For nearly two years (and perhaps much longer than that), we’ve been dreaming about something. We’ve been waiting on the outside of a stream, having no idea how far it runs, how deep it is, or how cold or hot the water may be. From time to time, we’ve dipped the tips of our toes into the stream, but that’s about it. We’ve been looking for a community that feels like home—a community that encourages us to be fully who we are, and yet demonstrates how we can be even more. We’ve been asking ourselves, “What is the Church, and what is our role within it?” We’ve been looking for a place of possibility. We’ve been searching for something beautiful. We’ve been longing for something that will prove to be impossible to leave.
In the midst of our waiting and wondering and searching, we’ve encountered others who’ve expressed similar sentiments. We’ve had dinner time conversations with folks who seem to want the same thing. Someone once said, “We are the ones we have been waiting for!” And we’re beginning to think that that may be true of us in this time and place. We’ve decided that now seems as good a time as any to jump into the stream. So we’re planting the seeds for a new faith community in Nashville called the story.
the story is a faith community in Nashville, Tennessee that seeks to live life with God in the way of Jesus Christ.
What will the story look like?
That’s a good question, and we don’t have an answer for it. Unless, of course, you count, “It depends,” as a real answer. We’re not sure yet, and we believe that’s a good thing for the time being. We want to grow organically and see how things progress.
Who is a part of the story?
Lynnette and Sam Davidson are currently functioning as the planters, pastors, leaders, architects, gardeners…whatever you want to call it…of the story. Lynnette graduated from Truett Theological Seminary in December 2003 with a Masters of Divinity focused on theology. This fall, Sam will begin working towards a Masters of Divinity focused on social justice at Vanderbilt Divinity School. That said, we value a team leadership style and hope to move in that direction as the story progresses.
Why the name--the story?
About a year ago, we developed a “blueprint” for the community we’ve been dreaming about (see the “blueprint for our dream” link on the left). When we looked over this document a bit later, the idea of “story” stood out to us—the idea of being a part of the story of God; the idea of measuring success not by numbers but by the depth of the stories emerging from the community.
Why another church in Nashville?
We are aware that Nashville already has too many churches to count. Nashville is a place with a church building on nearly every corner, and it is the official home of various denominational agencies. But sometime in 2005 we read this statement on the tennesee cbf website: “In most cities in Tennessee, 80 percent of people under thirty have not been within the doors of a church in the past year except to attend a wedding or a funeral.” That statistic bothered us. Not because people haven’t been inside of a church building in quite some time, but because we suspect they’ve had little connection to any sort of faith community in quite some time. We hope to be a community that makes sense to and is welcoming of and provides places of possibility for such people.
And so we invite you to explore the story with us—to come into the conversation with us. We’re starting this summer by reading the book Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell.