Old and New [Todd]

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thoughts and an announcement on this last day of 2009.

-What an incredible year at NLC! In spite of the biggest economic challenge I have ever seen a church or a city (not to mention a nation) endure Next Level grew and thrived in numbers, influence, and increased passion...and, most importantly, heart!

-221 people told us that they made FIRST-TIME decisions to follow Christ at Next Level in 2009. This is why we are here!

-More than 600 people experienced connection in Life Groups through the year- by far our largest number. Let's shatter that with the next round of Life Groups beginning in February.

-Hundreds were helped and served through the Car, Home, Rock Rest and Spring Hill projects under Give:Love. And we are just beginning to scratch the surface.

-Kid City looks like an entirely new universe!

-We experienced year one in our new auditorium and put more people in there this past Christmas Eve at the first service than at any time in our history!

-And there is so much more to come in 2010...

-I love New Year's Day and not just for the football. An annual ritual for me is to trade out my old beat up Moleskine journal and Bible from the year before for new ones. I underline the passages I teach each year in the Bible, so I thumb through its pages and am reminded where God has taken us in his Word that year. And I read my journal cover to cover and reflect on where God has taken me in this part of the Journey that year..the relationships begun and changed, the books read, the advantures experienced, the heartaches and triumphs. There were plenty of all of those in 2009.

-And then I crack the spine of a new Bible and print words with a new pen on a brand new journal and ask God to take that next year and make it the best ever. To help me to love him more and serve him with more of me, to worship a little more intensely, to give myself away a little more unselfishly, to free up more of my resources for Kingdom purposes, to be that much more daring in connecting the people in my life to Him.

-Don't miss the chance on New Year's to offer yourself up in a fresh way to the Lord for the next year!

-And speaking of fresh, this is the LAST entry in the NLC blog under its current format. In the next two weeks, the look and content of the blog will change dramatically. I am going to up my commitment to share my heart and mind with you using this format. Four times a week - three times in words, once in video - I will offer fresh content about what God is teaching me, where he is taking NLC, what he is up to in the world. On a fifth day, another member of our Creative Team will post. You will be able to follow my Twitter updates on the blog page as well as check out the most recent things I am reading and listening to and that I recommend. I hope this is another way for us to connect and a way for me to teach more of what God is showing me. And I hope you will bookmark the blog and check it frequently!

-Don't miss the launch of Gone Country this Sunday - it is going to be an amazing series with some stuff on our stage you have never seen before!

Happy New Year, NLC and friends of NLC!

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