I Dream Of A Church…Part Two

May 3, 2007

This is continued from Tuesday’s post! Dang—I LOVE WHAT I DO!!! Thank You Jesus for blessing me with this church and these people…I know the best is yet to come!!!

#3 - Where People Understand The Message.

Recently I was in Vegas and went to see Celine. It was an awesome show…all except for the song she sang in French. Don’t get me wrong—it was a beautiful song, and the French language is a beautiful language…but because I don’t understand French I could not appreciate the song…and when it was over I did not clap because I had no idea what in the heck she has just sang about.

It is our passion at NewSpring to make sure that if people are going to give up an hour of their time that it is worth it…that they understand the message…that they can walk away with points of application. And this takes WORK…it does not just “fall into place.” We trust the Holy Spirit…but we believe that He is at work through preparation just as much as He is through spontaneity.

If people are hearing the message but do not understand what in the heck is going on…then my fear is that the applause of heaven may not be heard because lost people are not receiving Christ simply because the church has made it too difficult to understand the most simple message in history.

#4 - That Impacts The Community!

I want to see this community turned upside down for Christ! Someone once asked me how much money we give to missions…my reply was, “every single dime that comes into NewSpring is spent on missions. Anderson, SC is our mission…and we will eventually begin to see serious impact across the world—but not until we have IMPACTED our community.”

Don’t get me wrong—I am concerned about the kids who are starving in the world—but what about the kids that are starving here in Anderson? I am concerned about the sick and the homeless…but I feel that our church would by hypocritical if we sent a check off to some organization and patted ourselves on the back for it…but did nothing about it right here in our own backyard.

People have asked me, “When is NewSpring going to start a school.” My response is always the same, “On the day hell freezes over—we will start a Christian school.” WAIT…I am NOT speaking against Christian schools…I am saying our vision is not isolation but rather reach children, teach them to be salt and light…and reach so many of them that our public schools become Christian schools! THAT is how you impact a community.

If you are a pastor and God has given you a vision to begin a school…GO FOR IT! You have to be true to the vision God has given you. He wants each church to impact the community it is in…and that will be done in different ways. Our way right now is to provide a place that has environments where people can meet Christ and be embraced in community. We feel that is happening…but we are about to launch some things that will BLOW THE ROOF OFF THIS PLACE…AND…we are getting ready for some regional and global things that are going to be AWESOME as well!!!

#5 - That Grows.

I won’t go into this too much…this is actually a point in my message for this Sunday. (I caught myself jumping up and down while going through the message in my office on Monday…this is one of those message where I am afraid I might pass out!!! Warning: this message will either fire you up OR make you mad!!!)

There is MUCH debate on whether a church should remain small or grow…and I just don’t see why there IS debate after reading Scripture.

Look at the Gospels…they mention the “crowds” being around Jesus more than 100 times. What do I get out of this? Simple—when Jesus shows up then crowds are attracted…and once again, maybe the reason some churches do not grow is because Jesus is not there. Once again, just a thought.

I always laugh when someone asks me about Jesus losing followers as well. That did happen—ONCE—in John chapter six…and it wasn’t because He wanted some small intimate Bible study so that the finer points of theology might be discussed…it was after He told the crowd that they needed to eat His flesh and drink His blood (foreshadowing of the Lord’s Supper) - and people left because of the commitment required…not because Jesus hated them!!!

People matter to God…and they should matter to HIS church!!!

Folks…this is the dream that the Lord has given me. It is where we are heading as a body! There is a lot here that I did not include. AND…I would say to pastors and people from other churches that you have to seek the Lord and find out His dream for your church…don’t waste your time attacking ours—remember, we love you—but you will be ignored!!! :-)

NewSpring—don’t miss this Sunday!!! Pray that I make it until this without exploding!!!