August 06, 2009

The New Sunday Night Service at New Life Church [EDITOR'S NOTE: Since launch the service on Sept. 13, 2009, we have made a few tweaks, both to the service order and the preaching element. I have adjusted this blog to now reflect those changes as of Nov. 15, 2009] The word's out: New Life is launching a Sunday Night Service. I know many of my blog readers don't live in Colorado Springs, but I thought the best way for me to share my heart for this service would be to blog about it. The pastor's challenge is to let his heart and mind be full of the way things should be while his hands and feet are firmly in the reality of how things are. We are always fixing our eyes on Christ and trying to follow Him and His ways, all while working with the particulars of the soil of our field. This means that not everything will line up with a list of ideals. It also means that we will get dirt under our fingernails. Yet we labor to be on this earth as Christ was, to be carriers of the Divine, acting out His Kingdom and the values of that Kingdom here and now, on earth as it is in heaven. We deal in the subversive, beginning with where culture is but undermining it with a Love that is not of this world. So, here are some of the values that will shape the service and the culture of the Sunday Night Campus. PERSONAL One of the main reasons Pastor Brady and the team decided to launch this service is to create a smaller environment for worship and community. We're looking for ways to make a big church not just "feel" smaller, but to actually be smaller. My hope is to be more than a service...
When Bottom-Line Thinking Ruins Everything This year was supposed to be the year my football team broke out of their rebuilding phase and rose to challenge the Patriots, Colts, and Steelers for the right to represent the AFC in the SuperBowl. Instead, we have sunk to cellar, hoping to crawl out with a new head coach who is younger than his best veterans and without a Pro Bowl quarterback who was supposed to be the second coming of John Elway. The trouble began months ago when a teary man in his mid-sixties simply said he was firing one of best friends because "it was time". Pat Bowlen's joint press conference with Mike Shannahan, his Superbowl-winning coach of 15 years, was the most crying I've ever seen in the NLF-- except of course for the time Brett Favre retired...the first time. Pro football, as we are reminded every offseason (which should be called "contract dispute season") is a business. And in any business, the bottom line is what matters most. Friendships are good; team loyalty counts for something, especially during the season. But in the end, players, coaches, owners, and VPs must produce or be fired. America's pastime, baseball, now marred by multiple steroid scandals, is carnage on the altar of bottom-line thinking. Is it really surprising that the immense pressure to produce godlike statistics to match their godlike salaries has driven so many pro athletes to Performance Enhancing Drugs? Teams want to make more money; to make more money you have to win more; to win more you need the best coaches and players; to get the best players you've got to pay them the best salaries for their position. And when you pay them that much, they better produce. And when there's that much pressure to produce, vocational purity is lost. There is nothing...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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