New Life Church has been my church family for over nine years and together, we have weathered many storms, climbed many spiritual mountaintops, planted churches, served the poor in our city, sent thousands on mission’s trips, equipped scores of students, written songs sung around the world and baptized hundreds of new believers.

New Life was birthed by God, filled with the Holy Spirit and centered on Jesus in the beginning and we still carry the fire that was stoked in us 32 years ago. Like every congregation, we have changed our methods to reach people in the 21st century, but we still have our core values, the non-negotiables of our sacred Scriptures, and the steadfast belief that if Jesus is with us, that is enough.

This week, as I celebrated my 50th birthday, I began to reflect on why New Life is so special to me and so many others. It’s easy to find fault with any group of people, but instead, I am filled with gratitude for several reasons.

1. I love how we abandon ourselves to worship, with hands lifted high and our voices singing the anthems.

2. I love how we love each other in our section communities, our groups and in the informal conversations in the lobby.

3. I love how we take risks and are not content to just play it safe.

4. I love how generously we give, especially when we see urgent needs in our city and world.

5. I love how we pray in private and how we cry out together in prayer meetings.

6. I love how we go to all our city and not just the comfortable places that are familiar to us.

7. I love how we rally around the hurting and the sick, caring for each other when all seems dark.

8. I love how every generation sees the value of worshipping and serving alongside one another.

9. I love how resilient we are when we make mistakes, choosing to learn, forgive and go on rather than cast blame.

10. I love how our past has shaped our present while not preventing us from dreaming and imagining a hopeful future.

What do you love about your church? What is the clear mission for you and the congregation God has called you to serve and support? Use the hashtag #ILoveMyChurch and share your thoughts on social media this week. Let’s look for the good that is happening all around us, especially in the church that Jesus left us to care for and build.

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