From the beginning . . .
DaySpring Baptist Church was begun in October of 1993 by seven families who were seeking and needing a new church experience. Their decision to begin worshipping together and ultimately to start a new church was a result of some pain and difficulty in a former congregation. While that situation is certainly not unusual, what became of it seems to be.
They made choices early on and also happened into some ways of being together as a community that have become central to our mission as a church. Perhaps most significant was the decision to not even consider calling a pastor in the first year. They wanted to rely on one another to carry out the traditional pastoral functions of worship leadership, teaching, planning, and care giving. They wanted to learn, but they also saw this as a kind of experiment; “What might we do differently if it were just up to us?”
These first months of being together and shaping church without pastoral leadership proved to be very important. They felt challenged and unencumbered. They listened.
This New Testament kind of experience of being together and experiencing God in worship became their primary reason for being. They did not move to create traditional programming and church structures. Although some of this was a natural result of being a new and smaller congregation, it also, in their infancy, was a kind of philosophical premise. They began to sense that, in their past church experiences, other things had become too important. Their collective suspicion was that too much “church busyness” would impact the quality of their worship.
Immediately they began to experience the community they were building as a healing and renewing one. This soon became an identity and eventually an articulated mission. The name “DaySpring,” the Sunrise, had been chosen from Luke’s birth narratives and this name was naming their experience. This was fresh. Church was the place to experience hope, the place to be filled up and sent out, not the place to be consumed. DaySpring wasn’t an end in itself. This was the thrust of their ongoing conversation about who they were and who they would become. They were convicted that institutional maintenance was not spiritually transforming.
In their embryonic stage, this small group was living this philosophy more than they were articulating it. They were deliberately saying “no” to some things. They would not worship on Sunday nights (a break from Baptist tradition). The church would not be driven by numbers and by the craving for church growth. Worship would be designed primarily to nurture disciples not to be “appealing” to the nonchurched. The organization would not be stagnated by committee processes and structures that would drain the vitality of the church.
They put their emphasis on creating worship and tending to the relational, intergenerational fabric of the community. They were choosy with programming, sensing that the community, not the programming, was the instrument of spiritual formation. They were saying “no” to things in order to keep the “Sabbath” holy and keep it as a day of rest for people, trusting that to be together in worship and fellowship was enough and that God would use that. They were saying no to being dependent on clergy.
This is the ecclesiology that they discovered together and which was articulated informally and eventually formally as the church's life developed. Now the philosophy is appropriately reflected in the slogan and mission statement, “DaySpring... Sacred, Simple.” We have become for many in the Central Texas area, a place of rest and renewal. While DaySpring has continued evolve and grow and change, the identity and values that developed during these early days is still central to all we do and believe.