As we continue to look at the 3R’s of NEC we will take a much more in-depth look at the second R “Resolve Conflict between Individuals and Families.” If we as leaders at NEC are going to help those in conflict and fulfill the second R effectively, we must look in the mirror and ask this question; “Am I in conflict with God?” Better said; “Am I offended at God?”
Before you say a resounding no I’m not, let me ask a few more questions.
Are you offended at God because of the way He has chosen to use you and where He is using you? Are you offended at Him because He hasn’t given you what you want? Are you offended at Him because the prophetic word or word of knowledge you received at some point is not happening as you interpreted it would? Are you offended because your dreams may be happening but not as you had envisioned they would or because they haven’t happened at all? I could ask many more questions to make sure we can say no I am not offended at God.
So, with that, let’s do this. I will give you my best practice I use to help me identify if I am offended at God. If I find I am, then its bend my knee before my Heavenly Father and ask His forgiveness. Remember, Jesus made it clear; it’s all about doing God’s will and not our will that matters.
Best Practice- As a leader at NEC, write down at least six to eight reasons why you are committed to doing what you do for the benefit of the Family of Faith at NEC. Now take the next 30 to 45 minutes and sit silently, listen very carefully because the Holy Spirit is going to reveal or remind you why God plucked you from where you were to NEC. He will reveal or remind you of the importance of being where you are so that you will be in His will at this point in your life. Then if you need to bend a knee, then this would be a good time.
For all of us to actively fulfill the second R, we must not walk in an offense toward others and especially not toward God.
– Pastor Cory
At NEC we believe in the Church, even if society doesn’t. We live unfortunately in a culture that proclaims that the church is no longer relevant and its dying. At NEC we have hope that changes lives. Our hope lies in the fact that we believe that God has placed His calling on the lives of our pastors, board, elders, servant leaders, difference makers, and our small group leaders to lead the church beyond its walls and impact our communities one person at a time in undeniably powerful ways.
At NEC, lets remind ourselves that one of the 3r’s is- “Refocusing The Church” that it’s all about people not about me, myself and I.
The first mission Jesus ever gave to anyone was an assignment about people. He called Peter and Andrew out from their profession to become fishers of men. If there’s something that Jesus is about, He’s about people. It’s significant how He was captivated by people, astonished by them, moved to great concern for them, to the point of lamenting on their behalf as well. Even on the cross, despite the pain and suffering, He was enduring, He was still thinking of the people around Him. If Jesus was so much about people, shouldn’t we be as well? God’s interest and concern are people.
Let me ask all of us as leaders a couple of questions.
1. Do I love what Jesus loves?
2. That is, do I love people as much as Jesus loves people?
As God’s ambassadors, we must realize one of the most authentic ways to please God is to act on these questions: Remember it’s all about the people. We exist to bring Hope to our Communities, One Person at a Time.
– Pastor Cory
Let me say once again that missional living is the actual embodiment of the mission of Jesus, which is bringing the incarnation of the Gospel message to your world. Missional living is the adoption of the posture, thinking, behavior, and practices of a missionary.
Jesus said in John 14:12-14; “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” So did you catch what Jesus said? He said we would do the same things He was doing. What was Jesus doing? Jesus was the pursuer, He located and restored people who had lost something – people who had lost their sense of direction, destiny, significance, fulfillment, hope, and their dreams. Jesus found these fallen people, and He restored them.
At NEC, we have the 3R’s of why we exist and I want to take a moment to remind us as leaders at NEC of why we exist starting with the first R: “Restore The Fallen.” As leaders in NEC, we should find and restore people who have lost connection with life and lost the reality of a need for God and salvation through His Son. For all of us to be able to do this we must commit our life to Jesus the Master and commit ourselves to a lifetime of learning from Him through the Holy Spirit. We must do this if we are going do what Jesus was doing. We must become like Him in heart, character, and lifestyle.
Remember Luke 19:10; “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus came to find and restore the lost. To restore also means reinstate, and reinstate according to the Cambridge English Dictionary means; to cause something to exist again. And another definition says; to bring back what was lost or broken, thus reinstating health and rejuvenating with new life.
Jesus pursued people with unconditional love and compassion. He sought them out and made them whole again. We are Jesus’ apprentices, and we must continue to pursue people and facilitate their restoration.
– Pastor Cory
As I stated last time, we hear a lot about being “Missional” around the church and in the church world. Let’s review the definitions. Missional is defined the following way- “A community of God’s people that define itself and organizes its life around its real purpose for existing. (such as NEC’s 3R’s) A community that’s being an agent of God’s mission to the world.” Here again is my personal view of Missional. It begins with a Christian who adapts their life to what I call “Missional Living.” I define Missional Living as-“The adoption of the posture, thinking, behavior, and practices of a missionary. Bringing the Gospel message to the world you live in.” Let me say once again that missional living is the actual embodiment of the mission of Jesus, which is bringing the incarnation of the gospel to the world.
With that said, we live in a world of constant communication with all the technology and devices. When was the last time you went into a store, restaurant ECT, and there wasn’t a TV showing news or sports? And the answer is, hardly ever. Even with all this communication, most people feel alone and without hope. It reminds me of the Three Dog Night hit from the 70’s, “One Is The Loneliest Number.” Let’s look at one of NEC’s prime Vision/Mission Statements.
“Elevating Our Communities With Hope, One Person At A Time”
People are tired of false promises, and they are also unprepared for unanticipated outcomes. They want certainty during a time in history when the world is angry, bitter, cynical, disheartened and disillusioned by artificial relationships, and the scandals of society. In a word, they want hope! Hope is a critical to faith, a faith that perhaps there is a high probability something is possible. When Hope based on your real-world experiences, (your story) along with the knowledge of factual truth in God’s Word, will give them hope that there is something out there they can trust in, which will help them end their loneliness.
At NEC we are all about the one. That one person who needs Hope in their lonely world. You have a story to tell-so tell it! I encourage you to look behind you, listen to your left, then to your right, look straight in front of you, people are all around you who need to hear your story of hope.
As I’ve said before, in some way or another you’re a Leader at NEC and it’s up to us to model for the rest of the Community of Faith at NEC what it looks like to be “Elevating Our Communities With Hope, One Person At A Time.”
– Pastor Cory
We hear a lot about being “Missional” around the church and in the church world – so what does it mean to be missional? Well, that depends on who you’re talking to because it can get a little bizarre. Here are some examples; There is Missional Communities, Missional Leaders, Missional Worship and here are a couple of strange ones, Missional Seating and Missional Coffee. Coffee?!?! Missional is defined the following way- “A community of God’s people that define itself and organizes its life around its real purpose for existing. (such as NEC’s 3R’s) A community that’s being an agent of God’s mission to the world.”
Here is my personal view of Missional. A Christian who adapts their life to what I call “Missional Living.” So, what is missional living? Glad you asked, let me give you my definition. Missional Living- “The adoption of the posture, thinking, behavior, and practices of a missionary. Bringing the Gospel message to the world you live in.” Let me say this also, missional living is the actual embodiment of the mission of Jesus, which is bringing the incarnation of the gospel to the world.
It’s imperative that we as Christians adopt a true missional lifestyle and be like Jesus, by living as missionaries in our personal world and society every day. Missional living is being faithful to the Father and His gospel as Jesus was. We must be missionaries and expose the gospel to all the cultures of our society.
Let me leave you with this one question because I must; When was the last time you shared the Gospel with a non-Christian?
– Pastor Cory
On Wednesday morning while on my way to the Men’s Small Group in Venus, I suddenly became very grateful for the invention of the bright switch for the headlights. As I rounded a blind corner, there was a large mattress halfway on the road. Seeing it early in the dark of the morning because my lights were on bright I made a small adjustment to the left and missed it. But I had a series of thoughts race through my heart that pretty much capture the rest of my drive. Before I share those thoughts, it was apparent the mattress had been dumped because there was other stuff on the side of the road. So why the mattress?
Like most of us, we all keep our mattresses way too long. We hang on to them until we just can’t take it anymore, and then we dump it! Now here are the thoughts that raced through my mind. Cory, are you leaving gratitude on the side of the road. Have you dumped it because you don’t have what you want? Are you, Cory thankful for the mattress you get to sleep on each night? Matter of fact, are you grateful for all that you do have?
The Holy Spirit prompted that series of thoughts, and it was appropriate. Am I thankful for what I do have? Those eight words are powerful! Let me encourage you to do something. You took the time to read this email – now take the time to thank Yahweh for what you do have. Get a fresh perspective on the Goodness of your Heavenly Father and celebrate right now what you do have.
– Pastor Cory