Month: January 2009

Doing the Right Thing

I have two principles that guide my decisions as father, a husband and a pastor. I learned these two principles from my parents and from many of the mentors I have in my life.


Principle One: Do the right thing, for the right reason, even at my own hurt.


Principle Two: Say what you mean and mean what you say.


These two principles were put to the test this past week as I navigated the media frenzy surrounding the new allegations involving our church. I have told several close friends this week that it is really hurtful to be criticized so strongly for simply doing the right thing. I actually believe it is easier to accept criticism after doing something wrong. If that was the case, I would stand before my family, my church and the media and simply accept the responsibility and the consequences. But when no wrong act has been committed, it hurts to be misunderstood or questioned.


Integrity is something I cherish and protect. It is easily lost and difficult to regain. When my integrity is questioned, I try not to be defensive but I also want truth. In the end, I know God sees my heart and ultimately He is my judge. I trust my reputation into His hands and believe that He will ultimately defend me.


I find it is easier for people to trust again if my words are honest and direct. I try to not speak in codes or double speak. Straightforward communication with sincerity and honesty will normally cut through the fog of misinformation and allow people to make the right judgments. 


These two principles are big leadership ideas that I hope are adopted by everyone in a position of influence or authority. It is a sacred responsibility to lead people and I consider it an honor to be called pastor.

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The Burdens of Today

A few hours before the current crisis erupted, I was thumbing through a book and noticed a quote from a Scottish poet. It turns out God can use even Scottish poets to prepare us for difficult days. George McDonald says the burdens of the day will never cripple a person. It is when we add the worries of tomorrow to the burdens of today that we crumble and buckle under the weight.

I shared this insight with our ministry staff at 11am on Thursday. At 3pm Thursday, we are informed a young man has told a local TV station his story of an inappropriate relationship with our former pastor. For the past several days I have been completely consumed with meetings and media interviews. Even today, I have spoken with CNN, Charisma Magazine, and the New York Times, among others.

But something strange is happening in me. I am not worrying about tomorrow and I am carrying the burdens of the day surprisingly well. I am certainly planning for tomorrow and thinking about the future and the challenges that are still in front of me and the church, but I am not worrying about them. Jesus knew the power of this principle when he told to not worry to worry about tomorrow, for it has enough evil of its own.

This truth is important for all of us regardless of the assignment God has given us in life. It is true for home school moms and corporate CEO’s. Worry will not add one measure to our lives, but it most certainly will rob us of the joy of the moment.

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An Important Message From Pastor Brady

Dear New Life Family,

In the days ahead, there will be new press reports of allegations made by a man who knew Ted Haggard through his involvement with New Life Church. This man has decided to speak to the media about his alleged relationship with Mr. Haggard. Since these allegations were first brought to our attention, New Life Church leadership has reached out to him with compassion by providing him with pastoral care, professional counseling, and financial assistance. We did this with the hope that he would experience healing and move forward with purpose in his life.

At that time, he and church leaders agreed that publishing his allegations or our church’s assistance to him would not be in his best interest. This decision was made not as an attempt to conceal wrongdoings, but to protect him from those who would seek to exploit him. His actions now suggest that he has changed his mind.

A few weeks ago, when the news of the upcoming documentary about Mr. Haggard surfaced, this man informed me that he was considering telling the media the details of his relationship with Mr. Haggard. He was obviously upset about the reported content of the documentary and wished to tell his story.

After Mr. Haggard’s fall, we received reports of a number of incidents of inappropriate behavior. In each case, we have tried our very best to do the right thing, including disciplinary action when appropriate. Our concern has been and continues to be for every person affected. We renew our invitation today for anyone who believes he or she has been hurt to please come forward.

Our current elder team and all of our overseers have been aware of these allegations and have given us wise, prayerful counsel every step of the way. I regret that we have to revisit the unpleasant issues of the past, but I am convinced we are on the path of healing and great days are ahead for all of us. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support.


Pastor Brady

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Jesus is not a Mascot

Jesus is not a mascot, but sometimes I think He is treated like one. A mascot is defined as a an animal, person, or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol and supposed to bring good luck. For example, the Air Force Academy’s mascot is a falcon, but I am certain they do not consult a falcon about strategy or for guidance. The falcon is just a symbol, but holds no real authority.


As believers in Christ, we must make sure Jesus has not become just a mascot. He is actually the head of the church, the redeemer of our souls and the Lord of our lives. He becomes a mascot when we move away from His authority and make decisions about life, ministry and the church based on our own ideas, our own desires and and our own motives. The end result is an empty life and a lifeless church. We surround ourselves with Jesus stuff like church buildings, bibles, religious hymns and ministry programs, but we stop asking Jesus for real guidance. This happens slowly and over time.


To prevent this in our lives, we must stop and evaluate everything we are doing in the name of Jesus and make sure we are actually doing what Jesus wants. Let’s stop, pray, study the Scripture, and do only the things Jesus actually told us to do. The list is actually short and simple. We are to love God, love others, make disciples, baptize new believers, share communion and meet together to encourage one another. There is room to debate what else should be on the list, but I am certain the final list would not include many of the things we think are really important.

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Dream City 2020

I was asked by the Gazette to write a column for the Dream City 2020 campaign describing how Colorado Springs could become a better city in the next 20 years. The following column was my response and will be in the paper soon.


I am new to Colorado Springs but already feel like it is my home.  In 20 years, I will be in my early 60’s, nearing the end of my career as a pastor at New Life Church. I have spent a great deal of thought and prayed many prayers for our city trying to discover the untapped potential of our community. I believe the best days are still in front of us, and the challenges that are facing us as a city can be overcome if we make the choice now to stand together, work together and to see the best in each other.


The first challenge is finding common ground within a very diverse population. I have never lived in a community that is woven together from such diverse cultures and perspectives. The mix of military families from around the globe, evangelical leaders and groups, very passionate liberal and conservative political groups that hold fast to their ideology is both an opportunity and a challenge. I love passion and I appreciate people of conviction. That is the strength of our country and certainly the strength of our city. However, we must choose grace over animosity and kindness over accusations. This does not mean we have to compromise our absolute beliefs just to get along, it means we must value relationships as much as being right or winning a debate. Too often, we win the argument but lose friends in the process. I believe both are equally important if we are to have a Dream City. I choose to build bridges instead of burning them because we will need every bridge possible if we are to survive and thrive as a community in the divided 21st Century. So let’s choose to meet and discuss ideas, not to debate or argue, but to find common ground and build friendships. Let’s be secure in our beliefs and kind in our words toward those who believe differently and diffuse division and strife as aggressively as we defend our ideas.


The second challenge is taking care of the poor and needy in our city. This is a real burden to me as a pastor, but I am convinced that partnerships between government, social and religious teams can do more together than when separated. We have the resources to radically change neglected neighborhoods, equip struggling schools and to house, feed and clothe every person in our city. When we combine our monies and the human capital of ideas and innovation there will be no limits to our ability to meet the most desperate needs of our time. Our church is willing to partner with people with better ideas and to give our resources to meet the urgent needs that are facing all of us. Let’s come to the table, agree on effective strategy, and then work together without a need for personal or group recognition. Let’s do the right thing for our city for the right reasons. This past November, state government, local non-profits and the church community partnered together to begin a campaign we are calling, “Wait No More” that is designed to find families for the more than 700 orphans in our state foster system. This kind of partnership can happen on many different fronts to address the long list of issues we are facing.


Colorado Springs is a great city that is destined to become greater and I am grateful to be a small part of the discussion, but I am even more grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside each of you to make Colorado Springs a Dream City.  God bless Colorado Springs and God bless our unity as we move forward.

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Leading Well in Tough Times

In the next few weeks, you may hear and read a great deal of media reports concerning an upcoming HBO documentary featuring Ted and Gayle Haggard.  The documentary chronicles their life in Arizona and their return to Colorado Springs. In the documentary, Ted and Gayle express their hurt and disappointment in the way they were treated by New Life.


In the past month, I have had two lengthy meetings with both Ted and Gayle hoping to bring some healing and perspective to the hurt they experienced and the hurt that New Life experienced. I believe we have made progress and I am hopeful the relationships that were so badly damaged can be redeemed and restored.


I was not here in November 2006, but I do know the men and women who were called upon to make very critical decisions for Ted and Gayle and for New Life after the scandal.  While it is easy now for some people to look in the rear view mirror and see decisions that could have been made differently, very few of us understand the enormous pressure these wonderful people were facing. I know for certain that the motives behind every decision were pure and the decisions were made after much prayer.


Desiring only to be gracious and generous, the overseers, trustees, elders and pastoral team of New Life committed over $300,000 to the Haggard family that included 13 months of salary for Ted and Gayle, a pickup truck, extensive counseling, health insurance for the entire family, moving expenses, and care for Jonathan Haggard, their special needs son.


Not only were they generous with finances, they placed Ted under the care of some of the most trusted pastors of our generation for restoration.


The generosity and concern for the Haggard family and the New Life family is to be commended and I am very grateful that God established these leaders for such a critical time in our church’s history.


I also believe New Life is one of the most forgiving congregations I have ever met. Our recent history is one of tragedy, but also of tremendous forgiveness and grace. You have always chosen love over hate and forgiveness over bitterness. This is one of the many reasons I am proud of you and love you so dearly.


I hope this helps you with perspective should you choose to watch the HBO documentary. Please continue to pray for Ted and Gayle and their family and for the leaders of New Life.

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We are launching a renewed emphasis on prayer at New Life Church this week. While there has always been constant prayer at the church, we have not met together very often as a congregation to focus our prayer efforts. That will change this week. Revival Town is a multi-generational prayer gathering led by David Perkins and Jon Egan that meets every Tuesday night at the World Prayer Center at 6:30. I will lead a men’s prayer gathering every Thursday morning at the World Prayer Center at 6:30am.  We do not have a cool name but we are open to your ideas.


What are the components that make these times of prayer so effective? Of course, I have three because I am a preacher!


1.      Prayer should be easy.

Prayer was never meant to be complicated. That’s why Jesus used only 56 words in the Lord’s Prayer. I do believe you become better at praying as you mature as a believer, but that does not mean it gets more complicated. In fact, the easiest way to be effective is to simply pray the promises in Scripture. In other words, let the Bible do the talking.


2.      Prayer should be exhilarating.

Some of my best memories as a believer is praying with other believers. There is a real energy from heaven in a room of praying Christ followers. It seems all of our faith, when combined, helps us pray more passionately, more fervently, and with greater intensity. A cord of three strands is not easily broken and believers who pray together are not easily discouraged.


3.      Prayer should be powerful.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit is released best when we pray and worship. In fact, the success of the prayer gathering is not based solely on our prayers being answered. Many times, the success of these meetings is found in the personal growth of those who participate. Spiritual exercise produces strong spiritual people. These meetings are an opportunity to exercise the spiritual gifts we have been given and to see them grow strong.


I hope all of you join us on this journey of prayer at New Life. We are returning to our heritage as a church that prays together for our city, our nation and our world while, at the same time, finding our own unique identity for the 21st Century.


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