April 11, 2013

Celebrating our first year at new life DOWNTOWN I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing it is to work for a gracious and generous leader. A generous leader finds ways to empower others, and in doing so, sees their own work multiplied exponentially. Pastor Brady Boyd, my pastor, is that kind of leader. The story of new life DOWNTOWN is just one example of how. new life DOWNTOWN is not a separate church; it is an extension of New Life Church. It's a campus, but not in the way you may be used to thinking of campuses. Many campuses are, for better or worse, replications of the "main thing." They follow a franchise model, and there's nothing wrong with it. But what New Life is venturing into is something of a hybrid between a church plant and a campus. There is unity of purpose and identity but there is freedom to let the work of the Spirit take a unique shape. Pastor Brady saw the work of the Spirit in my own life and called it out of me. He invited me to begin a service on Sunday nights in the Fall of 2009, where I'd preach the same text and theme as he did that morning, but give the service a slightly different shape. Because he knew the ways I was exploring the practices and roots of our ancient faith, he encouraged me to let the Sunday night service reflect that. Then, in the Fall of 2011, we talked about what it might look like if that service became a campus-- a congregation--in downtown Colorado Springs...on Sunday mornings. The elders prayed about it and decided to commision it. And so, new life DOWNTOWN began on Easter Sunday, 2012. It's been a year now, and what a year it's been. To see the people, to know...
Who Is "Church"? Pt. 2 In Part 1 of this blog series, we said that in order to answer the question of "who the Church is", we needed to first ask who Jesus is, and then ask what His salvation is. I walked through two examples of how we tend to answer the series of questions-- Who is Jesus? What is Salvation? Who is Church? What is Mission?-- and then offered an alternate set of answers from what I observe in the Book of Acts. All this is foundational. But it is a paradigm shift. Most of us are not used to seeing Church as anything but individuals united by a common purpose-- reaching the lost (fill in the word of choice: evangelism, discipleship, mission). BUT... Church is not a collective of individuals but a community-- one family, one body, made of diverse parts who are not members together of an organization but who are members of one another. Church is united not by a common purpose but by a common identity: we have been marked as the people of God, drawn into the life and fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are, as my pastor is fond of saying, sons and daughters, not slaves and orphans, or even God's task force or missional operatives. The New Testament's favorite image for the Church is a household: a family. -------------------- So, what does all this mean for our gatherings, our worship services? Who is Church for? In one sense, the Church is in the world for the world. We are blessed, broken and given for the life of the world, because we are in Jesus and He was blessed, broken and given for the world. More than that, we are in the world as a sign in the world: we are, as I mentioned...

Glenn Packiam

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

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