Growing in the Gospel is a Journey

Tim Keller has said many times, "The gospel is not the A-B-C's of Christianity - it is the A to Z of Christianity." I find that I am learning this truth more and more, seeing how deep and wide the gospel's application is to my own life. No part of my life is left untouched by the gospel. 
But I have not always seen this. I haven't always understood it. In fact, even now I don't understand this fully and when I look back, even over the past year, I see that I am not now where I was then - I am growing (and some might say I have a long way yet to go!).

In the podcast below, Dave Harvey puts to words this process. Though he speaks as a pastor on preaching, I think that the process of becoming more gospel-centered is similar for all of us: 
* an awakening to the truth that the gospel is for believers as well as unbelievers
* a growing use of the word "gospel"
* moving toward describing the gospel rather than just saying the word "gospel"
* applying the gospel - how the gospel speaks to our fallen world and my life - past, present and future

I find this incredibly encouraging in my own walk with Jesus. I also find it helpful as I consider the truth that we are not all at the same place in our gospel journey, I am reminded that my process has been years long. I also find it helpful as tool for evaluating and coaching other pastors and church planters - how can I help them grow in their journey? Finally I am encouraged and challenged as a Christian and a preacher to listen and learn from others - my journey is not complete - I have a long way yet to go!

What about you... where are you in this gospel journey?

Why Is There a Different Preacher This Week?

For those who may visit New City Church Macon or who may be new, what or who you see on Sunday mornings may seem a little... different. You aren't imagining things!  What we do is different and yes there is a very good chance that the preaching pastor this week is different than last week!

This past summer, 2013, an incredible thing happened - Macon Community Baptist Church merged with New City Church (Below is a video describing the merger).  This merger was an answer to much prayer and has been an incredible blessing.  The merger allows both congregations, as one, to better reach a very diverse city and to become a church that better represents the racial diversity of the city. More than that, the merger brought to New City a very able and gifted Pastor and Preacher - Pastor Lawrence Robinson (left in picture).

Having Pastor Lawrence as a member of the New City Elder Team allowed New City Church to quickly take steps toward launching a second Macon site in North Macon, something that we had been pursuing for a couple of years.  North Macon is not a separate church... New City Macon is 1 Church, meeting in 2 locations.  We share staff, we share resources, we share Missional Communities, we labor together to see the gospel transform ourselves, our church, our city, and the world.

We also share preachers.  Rather than having people choose which site they would attend and connect with based on who is preaching (some will like Pastor Lawrence's preaching better, others may like mine), we ask people to choose a location that meets their geographical needs as well as fits their missional context (who are the people in their sphere of influence and where are they more likely to attend?).  Our primary preachers, myself and Pastor Lawrence will rotate between sites. For this month, January 2014, the rotation is weekly - one week I am in North Macon and the next week I am downtown.  After January the rotation will become "random" - there will be no set pattern for who preaches where.  We hope that this will encourage greater diversity at both sites and will help the people of New City better BE New City Church and follow Jesus rather than following a preacher.