The gospel is…the word about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God. – Graeme Goldsworthy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Everything starts with vision. If there's no long-term goal - no matter the area of life - individuals and groups begin to feel purposeless. Restless. Frustrated. Quite honestly, I've seen this with the flock entrusted to my care over the last three years.

We began New Covenant Community Church (or "new3c" as we call it) out of simple desire to start a church in south Denver that glorified God, preached the gospel, edified the saints, and evangelized the lost. Unfortunately, we didn't have church planting experts or sages assisting us with how to most effectively do it. We had simple desires, simple structure, and a small, faithful core. While this was adequate in the intial months, we quickly began to see this wasn't enough (both on an ecclesiological and administrative level). We've learned as we've gone along, and we've taken our lumps at times.

I began to see last spring that we really needed direction, goals, and distinctives as a local church. Without an overarching purpose and direction, we'd always wander in circles and/or "maintenance mode." We were surviving because of God's benevolent grace and the faithful service of a small few in our midst, yet I felt like we were floundering at times because we lacked specific direction.

(Typically, all things "vision, mission, and core values" isn't encouraged by the "old school" guard of Reformed theology. They often poo-poo it as something that "those church growth guys" do. But, if we have solid theology and a gospel-centered ministry model in a local church, don't we want to grow? Just a question.)

Due to the encouragement of a long-time (fellow church planting) friend (with whom I attended Moody Bible Institute and Southern Seminary), the influence of Acts 29, and some internal conflict that could've been avoided if we had such boundaries in place, I began to see a vision/mission statement and core values as not just a good idea but an essential need.

Hence, one of the things we lacked was an overarching vision statement. The big picture. Once I sat down and thought about it, the vision of new3c wasn't rocket science, but the cry of my heart for over a decade. It is to firmly establish a thriving and growing gospel-centered church in South Denver.

I grew up in this wonderful city of Denver. Minus stints in Chicago and Louisville, KY for undergrad and grad school, I've called South Denver my home my entire life. I've had a burning desire since my mid-twenties to pastor a church here. The Lord has graciously granted this desire of my heart. (You might say I'm an indigenous missionary to my own "people group.") As this desire matured and became a reality, I began to see that the only solid foundation for any local church - be it a rural, urban, or suburban setting - is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In my next blog, I'll explain what I mean by this.

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