Monday, March 31, 2008

2 Year Anniversary - Never Forget

We started New Era because so many people, especially in our area of the country, have exchanged a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ for a dead religion of habit. One of my favorite writers, Donald Miller, says, "If [Satan] can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent him from engaging God." I recently heard an interesting comparison between dead religion and a flu shot. Apparently when someone receives a flu shot, they are actually having the flu virus injected into them. However, the amount is small – just enough for their bodies to build up an immunity to the flu. A lot of people have "just enough Jesus" to build up an immunity to Him. They believe in God and they go to church, but in reality they don't really know Jesus on a personal level. This is why we exist as a church and why part of our vision is to passionately change the culture around us. We want to show those who are lost and hurting how real and fulfilling a relationship with Jesus is. This past weekend we celebrated our 2 year anniversary at New Era (starting with karaoke at a local coffee shop). Yesterday our Sunday Service was devoted to giving God glory for what He's done in and through our church in the past 2 years. Ronnie preached on how in the Old Testament of the Bible, when God did something miraculous for His people, they would build an altar so that they would never forget what God had done. Last week we built our own altar (a wooden cross) and yesterday we encouraged people to write on the altar what God has done during the past 2 years of their life. It was an upbeat, joyous celebration. Here are a few cool statistics of what God has done through our humble church in the last 2 years: 50 people have come to know Jesus as Lord, 28 people have been baptized (public declaration of faith), over 30 people are involved in small discipleship groups, and at least 40 people are using their gifts to serve God and His people. May we never forget what God has done in our lives.

1 comment:

Rusty Schluchter said...

God does wonderful things through us all. Another statistic to keep track of many people have been positively affected through your ministry, even though they might not be able to participate or live in the area? I know I/we have really enjoyed lifting New Era and your (John/Misty's) ministry in prayer on a regular basis. John/Misty, you show us how to live out our faith on a daily basis. Thanks for that and thanks for loving those that are able to come to your church/youth group/small groups/etc. Keep your eye on the prize and the Lord will continue to guide you and bless your ministry.