When writing this blog I shoot for somewhere between three to four hundred words. This typical blog length hopefully keeps you interested and allows me time to post something each week. This self-imposed word limit isn’t a problem when I am writing about myself as I never hesitate to get out my red pen and slice and dice. However, when writing about someone else I am conscious not only of capturing the details of their story but also the emotion with which it was told. This can be tricky in four hundred words. Case in point here.
Darryl and Vonda Dozlow are leaving Northview Community Church in Regina, their church home of 29 years, to plant a church 260kms away. Whoa! That’s a whole lot of crazy! Oops, sorry that was my inside voice. What I meant to say was: Whoa! Read on for the beautiful why, where and when.
Darryl and Vonda had been praying for a download (read: message) from God and it came in October of 2012. Darryl was at a pastor’s retreat when he woke up at 6:02am with this sound bite from God, “Go to where creatives are who want to change the world, introduce them to Jesus through music and family, and partner with them to begin that change in their own neighborhood.” Darryl doesn’t normally get words from God so this was significant, specific and concise to say the least.
Darryl processed these words with his friend Jared Siebert (FMCiC’s Director of Church Development – how handy!) and as they did they focused in on the “music and family” piece. Might some people think if they didn’t play an instrument or if they showed up without a family they wouldn’t be welcomed into community? This led to a slight change in the sound bite. Their elevator pitch now reads: “Go to where creatives who want to change the world are and introduce them to Jesus through compelling demonstrations of the third way and then set out to change the world with them.”
Darryl defines creatives as people who think outside of established norms and express their thoughts and convictions through visual art, drama, writing and music. They often see potentials that others miss.
And what is this third way? Darryl broke it down for me, “We live in a society that has this false dichotomy about it. One that says you’re either pro-life or pro-choice, you’re either pro-gay or homophobic, it’s got all these you’re either this or that. And what we realized is that in every case we could come up with there is a third way – which is the way of love. A way that brings us together rather than setting us apart. A way that draws people together and invites them to explore those differences in community and figure out what God has for us all.”
Ok, way over my word count but so worth it. Check out next week’s post to find out where God has called Darryl and Vonda to live out this third way.