True North

The Compelling Need for a True North

NewChurch LIVE seeks to be a growing, outward reaching presence in the world.  In so doing our hope is to join many other churches and denominations in the real work of faith-based living.  We join a movement,  broader than any particular denomination.  ”Movement” actually forms the very core of why churches were established – to draw a community together around a movement – a movement then supported by a disciplined community that inspires, informs and supports.

As such we actually need to travel to the edge of what feels like chaos.  A growing church, as is true with any growing institution must carefully tread that line between the known and the unknown, finding the “sweet spot” where creative tension moves us from the “as is” to the “can be.”

That place is admittedly uncomfortable.  We will take time to look at more extensively as we close the series with a sermon on “Blessed Unrest.”  And that is where we are and where we need to be!

To keep our bearings, we need a “True North.”   Easy to fall prey to mixing the busyness of congregational life for the business of congregational life.  Our “business” centers on several key non-negotiable.  I share these knowing there are numerous ways to state them.

  1. God’s Word, a.k.a. the Bible
  2. New Church Theology, a theology codified by Emanuel Swedenborg to articulate the true meaning of Christianity
  3. Life lived for others without claiming cultural or spiritual superiority.
  4. Respectful dialog that treasures belonging

From that place we tap into the co-creative capacity alive in all of us, a place from which a dynamic emergence grows into life – aka “A Monday Morning Church.”  That is where our church hits its real capacity to be a positive force in the world.  For the fact is, as Senior Pastor, maybe one of the more significant leadership insights I can offer is “I don’t know.”  I don’t know.  I don’t know where NCL is headed.  And that is actually pretty exciting.

What do I know?  I know the heart.  We have seen it over and over again.  It is a heart not unique to NCL but a heart where maybe NCL is a special expression.  The other part I know?  I know that while I don’t know where NCL is headed, I fully trust that you do.  I trust that God is stirring something in your heart, that He is calling something into Being.  ”True religion is always a deep intuition that we are already participating in something very good, in spite of best efforts to deny it or avoid it.”  I trust that the team will fashion and achitecturalize structures that support that “knowing.”

Then we will possess what I think Jesus calls us to – a true north that both settles and expands.   So lets build a church!

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