Macon

The Gospel & Social Media

In a 20-mile radius of Milledgeville, Facebook has the potential of connecting with 45,000 people and the same distance in Macon has the potential to reach 190,000 people. A recent study showed that the average time spent per day on social media is 116 minutes, that’s a day. This is a powerful tool that businesses, non-profits, and affinity groups use to reach our cities with their messages. Think of the reach that a simple click of a button has in our cities!

I was thinking about the power of social media and the gospel this morning and just wanted to encourage you. As God’s people, we can accept, reject, or redeem our culture. Facebook has become one of the most important ways for people to find information about others and organizations. As much as we may not like it, it’s the reality in our day and age. It is worth redeeming.

Let’s be a church that is known for our deep love of Jesus and the community He has called us to reach.

As a church, this is actually a huge advantage for us because people who are moving into the area or checking out churches, inevitably turn to social media to research churches. A simple way to promote the church is to like and share whenever something is made public on the New City Milledgeville or New City Macon Facebook pages. As an example, when Chris or Arthur shares a Spotify playlist for us to prepare for Sunday morning, like it and share it. Maybe even place a comment if there is a specific song that you like in the list.

By liking, sharing, and commenting, this does two things. First, it helps with curb appeal. When someone visits our page, it shows activity. It’s like driving by a house that you are interested in buying. If the grass is cut, the bushes are trimmed, the paint is fresh, you are more likely to stop by and take a look.

Second, it directly affects the Facebook algorithm. This is the formula that Facebook uses to automatically have the post pop up in others Facebook feed. We aren’t trying to become the church with the most ‘likes’, but we are trying to be a church that is known in Milledgeville and Macon. This is a quick and simple way to help support the mission.

So, keep an eye on the Facebook pages (and Instagram if you use that app), and like, comment, and share! Let’s be a people who are so passionate about the Gospel that we choose to take every advantage to make Jesus known in our cities.

Monica Lewinsky breaks her silence and admits thoughts of suicide. Are you thinking about suicide? If you're not, chances are someone you know is. This story will blow every circuit in your brain!

depressed-man
depressed-man

Years ago my wife and I rented a house out in the country in Manassas, VA.  It was our first house together.  We lived on a commuter road, which means that there was heavy traffic in the morning as folks drove to work and heavy traffic in the evening as folks went home from work. One day shortly after we moved in as I was watching all the cars drive by our house, I felt a strong conviction to put a sign out by the road that said something about God.  Then I thought, that’s crazy.  I prayed about it for a couple days and said, “Lord are you wanting me to put a sign out by the road about you?”  I told the Lord, “I tell you what, if you want me to put a sign out by the road about you I need you to provide a sheet of plywood and the paint.”

Later that week as I was push mowing the tall grass in my new back yard, I heard a thump sound as the mower went over the grass.  I backed up the mower to see what made the sound and it was half a sheet of plywood.  I thought well that’s funny.  All I need now is some paint.

I picked up the half sheet of plywood and decided it to put it in the unfinished basement of our new rental home.  This would be the first time I went to the basement.  As I began to walk downstairs with the plywood, I noticed several shelves of paint.  What?!

Well Lord in just a few short days you provided the wood and the paint.  What message do you want me to write?  The only message that kept coming to mind was simple.  The message was, “Jesus Loves You!”

I painted it that night and put it out by our mailbox late on a Sunday night.  As I stood back to read it I noticed I had painted the letters too small to read if cars went flying by.  I said, “Lord, the only way people are going to be able to read this sign is if they are driving very slowly.

The next morning I woke up and there was about six inches of snow on the ground.  A surprise snowstorm hit our area.  Cars were driving very slowly past our house and more importantly past the sign.  I could not believe it.  There was no snow in the forecast.

I decided every Sunday night I would repaint the sign white and put a new message on it.

About six months after the first sign went out I received a note on my car windshield in my church’s parking lot one Sunday after church.  Our church was about thirty to forty minutes away from our house.

The note was from a man who attended our church.  He wrote about how six months ago his world was turned upside down.  His wife left him and he lost his job all in the same week.  He felt depressed and worthless.  He decided he was going to end it all and take his life.  As he left his house one morning, he told God that he did not want to live any more and he blamed God for all his trouble.  He did not believe God loved him.  He prayed and said, “God if you are real and if you love me and don’t want to take my life, please give me a sign.”

As he turned down my road, moments later, he saw a sign that read, “JESUS LOVES YOU!”  He burst into tears.  He prayed for a sign and he got a literal sign.  He decided because of that sign he was not going to take his life.

As he was going through the church directory one night he saw that a couple from church lived near him.  When he saw the address, he realized that was the address of the house where he saw the sign.

As I read the letter I began to weep.  I could not believe that our little sign was used in such a powerful way.

Are you thinking about suicide?  Have you been asking God for a sign of His love for you?  The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “but God shows His love for us in that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Jesus Christ is the ultimate sign that God loves you.   One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 John 5:12 which states, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  The life referred to here is eternal life.

Do you have the Son?

Charlie Colgan thumbs up
Charlie Colgan thumbs up

Soap Box Racer Steps Out of Retirement After 22 Years to Race in Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby

  Greg Wood, age 13 in 1992 with his Soap Box Derby Car.

When New City Church’s Community Pastor Charlie Colgan prayed and asked God to provide a Soap Box Derby Car for this year’s Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby he had no idea the answer to his prayers would come from a fellow pastor in the church.  “For a couple months, I had been praying and searching the Internet for a Soap Box Derby Car for us to race in the derby this year for New City Church.” said Pastor Colgan.  Then this past Monday night at a leaders' meeting he shared his prayer request with fellow leaders.  Colgan said, “After I shared my prayer request, one of our pastors, Family Pastor Greg Wood said, ‘I know where we can get one.’”  Wood then explained that he used to race them when he was thirteen years old and his mom saved his car in her shed since his racing days in 1992.  Pastor Wood said, “If you want a car, you can use my old car.”  After praising God for His provision of a car, Pastors Colgan and Wood wasted no time. The very next morning they met in Colgan’s garage in North Macon to begin to transform their 1992 time capsule into their 2014 race car.  Pastor Wood said, “The last time I sat in this car, I was thirteen years old.”  Colgan said, “It was like the car was frozen in time, it was in perfect condition.”   They prayed for a car and now they are praying they can beat reigning champs Bearfoot Tavern.  When asked if they hope to win.  Colgan replied, “Bearfoot Taven as won two years in a row.  They are going to be tough to beat, but it would be a great ending to a great story to win the derby for New City Church.”

The Magnolia Street Soap Box Derby is Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Washington Park on Magnolia St. in Macon, GA.  For more information please visit http://www.maconderby.com.  Members of New City Church will receive a free t-shirt to show their support of the New City Church Race Team on Race Day.

 

Colgan and Wood getting car ready for 2014 Derby

New City Church's Soap Box Car ready for Saturday's race.

 

To follow Pastor Charlie Colgan on Twitter click here. Or on Facebook click here.

 

In its welfare you will find your welfare...

567class Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.  (Jeremiah 29)

Maybe to you this picture doesn't look like much. Maybe you would argue it really isn't city renewal. But I think you'd be wrong. In fact I'd say this is a beautiful picture of our city's renewal in process.

Six years ago New City Church was rushing to get tables and chairs and sound equipment into our first space downtown - 567 Cherry Street, a small storefront several doors down from our current location.  We were trying to be ready for Macon's Cherry Blossom Festival - just to have music playing and offer free coffee during the festival. We dreamed of our "church" space being a community center that served downtown Macon and worked for its good. We dreamed of a space that would be used 7 days a week for the benefit of art and music. We dreamed of having a tangible impact on our city's renewal.

The picture... back to the picture... While it may not look like much, here's what I see:

  • 9 couples gathered in our art gallery to paint together - creating art. 6 years ago you would never see this - there was very little art programming downtown and no space set up up to do this. I remember the weekend nights that you would be hard pressed to find 18 people in all of downtown before the bar crowd rolled in!
  • 17 students - that's the number of Bibb County public school students who are currently displaying their artwork in The 567's gallery. Our art opening has become an annual event for some of the school system's brightest young artists.
  • 13 schools - that's the number of schools participating in this year's art show.
  • 3 new buildings. You can't really see them outside the windows in the picture but they are there - 3 buildings still being renovated right across the street - an art gallery, a restaurant, and loft apartments I believe.
  • 2 conversations that you definitely don't see. The picture reminded me of 2 recent conversations with different individuals a week or so apart. They aren't a part of New City - have never attended a service and don't attend any church. Both said that New City and The 567 have had a huge impact on the changes we see downtown. Both said that they aren't sure how much of this would have happened as it has without us. Both said that they would be terribly sad if we weren't here.

Maybe I see so much in the picture because of the conversation I just had. The 567 has a brand new co-worker. That's another thing we do here - offer space and some help starting a new business - the hope is that the business will take off and when it does, downtown will have another healthy, thriving, permanent business moving into one of these old spaces. Its his first day with us - so I got to tell our New City story and share with him our dream of seeing a city transformed... for the glory of God and the good of His people.