Coming Attractions

Friday, December 10, 2010
FUEL on Wednesday night was an amazing time. We celebrated Communion, worshipped with intensity and joy, and honored our Life Group leaders for a great semester. I also had the chance to share my heart with you as it relates to the direction God is taking Next Level in during the coming months. We began talking about this during the last FUEL, so our leaders have been praying and thinking about all of this for a couple of months.

That vision was borne out of Acts 1:8 - these words of Jesus:

" will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth"

These were some of Jesus' last words during his first time on earth. Here is what he was saying:

-You will get the power of the Holy Spirit when you are faithful to me in obeying my mission for telling people about me.
-That mission is this: you'll tell people about me in these four arenas:

JERUSALEM - your immediate community, the people you live near, work with, study with, and play with...and those you are related to.
JUDEA - those within a day's journey - your region.
SAMARIA - those who are near you but are culturally and ethnically different than you.
THE ENDS OF THE EARTH - those who are far from you, of other nations.

Jesus has not taken back or altered his mission strategy in two thousand years.

Over the last number of months, NLC's leaders have been praying and asking Jesus - "Where can we develop new initiatives in each of these areas?"

We have come to these conclusions:

OUR JERUSALEM - Stallings Elementary is right down the street. What if NLC was their go-to church, caring for the needs of their students, families, faculty and staff? We have begun to talk to their leadership about how we can serve them in real and significant ways. We are also investigating the needs of the neighborhoods that surround our campus - especially as they relate to kids and families.

OUR JUDEA - One of the great gifts that God has given our church is a stellar worship ministry with ridiculously talented musicians and worship leaders. What if we could help and encourage new church plants, multi-site campuses of existing churches, and existing churches that want to reach a new generation by a CD containing the best of NLC's worship music? And what if we could put that CD in your hands to give to your disconnected friends who are skeptical that church has anything to say to them?

OUR SAMARIA - What if we could MAXIMIZE our involvement at Rock Rest Elementary in Monroe, where 95% of the kids are on free or reduced price lunch and breakfast. What if that was a day to day involvement in the lives of kids and their families, not just a special event at Christmas or back to school. What if the eternities of Rock Rest families were altered by our involvement.

THE ENDS OF THE EARTH - In the poorest parts of the world, kids lose their battles by the time they turn four years old. If they don't get adequate nutrition and health care, their bodies and brains are set back so far that they can never recover. Compassion International, an international relief and development organization is trying to help these kids before it is too late, providing education, food, health care and vocational training for their parents so that they can break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness. AND they are doing it all while telling these kids the great truth about how much Jesus loves them. What if Next Level could adopt a group of twenty kids and their moms - providing this for them? And getting to know them through correspondence, short term mission trips, and personal relationships. What if our involvement and love changed a whole VILLAGE for eternity.

We believe God is calling us to do these things in 2011, even in a time of scarcity and limitations. And we believe that as we are obedient we will see the Holy Spirit's power!

It will take all of us - involved personally This spring we will need to come together to provide the financial resources and prayer support and hard work to make it happen. We're not slacking off of anything else we are doing, but we are moving ahead, taking new ground, seizing the moment.

What if.....?

Can you see why I loved FUEL so much? And why I am so PUMPED about 2011?

Much more to come...Church, our greatest days are ahead of us, by God's grace!

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