two into four. And the master came back and he submitted it to the master, he doubled it, two to four. And the master says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And this summer, as I was reading that story, I felt like the Lord brought my attention to it and he said, that’s Valley Creek. See, a church plant would have been the guy with one talent, and the church that’s thriving would have been the guy with five talents. We got two talents seven years ago. We had a building, some people, we were okay but we had a long way to go. And so we took those two talents and we did everything we know how to do.
We worked hard, and we were faithful, and we submitted, and we made mistakes, and we didn’t get everything right, but man, we gave it everything we’ve got. And here we are, seven years later, we took two we turned it into four. The master came back and he said, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” But what we always forget in that story is the very next morning after the party, the guy has four, and he is now expected to go and put those four to work, and turn it into eight. You see, the great danger of success is fear of losing what you have. It’s really easy to risk something when you don’t feel like you have a lot. The problem is, is as you start to have success in life and you start to move forward, all of a sudden, you start becoming afraid of losing what you’ve got. And so the Lord was speaking all that to my heart and I felt like he was inviting us to double down. Because see, the great danger for our church right now is we got a good thing going. Don’t mess with the four talents, let’s just party and enjoy it, and then be comfortable and convenient and have good church.
It works. Let’s do it. But God is saying, “I want you to double down. I want you to take everything I’ve given you and I want to see if you trust me, and if you put it back in the middle of the table and say, let’s risk it all again and go for it.” See, sometimes you have to give God your future so you can discover your destiny. Sometimes you have to let go and risk what’s in your hand so you can discover what’s in God’s heart. Everything in your life is meant to be fruitful and multiply to increase and advance. But the only way you do that is by doubling down and putting it back in. So we feel like God is inviting us to double down. So Missional Move: Hope for the City is about going from four campuses that we have to eight in the next four years. Let me walk you through this. Right now, right now, these are our four campuses, Flower Mound, The Venue, Denton, and Lewisville.
And we’ve watched this, there’s this incredible symbiotic effect that’s begun to happen as we’ve worked together. And so we feel like God is inviting us to double down, take everything we’ve got, put it back in the middle of the game, and say, “God, we’re going for it for your glory.” And so we feel like God’s inviting us to start a university campus. You see, if you think about the university, there’s 50,000 students at UNT, TWU, NCTC, they are the next generation leaders and we want to provide a campus for them. And then we want to do a campus in Gainesville. Gainesville is the gateway to Texas. It’s the first city you come in when you come to Texas. And so there’s a spiritual significance in that and it will allow us to reach the entire the Red River region. And then we feel like God is inviting us to start one in Northlake, Argyle, or Roanoke. Somewhere in this area, this is one of the fastest growing areas in the DFW Metroplex, and it allows us to reach a whole lot of people. And the fourth one, we have no idea.
The fourth one, we feel like as we get these ones going, God is going to speak to us and here’s what we’ve sensed from God. What if we just drew a big circle around North Texas and said “We’re going to own it in Jesus’ name”? What if we just decided — hang on. What if we just decided to go from being a church for a city, a city, that’s where we started, to a church for a region. That says we want to create multiple opportunities for every individual in this geographic space to have repeated encounters with the hope of Jesus. Jeremiah 29 says, “Seek the peace of the city.” We’re literally commissioned by God to seek the peace of the region in which we live in. So what if we just own the lostness, the brokenness, and the pain in this space and said, “We want to provide a harbor every 20 minutes in this area so that people who are far from God can find hope in Jesus, so every student can have a hub in their school district, and every kid can find out that God is good.
And so this is Missional Move: Hope for the City, four campuses over the next four years, central office building to allow our staff to be able to take care of eight campuses and retrofitting some of the Flower Mound space. And then, in the fall, we’re going to come back around. We’re going to do the next missional move. We’re not sure what this is called yet, but it’s going to be a missional move around the areas of life. See, this is so big to be a hope carrier that to do a sermon series on this would do nothing. It literally has to reprogram the way we think. What would it be like if we raise people up with wisdom, creativity, integrity, excellence and servanthood in all of these spaces as hope carriers? Catch this. What would it will be like to start getting teachers together and say, “Let’s dream about what the Kingdom of God looks like in the classroom.” What would it be like to get business owners together and say, “Let’s dream about God’s Kingdom in business?” or coaches and say, “Let’s dream about what God’s Kingdom would look like as a coach?” So this will all be about hope carriers later this fall, but we’re starting with harbors. And if you go to the map for me, I want you to see how this works together.
These are symbiotic. It’s not one or the other. If you want to be a movement of hope, you need harbors and hope carriers. See, think of a person who lives in Gainesville. Let’s say their neighbor is a hope carrier. So every day they get touched by the hope of their neighbor and they drive by the harbor, the campus that they see in Gainesville. And they come down and they go to the dentist in Denton and their dentist goes to the Denton campus. So he’s a hope carrier and creates an atmosphere of hope in his office. And they come shopping down at the shops at Highland Village and the person that checks them out is a hope carrier. And they go back home and they go on Facebook and three of their friends have posted something from Valley Creek about hope. And all of a sudden, everywhere they go, there’s hope. Imagine there’s a university student and she goes to class and the girl sitting next to her is a hope carrier and her teacher is a hope carrier, and her coach is a hope carrier. And she goes to the stylist in Flower Mound and that person is a hope carrier and talks to her about hope. And she goes and buys a used car in Lewisville and the car salesman is a hope carrier and has a conversation with her.
She’s like she can’t get away from it. Imagine there’s a little boy and he was a soccer player and his — the kid that he sits next to in class is a hope carrier. His teacher is a hope carrier. He’s in a soccer team in Denton. The coach goes to the Denton campus as a hope carrier. Her mom’s best friend lives in Argyle. She goes to this campus. So when I hang out there, there’s a hope carrier. You’re catching this, right? Imagine a businessman in Flower Mound, takes his kid to school. The teacher is a hope carrier, does a business deal with someone in Gainesville who’s a hope carrier. He gets in a fender-bender with someone who is a hope carrier. And so the way the whole thing goes down is totally different than what he’s ever experienced and it’s like these people can’t get away from the hope of Jesus because a group of people decided to say, “Let’s own it. Let’s give our life to something that matters.” That’s a movement of hope. That’s a lot. So here’s the deal. That’s big.
That’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done and yet God is right in the middle of it. And so it’s a big investment. See, to do this is a big investment. It’s investing $20 million to do all those campuses. We’re going to have to raise up 750 new serve team members to serve at all those campuses. And we’re going to need to development 400 new leaders to do this. It’s a big investment. And I want you to hear right from me out of day one this is not a cost. It’s an investment. A cost is something you have to pay to get through the stuff of life. An investment is something that brings a return. This is an investment into people, Jesus’ church, the kingdom, and your legacy. And so we’re going to ask every family in our church to consider making a significant investment into Missional Move: Hope for the City. We’re going to ask every family to consider making a two-year commitment above and beyond what you already give.
And all we want you to do is ask, listen and respond to how God would have you be a part of this. See, if you are at Valley Creek for any of the other missional moves, you know we don’t do campaigns. This is not a fundraiser. You will not see a thermometer in the atrium going like, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop. Like, no, we’re not going to do that. Why? Because I think it’s really sad when the people of God have to use worldly fund raiser methods to advance the kingdom. It should be the grace of Jesus that leads us to generosity. It should be the overflow of what he’s doing in our lives that makes us want to be a part of sharing that with others. See, it’s really important that you understand this, the Gospel is free but to spread it is not. Jesus sacrificed everything so you could have hope. You’re going to have to sacrifice something if you want anyone else to have hope. Someone else did all these for you, and now you’re invited to do this for someone else.
That’s how the kingdom works. And when we did the first missional move like five, six years ago, whatever it was, I was terrified. Honestly, I was terrified. I remember this day like five, six years ago, when we were just one small campus and just one small room, all of you are a benefit of what happened in that space. I was terrified. I thought, got up there, I’m like, “How are you going to respond? And what’s going to happen? Oh, how is this going to work and all this stuff.” Now, I’m excited to offer you this invitation. Do you know why? Because now I’ve learned what it does. I’ve learned what it will do in your life, in your family, and in our church. I understand the freedom it will bring in your life. See, think about it, Jesus says, Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Your heart follows your money. Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you.” You can’t outgive God. Proverbs 11, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” And Matthew 16:25, “If you try to hold on to your life, you lose it but if you give it away, you’ll find it.”
In other words, Jesus says, “When we give hope to other people, what’s happening is we are literally connecting our hearts to his, we’re expanding our lives. He’s filling our lives with new things. We become detached and free from the things of the world. We become a family on mission, and everything in our life radically begins to change.” So we want every family to be a part of this because it’s about you moving forward with Jesus. Like what does God want to do in you and through you in this next season as we climb this next mountain? And that’s really what it is. See, this is an invitation to build a history with God. We’re all right here. We’re all at base camp together. If you walk in here to there, or you’ve been with us since the beginning, we’re all at base camp. This is an invitation to go on a journey and take new ground with other people for the glory of God and the good realities of others. That’s why it’s an investment. And it’s where the greatest investments you make because when you invest, you bring heaven to earth into here and now, and you set up treasures in heaven for you, for eternity. I know some of us, we don’t really get that, it kind of stresses us out. Think about what Jesus says to the rich young ruler, he said to the rich young ruler, “Sell what you have, give it to the poor, come follow me, you will have treasures in heaven.” In other words, he says, “When you give hope to other people, you’re setting up treasure in heaven for yourself.” When we give, we bring hope in the now, and we set up treasures in eternity for later in our life. That’s why Ephesians 6:8 says, “You know God will reward each one according to what they have done.” So here’s the question, are you using what you have for the good of others and the glory of God? Are you living in such a way that you’re faithful in a little so that he can entrust you with much? Here’s the real question, have you ever doubled down with God? You’ve gotten all the success in your life, where you’re at, whatever you’ve got, have you ever come back around and said, “Wooh, wooh, I’m going to submit and surrender this to you, Jesus.”
“It’s yours. You tell me what to do with it because I want to be faithful with a lot, like I was faithful with a little. Because I know you’ll entrust me with even more.” So it’s an invitation to pioneer, to take new ground by faith so other people can enjoy it by sight. And hear me, this isn’t just an opportunity, it’s actually a responsibility. We have a responsibility to create a harbor of hope for everyone that lives in this region. We have a responsibility to put a hub in every school district so every student has access to it. We have a responsibility to create a space where every kid can hear that God is good, Jesus has forgiven them, they are loved, and everything is possible. We have a responsibility to create a Jesus-focused, spirit-filled, life-giving campus for any hurting person in our region. And none of us can do it in our own. One puts a thousand to flight. Two puts 10,000 to flight. There’s an exponential impact in return when we do things together and I know some of you, you’re like, “Bro, how the heck are we going to do that?” The same way the Israelites took the ground, “Little by little,” Deuteronomy tells us. One person, one step, $1, one serve team member, one leader at a time and you say, “It’s impossible.” I say to you. We have the word of God, the voice of God, the spirit of God, the grace of God, and we are the people of God.
So the kingdoms of this world can’t stand against us. Listen. If you can do your vision without God, it’s probably not a vision from God. We can’t do this without God. So I’m confident it’s from God. I know some of you are sitting here, you’re like, “Yeah, but, bro, what about me and my brokenness and my pain?” I know. Hear me. When the people of God take ground together, the individuals of God take ground in their own life. If you will take ground for other people to enjoy, you will find freedom for yourself. If you bring hope to other people, you’ll find hope for yourself. See, we want to be a movement of hope, not a few individuals of hope, not a conversation of hope, and not a movement of religion, a movement of hope which means we actually have to move and put our faith in action and if not you then who, if not now then when, and if not this then what. What does God want to do in you and through you? So I know that was a lot. So here’s what our ushers are going to do. They’re going to come and give you just kind of all this information in little packets. Once it gets to you at all our campuses, you can just grab one. This is kind of the quick overview of everything that I just said in a really simple form. There’s a movement of hope bracelet there for you because that’s not who we are. That’s the journey we’re going on. There’s a commitment card there for you to be a part of the journey and you can find out all the details more on our website.
And as you grab a hold of this, here’s just what I want you to hear from me. All I want you to do is ask God what he wants you to do. I’m not trying to convince you. I’m not trying to sway you. We don’t do campaigns. I’m telling you. This is how we do it. We need to invest $20 million to be harbors of hope for a church for a region, not just a city. That’s the reality. So my job is to simply ask you, “Will you ask God how he would have you be a part of it?” Two, your commitment above and beyond what you already give because what you give today enables us to do what we do now. Missional move giving allows us to expand beyond where we are. And we’re going to be walking this through with hubs. So our hub students are going to be invited to be a part of this. Parents, if you want to raise your kids and family on mission, we have piggybanks available at the kids’ ministry space that you can teach your kid what does it look like to give so other people can have hope. I can’t wait to do it. My kids are thrilled for the piggybank thing because it’s teaching them.
This is family on mission. And Missional Move: Hope for the City is going to be four campuses in the next four years, office space for our growing staff, and retrofitting our current office space for discipleship, developmental opportunities. All this information, you don’t even need to look at it now. You can keep it there. On February 17th, we’re going to have commitment weekend where we’re going to come and we’re going to make our commitments for the two-year journey. We’re going to come with the initial offering that we want to give towards that commitment. And we’re going to attach our hearts to what God is doing in this time, in this place in our city, and in our lives. See, some of you are sitting here and you think, “Yeah, but I don’t have a lot.” Jesus can take your little and turn it into much. Five loaves and two fish from a little boy fed 5,000 people. And some of you are here and you have a lot. Well, Jesus can take your much and turn it into more than it could ever be on your own. And you say, “Okay. But I got a lot of questions like when and where and how.”
We don’t know yet. Maybe you’re here and you own land in one of these places or a building or you have an office building that you want to give. Man, talk to us. Let us know what you got. Maybe you got a connection. We’re believing that God is going to do some amazing supernatural things among us as we have the faith to just say, “Let’s just own it, man.” You get one life. Like, you get one life. Is it really about what you want to get, where you want to go or could life actually be found in saying, “Let’s give hope to someone else.” Because, guess what, you can start campuses all day long, but if you don’t have hope carriers out in the real world, you’re not going to reach a lot of people and you’re going to have hope carriers all day long out in the real world, but if you don’t have a harbor to help them get healed, you’re never going to help people follow Jesus. It’s harbors and it’s hope carriers. And it’s an investment into what actually matters. See, the vision is clear and the mission is urgent. We’re doubling down as a church. We’re going for it. I hate to break it to you and by now, you figured this out about me, I just have no interest in playing church. I want to see the Kingdom of God come in my life, in this city, in these areas of life, in this time, in this place. So let’s do it.
We want to take ground in our lives, in our city, in our church, and in our culture. Can you imagine what it will be like to have a harbor of hope within a 20-minute drive of everyone in our region? Can you imagine what it will be like to have a hope carrier in every area of life? Can you imagine when this area is saturated with hope? See, this is one of those moments in time where you start to realize there’s more. And there’s more for you. You were made to move mountains, walk on water, and fight giants. So let’s go move some mountains, walk on water and defeat some giants in Jesus’ name so other people can have hope. Okay. This is not a you-should-have-been-here-when kind of church, this is a I’m-so-glad-you’re-here-now. Make a decision to write the next chapter with us. Climb that mountain and watch what God will do, because hear me, pioneers going to the unknown for the good of others and the glory of God, and in the process, they find freedom for themselves. We want to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond. And the next few weeks, leading up to February 17th, I’ll keep walking you through it. All I wanted to do is get it all out there for you and say, would you just ask God what he wants you to do. So close your eyes with me. As you hear all that, and I know it’s a lot. It’s inspiring, it’s hopeful, and challenging all at the same time.
What if you just say would you to Jesus, “Jesus, I just want to hear from you. I just want to know what next step you want me to take. Maybe you even say, Holy Spirit, would just stir up my heart, to give me eyes to see and ears to hear that what you’re saying and doing?” See, here’s what’s amazing, when you choose to start leaning in a direction of giving hope to other people, you’d be amazed at how fast hope starts bubbling up in your own spirit. Even as we start talking about hope for others, hope is flowing into your life. And so for these next few weeks, take some time as a family at a dinner table, in your life, have a conversation and say, “What is our family supposed to do? What does it look like for us to go on a two-year journey of making a commitment and a sacrifice because other people sacrificed so we could have hope.”
What is God inviting us to sacrifice so other people can have hope? And then just look at the grace of Jesus. Let that grace lead you to what he has for you. Jesus, today is a prophetic day for our church because we say, we doubled down, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the grace of God, we take the amazing things that you have done at Valley Creek Church, that you have entrusted us with, and we submit and surrender them to you, and say we’re putting it all back in the game and we’re saying, “Jesus, we’re going to use it with everything we’ve got so that you come back again and say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants. You have been faithful with a lot and so I can entrust you with even more for the glory of God and the good of others.’” And we will find freedom for ourselves. You are here, by now, a hope carrier and we are a movement of hope, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.