Vision

Love Wins!

As most of you know by now, the judge tossed the case out of her courtroom yesterday. The official/legal language was, “Dismissed with prejudice.” That is a strong statement in the legal world and a huge victory for the church.

 

On the day after, I simply wanted to say a few words that I have been communicating to the church at every turn along this journey. If you are a newhoper, or you are just interested in knowing my heart and the heart of this church, I hope you will read on.

 

The heartbeat of this church has never been anything other than love for our neighbors, both near and far away. Love is the very reason we started this church 12 years ago. Love is the very reason we have gone to extensive efforts to be good neighbors, including but not limited to hosting many meetings at the church to work towards resolution, spending resources on sound attenuation, adjusting our worship and rehearsal schedules, and taking detailed audio recordings and video recordings every time any music is played at our church, both on the inside of our Worship Center and at the property line to ensure that we are fully compliant with the Durham County noise ordinance.

 

Yes, the church has experienced two major victories in the last few months. (i.e. The denial of the neighbors request for a Temporary Restraining Order against the church and the criminal case against me thrown out yesterday) Yes, we praise God for these victories but we must also remember, every step of the way, that we do not gloat or ever allow our hearts to grow hard or mean-spirited towards our neighbor. As I have reminded us every step of the way, let us remember these key passages of Scripture:

  • “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)
  • “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
  • “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
  • “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. (Psalm 71:1)

As a church family, let us stay incredibly humble and desperate before Almighty God. At the end of the day, we still want to do two very important things. First, we want to fulfill the vision God has given for how we Worship Jesus as a church! Secondly, we want to continue to love our neighbors every step of the way!

 

Peace and much love…

 

Because of Jesus,

 

The First Vision Night!

Last night, we had our very first Vision Night!  I don’t think I can ever remember teaching a group of people who were more dialed-in and engaged with the topic of leadership!

 

Instead of covering practical nuts and bolts of leadership in terms of equipping our church to thrive, the Lord led me, instead, to talk about what I called, “The Forgotten Foundation of Leadership.” I called it the forgotten foundation because of the disheartening, frustrating, and even sad state of affairs in leadership around the world, including leadership in the church. With Christian leadership, particularly, comes a standard of morality, integrity, and faithfulness to Almighty God. As such, I felt God leading me to make sure we start with the most important foundation. As Christian leaders, if we get this one wrong, nothing else really matters.

 

I laid out the material with what I called, The Diamond of Morality.” I can’t include it all here, but I basically talked about four key components of this diamond.

 

1.  Prayer and Devotion

2.  Exercise

3.  Maintaining your Marriage

4.  Consider the Cost

 

The central theme throughout the entire night is that Christian morality is achieved by focusing NOT on what we need TO DO, but rather on who we want TO BE. 

 

The part of my message that seemed to resonate the most with everyone was, Maintaining your Marriage! Listen in– the greatest insurance for moral integrity is a happy home life. Here are the nuggets I covered to help us maintain our marriage and have a happy home life:

 

a. Involve your mate in your ministry…

b. Surround yourself with reminders of your family…

c. Keep the lines of communication open…

d. When attracted or aroused, direct it towards your spouse…

e. Date your mate…

f.  Guard your mind…

 

Regarding that last point, about your mind, remember this, beloved, Satan is a headhunter and your sexuality is the battlefield and your mind is his trophy.

 

As you can probably tell, it was raw. I said some stuff that pastors usually don’t talk about. But, therein lies our problem. If the church is not speaking about such matters, is it any wonder that our children and some of our leaders experience horrible falls from grace.

 

If you are trying to lead anything, please remember this, YOU WIN FROM WITHIN, and the surest way to take yourself out of the game is to forget the integrity/morality foundation of Christian leadership!

 

Lead well – I believe in you and I am praying for you!

Souls to Celebrate!

The past two Monday evenings have been amazing for newhope church! First, Monday February 3rd, Abundant Life Membership Seminars were held at Central, Garner and Sanford Campuses. Check out these graduates!

Central Campus:

Garner Campus:

Sanford Campus: 

This past Monday night, Febraury 11, was the first ever GroupLink event! Lead by newhope‘s Connections Pastor Chad Lunsford, GroupLink was  streamed to Garner and Sanford. Across the 3  Campuses newhopers were able to browse  Life Groups and connect with others in similar lifestage, area or who share similar interests. Among the campuses over 440 people joined a group and 53 new groups formed– 12 of which formed from people meeting one another at the event.  Great job to Pastor Chad and his team! Here is a photo from Central Campus’ GroupLink:

 Stay tuned to www.newhopenc.org for more opportunities to attend an Abundant Life Seminar or a GroupLink event!

newhope Pastoral Team Roundtable

Take a look inside this candid discussion amongst newhope‘s pastors as they reflect on all God is doing through His church, newhope, at the 11-year mark!

For more information about newhope‘s vision to REACH, TEACH and RELEASE in the Carolinas, visit newhope church online.

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