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My New Heights Experience

August 15, 2012

I guess from time to time you have reason to reflect. Today I was thinking of how blessed I was to work with New Heights Church for seven years. It hit me that I was very fortunate to have a leadership group and core group of people who understood what being a Christian is about. That allowed me to focus on loving your neighbor as yourself.

That is rarer than you can imagine. They allowed me to focus on finding ways to love those around us, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. They budgeted with that in mind which gave me incredible flexibility to show the love of Christ. We developed countless programs with that in mind and saw the fruit from those efforts. If I were to list all that we did the list would be long.

The best part is since our focus was on loving God and loving others and being the hands and feet of Jesus when people complained about areas of the American Christian experience that had nothing to do with that, my support group didn’t waver in their commitment.

My main priority wasn’t the worship experience or children’s ministry or any of a number of areas that seem all consuming to so many in churches. What a blessing indeed. The building wasn’t the number one priority, loving God and others was. How refreshing. How Bibllical.

You may wonder if it was so great why are you not still there? Why did you leave? God had other plans. I can be more effective in ministry elsewhere. Plus I said the core group understood that it should be all about loving others. I didn’t say that the majority of those coming over the years understood. No number of impassioned pleas about this is what being a Christian is about had any impact.

That is probably why I reflect today. In the end after seven years that core group was the only one who supported the idea that it should be all about loving God and loving others. I love them so much and miss them so much and regret leaving them because they blessed me so much. Probably because no matter how much I preached it and showed it in scripture the majority of people were unimpressed and even antagonistic. Now if Francis Chan said it maybe they would listen. If a book like Radical came out maybe they would reconsider. Me teaching and preaching it for seven years? I didn’t have a clue.

For those of you who had my back, thanks for seven great years.

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