Dear Saints of newhope!
It rolls around every year, on the fourth Sunday in January, and it is nothing less than the Super Bowl Sunday for our church family! Of course, I am talking about Vision Day!
As I have looked over the Worship Celebration at all of our campuses, I believe this could be the most incredible and God-honoring Vision Day in the history of newhope church! So, whatever you do this weekend, please make sure you are at one of our campuses to celebrate the past 11 years, while also looking ahead to the bright future God has in store for this movement. You can find all of our Sunday celebration times and directions at http://www.newhopenc.org/Campuses.aspx. Arrive EARLY and the word on the streets is that we will have DONUTS!
Vision is a peculiar thing. Some people, like the apostle Paul, get it in an instance. (Acts 9:1 – 31) Most others, though, seem to acquire vision over a period of time. That is, vision tends to sneak up on you and before you know it, your life is wrapped up in the unfolding of God’s grand narrative and you are playing a part far bigger than you ever imagined! (Ephesians 3:20 – 21)
One of my favorite stories about the United Nations (UN) is the story about Dag Hammarskjold, who was Secretary General of the UN in 1961. Maybe you have read his book entitled, MARKINGS. The book is Hammarskjold’s notes of his life as Secretary General, but it is also a diary of his spiritual journey. Hammarskjold was a mystic, believing in the mystery of life and the mysteriousness of God. In his diary, he wrote the following words:
“Summoned to carry it; alone to assay it; chosen to suffer it; free to deny it. I saw for one moment the sail in the sun storm, far off on a wave crest, bearing from land.”
“For one moment, I saw the sail in the sun storm…” I love those words! He continues in this section of the book, “From that moment, when I said Yes to God, I knew for sure that my life, in self surrender, had meaning and had a goal.”
My hunch is that many of you can relate! Many of you have been coming to this church for quite some time and in a gradual fashion, God has slowly but surely gripped your heart, engaged your mind, and mobilized your efforts! As a result, you find yourself surrendering to a vision bigger than any of us, namely a vision to REACH people for Jesus, TEACH them the Bible, and RELEASE fully devoted followers and other churches to the glory of God!
Hammarskjold could not necessarily name the exact moment this happened in his life. That may be true for you, as well. You may not be able to pinpoint when or where you experienced the newhope vision becoming a reality in your life, but there is no denying God has wrecked you with His truth and grace and captured you with the unfolding of His story in the Carolinas and beyond! When or where it happened is not that important. What matters is that your story has now intersected with His story and like Hammarskjold, you have found meaning in a God-size vision for your life and our church!
Beloved, you have now become, or you are becoming, what we affectionately call a, newhoper! You fully know that God had called you for a purpose! You fully understand that you have a spiritual destiny in this world! You are in the process of fully surrendering to a Vision that is so much larger than yourself!
This is what Vision Day is all about! It is not only about celebrating what God has done in the last 11 years, but it is also about looking ahead to a God-honoring future, whereby more and more people are catching this three-fold Vision for their lives and together celebrating the way in which our individual stories are collectively intersecting with God’s unfolding narrative and the result is, well, beautiful! That, my friends, is totally worth celebrating! It’s time for a Birthday Party, newhope! I hope you will join us this Sunday!
Because of Jesus,
To God be all the glory! We are so grateful for His favor on our newest newhope campus as we reach into North Carolina’s Sandhills in Sanford! On the Grand Opening Sunday, October 21st, more than 400 guests packed out the 9:00 am and 11:00 am worship celebrations! This past weekend hopetown director Maggie Burns and volunteers shared Sunday morning in hopetown with over 50 children– 38 of them first-timers to the newhope Children’s Ministry experience!
Check out this photo of the packed house!
Thanks to Sanford Campus Pastor Nate Marriner and this amazing group of volunteers who serve to make it all happen!