Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NRSV
When my wife Kristin and I heard God’s call to plant New City Church here in Lexington, we specifically heard God call us to begin a community marked by rest. As we developed this vision and listened for God’s intent in and for our ministry, we landed on four core values of Love, Rest, Risk, and Send that we utilize to lead all of our decision making. I believe that not only knowing who we are (landing our core values) is essential but that these specific DNA markers have been God ordained for ministering to our context. I have seen unconditional “love” draw hurting and burnt people into our community, “rest” attract exhausted and performing Bible-belt Christians, “risk” free us up to think outside the box, and “send” get tested early in our lifetime as we are generous to other churches and as we look to plant new expressions.
As I personally continue to wrestle with these 4 markers of New City Church, I asked myself some questions about the foundation of this community of God. I share these with you so you can marinate in what your community is built on; you can utilize these questions in a huddle, during your quiet time journaling or praying, or even in a conversation with another New City family member. Here they are:
- What is the root of my love for others?
- How is my love expanding the hospitality in my life?
- How is my love speaking dignity into everyone around us?
- How am I complicating loving others? How have I simplified and missed out on loving someone in a unique way?
- Who is someone in my life I’m not excited to love on right now?
- How do I rest well?
- Where in my life am I competing, comparing, or striving?
- What do I see God creating in my life? How can I partner in what He is creating instead of stirring something up myself?
- How am I living in the reality of abiding as portrayed in John 15?
- How am I experiencing the truth of rest taught in Matthew 11:28-30?
- Where in my life am I quick to “play it safe” or choose comfortability?
- Who might God be asking me to risk on?
- What is something I am holding as a “sacred cow” that I might need to risk and give up?
- What question do I not want to be asked OR need to answer that I might need to engage in?
- How am I engaging in dark, risky areas in our community?
- What do I see the Spirit leading me into that freaks me out?
- How does my life express the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:16-20?
- How am I celebrating sending in this season?
- Do I live a “commissioned” lifestyle?
- How can I be radically generous this season?
- How could I be a part of New City’s sending in this season?
My prayer is that you would grow in ownership, understanding, and comfortability with these concepts as you dive into them. My desire is that our entire community, every brother and sister, would make these their own as we partner in ministry together in 2018.
Zach Meerkreebs, New City Church Head Planter