According to many, we are no longer living in a Christian nation. The times have certainly changed and a common expression is that this great land of ours has fallen from the ideals and principles of our founding fathers. The statistics tell the same story. A Huffington Post article stated that 9,500–10,000 Christian churches are closing every year in America. Another source claims only 4,000-5,000 churches close yearly— for every 1,000 new church plants. We are closing more churches than we are planting. Regardless, our nation is quickly embracing secularism, humanism, and atheism- even socialism and communism- instead of Christianity. Perhaps some of the most troubling news is that a million people in America walk away from church and Christianity every single year. Unfortunately this group is multiplying so fast it’s hard to keep track.
There are only a few things more rewarding in this world than to the see how God works
to change the lives of those who trust Him. To see God take broken lives, broken
families, and broken people who have lost hope and give them a new life is amazing.
The power of the Gospel is real, and when a person repents of their sin and puts their
trust in Christ Jesus, He powerfully changes their life. This is the vision behind the Annie
Over the past year we have had three membership classes. I enjoy teaching the membership class because it is a constant reminder of the importance of doing church. I love the local church and I believe in the mission and purpose behind church ministry. One perspective that people often develop toward the local church however, is the unhealthy attitude of “dating the church.” I see this mentality in people of all ages and varieties of backgrounds. I have tried through conversation and our membership classes at New Life to present a clear biblical rational for church membership.
On Thursday, Feb. 15, our church had an opportunity to demonstrate the practical love of Christ to a very special segment of the Goose Community. Working with adults with special needs, their family members and caregivers was amazing. This is obviously a passion that several at New Life have been involved with for many years. Reflecting over the night, I am thankful that there was a true spirit of unity and oneness.
We just completed week 2 of the Sermon Series Back to the Basics. This past week our focus was on Titus 1:10-16. If I had to summarize the content of this book I believe that Paul is trying to convey 3 ministry priorities to Titus: Proclaim the gospel to a broken world; Protect the gospel from heresy; Pass the gospel to the next generation. We will see these same themes emerge throughout this letter. To summarize these three concepts even more Paul is encouraging Titus to maintain a pure gospel for the next generation.
I remember one of the first churches I served as pastor having a deep conviction based on scripture that God had created the office of elder within the church for the purpose of producing healthy churches. As we spent months discussing this issue one young lady was enraged and eventually claimed that I was not a capable leader because I wanted a church that was ran by the “elderly”. Here is an important note: elders do not necessarily mean the “elderly”. As we begin a conversation about elders here at New Life there are two questions that are important to consider.
I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to experience Night of Worship together! The anticipation for the evening has been brewing in my heart for several months. As November 2017 approached I was overwhelmed with the reality of God’s hand on the ministry at New Life! I felt that together we should take time to worship God for His faithfulness over the past year. I also began praying that God would do an awesome work through our faith community in 2018. As we move forward, I think it is important to deepen our understanding of worship.
Over the last few weeks in the WE ARE series, we’ve been talking about what it means to do life together here at New Life. Two weeks ago our word was SIMPLE. Keeping it simple and getting back to the basics of developing a culture of discipleship is essential. This past week our focus was DEEP. Becoming a people controlled by the love of Christ is profoundly deep and beautiful. This upcoming Sunday our word is MISSIONAL. Living a SIMPLE life under the DEEP realities of God’s truth produces a MISSIONAL people. This conversation has been for everyone in our church as we have learned what it means for us to be a healthy spiritual community.
WE ARE is really an invitation to live out what we already are, a family. And like all families, it means a commitment to growing and going. To learning and loving. To serving one another and the outside world with intentionality.
What if the purpose of every relationship you have is to love that person and lead them closer to Jesus? Imagine if your mechanic, your barista, your child’s teacher all saw the love of Christ spilling over from your life. Imagine the gospel impact on our city if, together, our lives were captivated by God’s grace and loving others with compassion and intentionality.
In order for this movement to take place together we must see ourselves as ambassadors of Christ. Merrian-Webster defines ambassador as “an authorized representative or messenger.” When a messenger passes along wonderful news that is transferred again and again, the message endures and is multiplied in the process. Just like the little boy’s loaves and fish were multiplied in Matthew 14, so also will the gospel message be passed to the next generation. What we may view as small and lacking, can flourish and multiply in the hands of our great God if only we are willing to be use in that way.
It is only a few days into the New Year and some of your resolutions may still be going strong. But who are we kidding? How many of your resolutions have you already failed at?
Every year, New Year’s Day seems to be the day we beckon ourselves to "come and fail.” The pain. The anguish. The guilt. Why do we do this to ourselves? We know we are not all that we are supposed to be. We want to be better.
Our church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) make up the authors who contribute to the NLBC blog.