After another couple of weeks of pondering and passing this around our staff team for a second round of discussions, here is a second, more precise listings of our learnings. This is a living document, borne out of twenty-one years of labor, mistakes, and fruitful suffering. For this reason, I am prayerfully re-reading these lessons with a healthy reverence before God. 1. Character is more important than gifting. The power of God really is made perfect in our weaknesses. When we have overlooked issues of character, and humility in particular, we have paid a price. 2. Do not rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and proces implications, we have had regrets. Seeing the Promised Land without seeing the pillar of cloud and fire is foolishness. 3. Leaders need to take responsibility and initiative for their own growth and development. As leaders invest time in personal growth and development, they shape all those who look. Read more.
Last week we did an exercise listing our “Turning Point Lessons” out of our twenty-one year history. The following are my edits and summary out of that discussion. Character is more important than gifting. Being is more important than doing. When we have overlooked issues of character because of anointing, effectiveness, leadership abilities, etc., we have always paid a price. Don’t rush. When decisions were made quickly, without pausing to pray, think and process implications, we have had regrets. Seeing the Promised Land is one thing. The pillar of cloud and fire saying it is time to go in is another. Leaders need to take responsibility for their growth and development. My journey, along with Geri’s, has had a profound impact on NLF. As we invest time in our personal growth and development, we are shaping all those who look to us for leadership. A clear, differentiated vision results in a unified leadership and. Read more.
This is the second of four sections on the Rule of Life I have been developing for New Life Fellowship Church in Queens. We have only just begun to pilot it. My concern is to keep us faithful to our charism, that is, our unique grace and calling. I think we are in great need for fresh, creative ways of understanding who we are as God’s people and His call on our lives. I know I need this personally. What amazes me is that every week has more to do in it than available time. I don’t know how I ever lived without that 24 hour Sabbath each week!! In a conversation with Basil Pennington that I had with him before he died (he was a Trappist monk for 55 years and prolific author), he shared with me how he longed for greater time with God, more contemplation now that he had just “retired.” And that was from a monk having 7-8 Daily Offices. Read more.
I am in the middle of working on a draft of a rule of life for our membership and annual meeting on June 1st. Over the past year we have developed a “Rule” for our elders and pastoral staff which is quite extensive. However, I have been pondering what a devotional yet focused Rule might look like for New Life, one that would drive people to seek Christ above all else and articulate our unique calling as a local family. It should be interesting! Right now I have about 15 points that I believe get at the unique charism of who we are and am about to begin getting feedback from others. Here is a small portion for your perusal. Remember the nature of a Rule: The purpose of this rule is to keep us faithful to our unique “charism” and unite around it. It affirms who we are.This rule serves as. Read more.