Below is a fresh articulation of the vision God gave me for the ministry at 4711 Westside Dr in Dallas that begins with Central Christian Church AND extends far beyond. Here's a preview:
SNAPSHOT: In 2025, Central Christian Church has transformed to become a center of community life. People come onto the campus for a wide variety of aims and activities. We have developed the campus to not only allow but encourage and inspire this. All the work people do here helps them flourish and thrive through the range of life experiences. Our presence among and alongside them enables deepening relationships, conversations about things that really matter, and companionship in the joys and sorrows of life. Through it all we bear witness to God’s Transforming Love revealed in and among us. We listen to their stories, and we get to share why we follow Jesus, and what difference He makes in our lives. So, is Central still a church in 2025? Yes! Is it also a community center? Absolutely! And thanks be to God for that!
Who are our neighbors?
How can we partner to bless
each other and the wider community?
Please join us here at
Central Christian Church, Dallas
4711 Westside Drive in Fellowship Hall
Saturday, September 8th, 10am – Noon
followed by a catered lunch
We believe that when we join together in conversation
to truly see, hear and understand one another,
amazing things can happen that will transform
our lives and our community. Won’t you join us?
Read more at CCCDT.org/blog/mission
Contact Pastor Ken with questions or comments.
Our primary goal with this retreat is to bring both congregation and community into dialogue around the mission statement and missional priorities, leading to collaboration and resulting in actual calendared events for late 2018 and through 2019 that are expressions of our mission and priorities.
In this we are prompted to ask: How do we partner? Who are our neighbors? Who is being left out/behind? How can we do better? What does it mean to experience transformation for ourselves, for others, together? We recognize that this calls us to affirm true transformation only comes when all experience God’s love, and that it is indeed God who works in/through/among us. The power is not ours to transform ourselves or others. Transformation is not something we accomplish internally or externally. It is something we receive, and something in which we cooperate.
The Mission of Central Christian Church of Dallas:
As followers of Jesus Christ we partner with our neighbors
to experience God’s transforming love.
This expression of our particular mission here at Central was crafted by the Elders over the spring and summer of 2018. Our invitation to the congregation and community is to join in pursuit of this mission. In the process we will focus on three particular Mission Priorities which are part of our legacy, are essential to our present, and we believe will strengthen our future. They are commitments that give particular shape to our core practices of Worship, Discipleship, Fellowship, Evangelism and Outreach. These priorities are being articulated as: Diversity and Inclusion, Creativity and the Arts, Wholeness and Flourishing. A brief word about each:
Diversity and Inclusion: Central expresses this in a variety of ways. though the congregation is predominately Caucasian and some folks might not look at us and think, “Wow, that’s a diverse group!” We are diverse in income and education and in political philosophies. We are fully inclusive of women and men in leadership, and of both straight and gay folks at all levels of leadership. These are significant priorities that distinguish us from many congregations in our community. We also currently have 4 different worship services on weekends which represent racial, ethnic and age diversity – Sundays: 11am Sanctuary Service, 10am Berean Ethiopian Church, 9am service in the Dog Park, and Saturday 6pm with The Gathering. That’s over 100 people per weekend worshipping on campus and online. We strive to serve people with a variety of physical and intellectual abilities – specifically though not exclusively through our partnership with Connecting Point.
Creativity and The Arts: Obviously we have wonderful music in worship, with talented musicians and vocalists focused on traditional church music but extending their range periodically. Our legacy theatre program Westside Players is currently dormant, but numerous folks would love to see its revival. A Sanctuary Drama Team is in development now! Last summer we hosted a two week Summer Showtunes Broadway camp and we’re hopeful to serve a much larger group in summer 2019 focused on kids from Maple Lawn and Rusk. We have several incredibly talented painters and there’s talk of a gallery show this Fall with consignment pieces. We have drawn creative dancers and cooks, and innovative entrepreneurs.
Wholeness and Flourishing: We may not be accustomed to using these terms, but we certainly know their meaning, and when they are present or not. We seek wholeness when we encourage physical health and wellness through tai chi classes (and soon yoga). We support wholeness when we host 12 step groups where individuals work together to achieve and maintain sobriety. We encourage flourishing through our partnership with Connecting Point – a program designed to help individuals and families living with disability to pursue their fullest potential in life. Our current Dog Park and former community garden are both expressions of seeking wholeness and flourishing through our partnership with God at work in creation. When we welcome people who have historically been marginalized and oppressed in society and even in the church – including the disabled, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBT community – we are supporting their wholeness and flourishing as well as our own.
A quick look back at our 2017 Community Impact Report shares even more of the story of how we partner with our neighbors. Click on the link or get your printed copy at the church.
The Invitation: God continues to call us forward in mission and ministry in this community, in fact a nexus of 6 distinct communities. The Mission Statement and Missional Priorities help clarify why and how we go and do our work together with one another, our neighbors, and of course with God. In the process we work to build God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven, glorify God, lift up Jesus whom we follow and serve, and share the transforming light, love and power of God’s Holy Spirit. What better way could there be for us to spend our lives and all that God has given?
Exploring Cross-Cultural References
Communication requires mutual understanding, or is perhaps the process of arriving at that understanding. My 8th grade science teacher used to say, “To hear me is to understand me.” One aspect of this shared meaning is cultural reference points, including our story-telling. The New Testament often refers sideways to cultural touch points, particularly agricultural, political and military illusions which may be lost on a modern urban audience. The authors also reach back to the Hebrew Scriptures and other narratives that would have been well known to their contemporary audience but which are increasingly unfamiliar today.
In a similar way, we need a shared vocabulary of current pop-culture references – the stories of our own time. Complicating this is that “our time” crosses nearly a century and 6+ generations, and multiple language, ethnicity, race, and gender identity subcultures. Our ability to communicate requires a shared body of narrative references.
Toward that end, I’m undertaking a periodic survey of people’s favorite stories, as those are likely the ones that have the greatest potential communicative impact on them. Below is my initial set of questions (and on SurveyMonkey here). I welcome your responses, you’re your suggestions for how to improve this project.
NOTE: We will be using this to develop future worship series and other teaching opportunities.
POP CULTURE QUIZ – What are the stories of your life?
HEY!!! NOW, you can take the survey on SurveyMonkey here.