Thank You NewSpring…

Oct 12, 2007

I don’t know how you feel about lists…some people hate them, others love them and still, others ignore them altogether.  I am sort of in between on them—some I pay attention to, many I do not, however, one I look at every year is Outreach Magazine’s fastest growing churches list.

This year NewSpring Church was listed as the 18th fastest growing church in America.  Folks—I am seriously overwhelmed with thanksgiving and amazement.  It is undeniable what God is doing here—and as I often say—the best is yet to come.

When we first started NewSpring Church in 1999 none of us knew what a “megachurch” was!  All we knew was that we wanted to see people far from God come to know Jesus…and we believed (and still believe) that the church was THE way to evangelize the world.

We didn’t have a growth strategy or a visitation program—we didn’t implement the newest and hottest idea in the Christian marketplace—all we did (and do) was teach the Bible in a way that people could understand and constantly point people to Jesus Christ.

It was NOT our intention to be a megachurch—but it was our intention to reach people—and it always will be.  From time to time we do hear that our church is “too big,” I always remark that those people are going to hate heaven…there’s going to be lots of people there—and heaven isn’t going to be about who knows who—it’s going to be about us worshiping Jesus.  Shouldn’t His Bride (the church) be about the same thing?

(And, by the way, I never see it prescribed in Scripture than when a church reaches a “comfortable” size—usually around 120 people—that the community should be given the middle finger and told to go to hell because additional people might mess up the holy huddle!)

Folks…NewSpring CHURCH was listed.  Sure, God has called me to lead—but like Andy Stanley said last year at Catalyst—leadership is stewardship, it’s temporary and I’m accountable.  Sure, I cast vision—but it has taken every staff member and volunteer we have to pull it off.

From the bottom of my heart—thank you to everyone who is involved.  You are the ones who invest countless hours.  You are the ones who invite people to church.  You are the ones who pray for our church.  It has taken all of us working together to see results like this.

Now, a couple of warnings…
#1 - Let’s not become prideful!  Seriously, if you take a look at that list you will discover that God is doing some amazing things all over this country…churches are seeing growth and lives are being changed in record numbers.  NewSpring isn’t the only church where God is at work!

I have had people ask me before, “I guess you think NewSpring is the perfect church, don’t you?”  My reply is always NO!  We are not the best church…we are not the perfect church…there are some things we do well and then some things we don’t do so well…but the one thing we will always do well is listen to the voice of God and take the risks He leads us to take in order to see His kingdom enlarged!

Folks—we know God is doing this, there’s just no way what is happening around here can be explained.  We have a church averaging between 7,500 and 8,000 people in a COUNTY that only has around 170,000 in it.  I’m sorry—but there’s not a program or a personality that can accomplish something like that!!!  AMAZING!

#2 - Let’s not become complacent!  Sure, lots of incredible things have happened over the past several years…but like Jesus said in Luke 12:48—much has been given to us—so much more will be required.  Don’t give up on the people you want to see come to Christ!  Don’t ever think that what you do in this church does not matter—it does!!!

I love the fact that we are getting ready to launch a new site in Greenville and invest some major time and money into youth and children’s ministry.  God is calling us to even greater things!

Thank you NewSpring—because we are working together around the common vision of making the name of Jesus famous one life at a time—things ARE happening, even though, for some reason, that upsets some people.  We are called to do exactly what we are doing—and as long as we continue to listen to God, care for the lost and do all that we can to serve others—there just isn’t any telling what He might do next!!!  I can’t wait!