New England Patriots, Championships, Choirs, and Unity
What’s more powerful to hear, a singer going for notes all by themselves, or a mighty choir joining as one to belt out a song filled with volume, harmony, melody, instrumentation, and a myriad of voices?
A well-trained choir finds an amazing power in their unity. When every individual knows the song, their part, and they pursue that part, the result is amazing. (Don’t believe me, watch this video of the CBU choir singing “Behold our God.”)
Look at the New England Patriots, winning the Super Bowl again this year. It’s the perfect example of a team that knows their individual roles, their collective mission, values, and vision, and they pursue it (and succeed in it), seemingly, year after year.
That’s why NewLife is addressing our mission, vision, and core values in a series called “Driven.” We need to understand and embrace our mission as a church and allow the vision God has given us to inspire and motivate us to action. We are driven to pursue God’s design for our church with radical abandon.
Our vision is not about the church as an organization. NewLife is not about building our brand, filling our seats, expanding our budget. This vision is about us as people called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9). It’s about us taking Jesus at His word (individually and collectively) and following Him.
We will grow together
None of us have arrived. None of us have life all figured out. We all have different areas in which God is still growing and teaching us. The very essence of a disciple is a follower and a learner. So we will learn together, we will follow together, we help others learn and follow (whether they know Him or have never heard the name of Jesus before).
We see a church filled with disciple-making disciples. We are a people who passionately pursue Christ, who share the Gospel with those who do not know Him, and who cultivate intentional relationships to point others to Christ. Making disciples is at the core of who we are, it runs through our veins and the world around us can not help but see Him in us.
(NewLife vision statement)
Let’s become a church that doesn’t merely talk about fulfilling the great commission, but one that actually works to make it happen.
“Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'”
When Jesus died for our sin, he put something very important to death: the power of sin. In the life of the disciple, they are “to consider themselves dead to sin, and alive to righteousness.” (Romans 6)
We see a church living in the freedom only Jesus can give. We are a people set free from addictions, entanglements, and patterns of this world, transformed to be a living sacrifice to God.
(NewLife Vision Statement)
Believer, Christ has set you free from sin! You are not powerless to the whims of sin (lust, pornography, addictions, sinful habits, pride, etc.). Yet so many people in the church today live as though sin is something to tolerate in our lives. They have no idea how deeply it harms their family, their ministry, and themselves.
We are a church that lives in the freedom that only Jesus, our victorious savior, can give. Our pursuit will be Jesus, our lives a sacrifice to him (Romans 12:1-2).
We are people that understand that God calls us to a life of serving. His will in our lives is that we make much of Him by serving, not much of us by exalting ourselves. If we want to impact our neighborhoods, it starts with serving. The world wants us to think that we have to establish a big name and prestige to change the world, but God instructs His people to be faithful in service, and to trust He will do the work of changing the world.
We see a church where serving is like breathing, necessary and life giving. We are a people who have discovered and are living out the purpose for which God created us. We have set aside our own pursuits to serve others.
(NewLife Vision Statement)
We are not called to somehow change the world, we are called to be servants and living testimonies to God’s grace.
“…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others…”
Rooted in Christ
Every human on the planet loves shortcuts. Not just when driving, but when dealing with careers, projects, family members, or personal growth. If we are honest, we often want shortcuts to being closer to God.
However, there are no shortcuts. There are not multiple routes to intimacy with God. Jesus is the only way. Being rooted in Him is our way to closeness with God, to being transformed. The Holy Spirit works in us as we behold Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We see a church that is healthy and prepared. We are a people deeply rooted in our relationship with Jesus that allows Him to determine our steps, our schedules, and our commitments so that we are ready for the remarkable journey ahead.
(NewLife Vision Statement)
Schedules, priorities, careers, families, individuals, must be rooted in Christ. God’s word must direct our lives in a profound way. And being rooted in Christ is not something we do in our own strength, but it is something God works in us by His grace (Philippians 2:13).
So root yourself in Christ. Spend time every single day remembering the good news of the Gospel, Christ’s love, His call to live a God-honoring life, and His grace to grow you.
NewLife is rooted in Christ and focused on Christ. Jesus is our source and our focus.
Every member playing their role
God’s grand vision for us as a church will never be realized if we as individuals do not take ownership of it and commit to doing our part. The choir doesn’t sound beautiful until all the singers do their part. The Patriots don’t win unless every team member runs their route, tackles their guy, blocks their assignment, and works as one.
The vision is not for a select few. The vision is for the entire church. We are all responsible to follow Jesus Christ and obey His commands.
If we want to see this vision statement be true, if we want to see our neighborhoods, schools, work, and communities impacted, then we must get serious about following Jesus, living in freedom, serving Christ, and being rooted in Jesus.
We will be amazed at what God will do with a local church family filled with disciple making disciples.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Vision and Mission (Sermon)