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The Future of Neue

I’m not sure what last year was like for you, but it was so intense for me that there were days the local news could have led with stories from my life. The realities of the recession, the real estate crisis and healthcare weren’t just issues for late night television fodder—they were transcripts taken from conversations inside my home.

I recognized that my life had equated to coping, settling and getting by—I’d completely lost the art of dreaming. It’s not that I’ve stopped living in the present or that I’m not dealing with the reality of pain. Quite the contrary. Dreaming for me means looking at pain and then imagining reconciliation. Dreaming for me means confronting my experience with the Church and trading it for the dream God originally designed Church to be.
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My name is Josh Loveless. In addition to pastoring my own church community, I’ve recently taken on the role of brand director for Neue. I’ve been in full-time ministry for 12 years and currently lead a church community in Orlando, Fla., called STATUS [one of the campuses of Discovery Church].

I’m not sure what last year was like for you, but it was so intense for me that there were days the local news could have led with stories from my life. The realities of the recession, the real estate crisis and healthcare weren’t just issues for late night television fodder—they were transcripts taken from conversations inside my home.

I’ve recognized that my life had equated to coping, settling and getting by—and I’d completely lost the art of dreaming. It’s not that I’ve stopped living in the present or that I’m not dealing with the reality of pain. Quite the contrary. Dreaming for me means looking at pain and then imagining reconciliation. Dreaming for me means confronting my experience with the Church and trading it for the dream that God originally designed Church to be.

I decided to take this job because I’ve seen through my own pain and experiences this last year that we as pastors and leaders are living “between the dreaming and the coming true” (credit goes to Robert Benson for that phrase). And that as we’re living in the tension of unanswered prayers, we must keep walking the streets. We must keep searching and believing that the dreams and promises of God will come true—not just for the people in our churches, but for us, too. I’ve taken on this role believing that there might be a few of you out there like me who are ready to start dreaming again.

My prayer is that in spite of the temptations and obstacles you have faced this last year that you will join me in this effort to dream dangerously. Though we haven’t all met, we are pastoring our cities and countries side by side. Through the Neue community, we’ll be able to capture God’s imagination for His Kingdom. But ultimately this experience will be built on one fundamental value.

We are asking for your contribution, not your consumerism.

Neue sees incredible value in what you think and what you have to say. We’ve decided to look at our blogs as conversations, not just a place for one person to write out a few musings and a couple other people to comment here and there. We’re asking you to co-create the conversation with the original author.

To lead us in these conversations we have recently invited some of the best up-and-coming thinkers and practitioners to help us dig deep into loving debates that challenge common assumptions and affirm uncommon insight.

You’ll find a series of conversations labeled THOUGHTS. This represents perspectives on theology, culture, justice, your soul, leadership, discipleship, strategy and some things we think are worth recommending. These eight themes are meant to stretch the way we think about our lives and the churches we lead.

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You’ll also find a series of conversations labeled PRACTICE. These conversations are specific to leaders who are building the Kingdom of God in various roles, including operations, teaching, pastoral, worship gatherings, groups, local/global, finances and church planting. These eight themes are meant to trigger conversations about the practical side of our everyday jobs. My deepest desire is for us to somehow be able to do this while also shutting the door on the copy-and-paste method churches have used to replace the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead I hope these conversations of practice return us to the unique image of God our churches were meant to reflect in our local context.

Lawrence of Arabia once said: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they may act out their dreams with open eyes to make them possible.”

Our desire is to create the kind of online community that would be known as a collaborative dream center. A place where we bring the reality of our success and our failure together for the purpose of shaping the direction of the Church.

We see Neue as a conversational platform in the reinvention of Church. With the collection of all of our voices, we’ll hold the kinds of discussions that can only be found at the intersection of thought and practice. We all become better when, together, we join the conversation.

Are you ready to dream again?

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