My Dear Saints of newhope,
Ahhhh – it was so incredible to be back in the saddle of newhope last weekend! I have so missed our church family and teaching the Word!
I have some very exciting news to share! For the third consecutive year, we are being listed in the reputable Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in America! Three years ago, we were the 10th fastest growing church, last year, we were something like 39th fastest growing church.
And this year, we are actually highlighted as the 5th fastest-growing church, with the 2nd fastest growing church in terms of percentage gains, and we were included in the magazine with two separate articles specifically about this movement to Reach, Teach, and Release throughout central, NC! How cool is that?! It all makes me a little uneasy because I fully understand, as I shared on Sunday, that this kind of stuff makes the Enemy mad! Also, just for the record, I have to make it crystal clear that we give God all the glory and honor for this recognition and pray His work continues in and through us so that JESUS becomes the famous One throughout central, NC and beyond!
This Sunday, we begin our brand new fall series titled, The Circle Maker! I have three questions for you:
1. Who are you bringing with you on Sunday? Remember from last Sunday, to have an intimate relationship with Christ, we have to care about the things for which he cared, namely, people far from God!
2. Have you purchased the book, The Circle Maker, from our Resource Center? If not, you can grab it on Sunday! This book will change the way you pray!
3. Have you joined a Life Group It is not too late to jump in one or start one for this fall series! You can reply to this email or mark your Connect Card this weekend!
I have always enjoyed American history. Moreover, I am a big fan of President Abraham Lincoln. He was not only a fantastic president during a difficult day in our history, but he was also an outstanding leader. For some reason, this morning, as I was thinking about this series on prayer, I remembered Lincoln’s words when he declared the National Day of Prayer in 1863. Lincoln wrote:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
I find these words particularly fascinating and relevant as we begin this series in the midst of a highly debated political season. As you reflect upon Lincoln’s powerful and convicting charge, I hope you will pray for me, our church family, yourself, and this wonderful country in which we live! When we work, we work. However, when we pray God works! We need God, church! We need God to do that which we cannot do ourselves!
I also hope you will join me this Sunday as we seek the heart of God and make sure His church, the newhope movement, becomes nothing less than a house of prayer! (Mark 11:17) I can’t wait to Worship with you Sunday!
Because of Jesus,