As 2017 edged closer to an end I began to pray about 2018, “Lord, what does this year hold? Where would you have us to head in 2018?” 2016 and into 2017 was largely about our new building, getting the work done and getting moved in. It also involved filling staff positions. After the move in, 2017 was a period to settle into all the changes and new roles. It was a really good year for us in all of those areas and by God’s grace New City Church has grown. In fact, we closed out 2017 preparing to move to two services in order to handle the growth.
As I have been praying and as we’ve started our two services, I have been reminded of a few things about God:
1) God calls us to be good stewards of what He has given us.
In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus tells the disciples the parable of the talents. The parable is in response to their questions about His return and the end of times. Jesus is telling them that no one knows when that time will be so everyone should continue the mission with zeal – investing in the Kingdom for the King. Invest what God has given you for His business.
2) God has called New City Church to join His mission of redemption and restoration through Jesus... its why we exist.
This is His business. Redeeming. Restoring. He has called us to see others live in light of the good news of Jesus. Ultimately this is what our resources are to be spent on, invested in. God is redeeming sinners and in Christ restoring us to Himself.
[Let me pause here…
As I have been praying it has been clear that God is calling us to maximize our “talents” for his mission… our time, our abilities and our resources… our giving, our facilities, our staff, our volunteers… all of it.]
Here’s the third thing
3) God works through prayer.
I am reading, It Happens After Prayer by H.B. Charles. We’ll be ordering some for the coffee bar soon. I have been reminded that God wants us to pray, that he hears and answers our prayers, and that our lack of prayer and lack of BIG prayer is indicative of our faithlessness. What happens after prayer? Forgiveness, Wisdom, Deliverance, Mercy, Salvation, Healing, Help… God has chosen prayer as a means to meet the needs of His people and accomplish His purposes and He is able to do far more than we can dream or even imagine.
“Lord,” I began praying, “how do we maximize the stewardship of what you have given us to help others live in light of the gospel?” As I did, a new question arose… maybe from the Lord! What is our max? What will max out our current resources – giving, facilities, staff, volunteers and systems and structures?
So I asked our staff and elders, “without adding facilities, staff or new teams and systems what is our max? How many people can we reach?” The staff began calculating, writing, talking, figuring, comparing numbers and ideas and then settled. If we max out our current systems, structures, facilities, volunteers and staff we can handle 625. (but we’ll have to add quite a few MCs).
625 – that’s people. Six hundred and twenty-five people gathered to hear the gospel through our songs, liturgy and preaching. 625 people invited to become a part of a family. 625 people redeemed, restored and sent on mission. 625 missionaries to Macon and the ends of the earth. 625 – that’s not just a number.
So we are praying - staff and elders – for 625, praying to maximize our time, talents and resources for His glory and the good of His people. Will you?
Will you pray with us? Will you join us in simply doing what we know God wants us to do – being good stewards of what He has given us, joining Him in His mission and praying for the people around us?
“Pray that God’s name would be hallowed. Pray that God’s kingdom comes. Pray that the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven.” H.B. Charles, Jr. p31.