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“Turning Point Lessons” (2nd Edition) NLF

Posted on February 10th, 2009

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 to them for leadership. 4. Clarity of vision brings about unified leadership, and unified leadership reinforces the vision.  5. Extended Sabbatical rest releases new, life-giving initiatives from God and enables us to serve out of a cup that overflows. Rich fruit and change has always resulted in the larger work in and though NLF. 6. Face the truth and act on it, even if it hurts. Great courage, humility and spirituality are required to walk in truth. 7. Enforce and be careful not to dilute our values. When we have compromised on this, due to expediency, it has been costly, damaging our integrity and long-term mission and effectiveness. 8. Crossing race, culture, class and gender barriers requires we remain open to new learnings, be self-reflective and consistently question our current assumptions in our increasingly diverse, complex environment. 9. Be faithful to our “charism,” a grace from God that is uniquely ours. Learn from other streams and ministries, but be content in our particular gift from God, our unique DNA. 10. Intentional mentoring and development of individuals is key to bearing fruit and our stability at New Life Fellowship Church. This requires time, patience, thoughtfulness and intentionality 11. Being reflective and contemplative is required to capture insights, reflect theologically, and really learn the lessons that come out of our mistakes. When we have developed new tools out of this process, we have moved to a deeper level of maturity.  How much of this list do you think has broader application beyond New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC? What might you add? Delete?

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