Twelve months go all of us were in guided discussion groups as part of our Church Check-Up. Do you remember that? Together we discussed how New Life was doing on a set of biblical priorities.
When combined, the results provided a clear direction with concrete priorities for us in becoming a healthy, productive body of Christ.
We have made much progress during these last twelve months. Here are some tangible evidences of progress that I would point to:
- We have tapped more talent within our church body, including forming three new teams related to Check-Up priorities (Connect, Outreach, and Peacemaking teams).
- We have united together in prayer, going to the Lord quarterly in our Concerts of Prayer.
- On several occasions this year we united in responding to a common need (the unexpected funerals for the Jaskulka family and the Kowalski family).
- Numerous individual meetings as well as some involving groups have met and applied the Peacemaking principles in resolving conflicts in a Christ-honoring way.
- Elders and staff have gone through the Resolving Everyday Conflict training (a number of elders listed it as a highlight for them in 2016); many small groups and some Sunday adult classes are using it as their study this fall.
- The Connect team launched 10 Minute Tours following worship as a way to welcome newcomers.
-Our small groups are intentionally seeking a balance of Care + Grow + Outreach in all of our small groups.
- Elders have increased their communication with the congregation, including a vote of affirmation this past spring; and elders have become more efficient by having a lead team that meets twice monthly, along with a shepherding team that meets monthly.
- Over 340 of us came, and some brought friends, as New Life led Worship In the Park during Woodbury Days on August 28.
- We committed to live within our financial means and are now cash flow positive.
This fall we have been challenged by Philippians to rekindle our heart and action in sharing the gospel with those who do not yet know Christ. It was a driving passion in the early days of New Life. And in Philippians 3:12-15, the apostle Paul urges us to "press on," reminding us that outreach to not-yet-Christians is a mark of mature believers. Our elders agree. We have committed ourselves to reach out to people who need to know the good news of God's love in Christ. As you heard during last Sunday's potluck, the elders will be supporting and holding one another accountable for this in our monthly shepherding meetings.
Practically, what can you do as part of helping New Life "press on"? I invite and challenge you to:
- Be mindful of newer faces at New Life - strike up a conversation; invite them to join you over a meal together.
- Invite friends this Advent who do not yet have a relationship with Christ: The Women's Cup of Christmas outreach is December 5; our Christmas Celebration services with choir and orchestra will be December 18; and we are planning touching services at 3:00 and 4:30 on Christmas Eve. Don't come alone. Be praying now about who you will invite as your guest this Advent.
- Trust the Lord in praying together for His moving through us, as well as His leading in our search for a lead pastor and a head of school.
"One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)
Pressing on with you,
Posted on Wed, November 2, 2016
by Amy Henderson