Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18. As we begin a fresh, New Year here’s my vision for New Venture Christian Church for 2014.
1. LAUNCH AN AGGRESSIVE OUTREACH TO OUR COMMUNITY. We are here to help people who are living far from God come to understand God, connect with God, and pursue a growing adventure with him. We are not here for property and buildings. We are here for people who need a personal walk with Jesus Christ. Our focus in 2014 will be reaching the people of our community in an accelerated manner.
Our first outreach to them is a three part direct mail campaign. Part one will go out in a couple weeks announcing to our neighbors around our new ministry center, “Under new management.” The second mailing will go out a week following the first introducing our community to our new teaching series for 2014 called “The Story” beginning February 9. A follow-up piece will go out a couple weeks after that reintroducing them to “The Story and inviting them to join us for this adventure through the Bible in 2014.
We will initiate other outreach efforts to the community during 2014. However, the number one way to reach the unreached of our community is YOU. More people, and I say more people by far, come to connect with New Venture through the invitation of someone who is already a part of it, than any other way. You are the key to reaching our community. Sure, you can’t do everything but you can do something. You can identify the people in your circle of influence that are not connected with God and intentionally pray for them and seek ways to point them toward God and the church.
We have been given a mission, every one of us. That mission is to partner with God in building his family, in bringing those who are living without hope and salvation, to Jesus. It is the calling of every follower of Jesus. May we in 2014 be more serious about reaching out to the unreached than we have ever been before. May we pray for lost people like we have never prayed before? May we connect with those who don’t know Christ like we have never connected before? May we plant seeds in the hearts of those who are distant from God like we have never planted before? And may we allow God to use us to direct them to him and the church like we have never allowed before.
This is why we exist. We exist to reach the unreached, to build the family of God, to redirect lost people to the Savior, to bring hope to the hopeless. This was the reason Jesus came to earth. This is the work that he devoted his earthly existence to, seeking and saving the lost. May we be about the Masters business with undivided hearts and persistent passion?
Here’s a personal goal for you: Each one bring one.
Another personal goal: Each one win one.
2. DEVELOP AND LAUNCH A WORLD MISSION MINISTRY
As I have already affirmed, we are sent to bring others into God’s family. The moment I become part of God’s family He wants me to share the good news with others.
God has given us a message the world needs and it is the greatest message in the world – how to have our past forgiven, how to have a purpose for living, how to have a home in heaven. To not share that would be criminal. It would mean that I don’t care if they go to hell.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18 “Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself. Then God gave us the work of bringing others into peace with him.”
Then there is the commission of Jesus, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-29)
And who can forget the words of Jesus right before he returned to the father, “You are my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) We have not been going to the ends of the earth. We have been staying in our comfortable community. It is time to reach out and branch out and go out.
When Jesus gave these instructions where were they? In Jerusalem! So what’s he saying? I want you to start where you are. Start in your own city. Start in Midlothian/Richmond Start in Jerusalem. That’s your city. He said to start there.
He said but you don’t just stay there, you also do your ministry not just in Jerusalem – you do it in Judea. What’s Judea? That’s like the county. That’s like Chesterfield Co.
Then he says I want you to do it in Samaria. Samaritans were of a different culture. He’s saying, reach across cultural lines in your community. That’s our Samaria.
And he says and you go to the whole world.
He didn’t say go to Jerusalem, then Judea then go to Samaria then go to the ends of the earth. He said no, you do it all at once. You go to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the ends of the world. We aren’t doing that. We need to get with the program, the program of Jesus.
The Bible tells us as a church we are to go make disciples of all nations. He’s not talking to missionaries there. He’s talking to you and to me! We’re called to be sent. Go and make disciples of all nations.
Here is a quick overview of what our church is planning to do in the next three years when it comes to the world needs. These are baby steps but step we must take.
· Assemble a world mission leadership team. I would love to hear from you if you are interested in being a part of this team
· Gather volunteers for a world mission’s adventure in 2014, our first. I would also love for you to contact me if you are interested a missions trip. About a dozen people have already indicated interest in this adventure.
· Be a real participant in ICOM (International Conference On Missions) 2015 when it comes to our city.
· With volunteers
· By having a part in planting seven churches around the world
· Personally assist in planting one of those churches.
Here is a link to the VEF website that can get you connected with ICOM. http://www.vef.cc/
So 2014 is the year when we get serious about the world wide commission of Jesus.
3. ENGAGE IN AN AGGRESSIVE PAY DOWN OF PROPERTY DEBT
This is how it all stacks up. The more aggressive we are with paying down the note, the less interest we pay, (thousands of dollars less) the more equity we build, and the more willingness lenders have when it comes to us taking our next developmental step, a new multipurpose facility. These are indicators that lenders give careful attention to. So the more aggressive we can be the more willingness they will have. And the more equity we build the more ability it gives us to build a facility that has in it more of what we need.
This aggressive pay downbegins with all of us quickly fulfilling the commitments we made to the capital campaign back in May of 2013. The sooner we can get commitments in the quicker we can pay down the note and the more money we can save on interest. If you were not here for the capital campaign or if you were here and did not participate, you are invited to join the others who are committed to covering the cost of our new property and ministry center. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you started.
Let’s make this debt short term.
4. SOLIDIFY THE PLAN AND PROCESS OF MOVING TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR FIRST MULTI USE FACILITY
On our ninth anniversary I shared a dream that I would like to repeat. Since it is a dream it is somewhat lofty. The dream is that we might be able to break ground on our 10th anniversary, September 7, 2014, for our next facility. You know and I know that God will have to perform another miracle for that to happen. But hey, He’s did it in 2013 and He can do it in 2014.
Specifically speaking, for that to happen, we will need three things:
1. A huge amount of our current debt paid down.
2. A master plan on our property designed by a civil engineer that will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
3. And we will need to have about 75-100 more people, who believe in the message and mission of New Venture Christian church and who are supporting it financially, to enable us to afford that step.
So, that’s my vision for New Venture for this New Year, an accelerated evangelistic outreach to the community, the development of a long overdue world mission ministry, aggressive pay down of our property note, and the development of a plan for our first multi-purpose facility.
Now, join me in turning dreams into reality.