One of my favorite David Nicholas (the founding pastor of Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, Florida) stories is when David was standing at the back of the church at the end of the service one Sunday morning and asked a guest, “Who are you?” David simply wanted to know his name. The man went home and pondered that question deeply. Who am I? Who am I? I have no idea who I am. He called David back and asked if he could meet with him. When they met, the man said, “You asked me a really hard question on Sunday. You asked me who I am, and I have no idea. Would you help me learn the answer to that important question?” David had an open door to share the bad news and the good news of the gospel and lead this man to saving faith in Christ, and in Jesus Christ he found an identity—Christian! If I asked you today, “Who are you?” how would you respond?
One of my favorite Khen Tombing (the church planting movement leader whom Good News has partnered with to help plant 14 churches in Manipur State, India) stories has to do with his identity. Manipur State is a unique state in India, connected by a narrow land bridge with Nepal above it and Bangladesh below it. Growing up, Khen would tell people he was Indian, and they would say, “You don’t look like an Indian to me. You look Asian.” But then Khen became a Christian, and in Jesus Christ he found an identity—Christian! Now Khen tells people, “I am a Christian,” and no one says, “You don’t look like a Christian,” because Christians are found in every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.
All my life I worked hard to establish an identity for myself: cool, popular, athlete, surfer, etc. Then Jesus moved in, and in Jesus Christ I found an identity—Christian! Now I know who I am and why I am here.
Identity is a really big deal in our lives and our culture, isn’t it? It is a really big deal in the Bible too. Because who we are (identity) determines what we do (purpose).
1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
In the verses, above, we see:
Identity: We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.
Purpose: We are to proclaim the excellencies of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
All churches have five functions (worship, teaching, evangelism, biblical community, and mercy), but most churches do two of them well, and these two become the church’s identity.
At Good News, we are an Evangelism—Biblical Community Church.
We worship, provide teaching, and show mercy. Our passions and our identity are evangelism and biblical community. We are passionate about reaching the lost and then plugging them into biblical community to be transformed by the gospel.
Our core values define both who we are and who we long to be.
- Gospel-Centered: Good News loves the gospel!
Everyone needs the gospel!
The lost need the gospel to be reached, while the found need the gospel to be transformed.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. —Romans 1:16
- Evangelism: Good News loves the lost!
When we have the cure for death, we must share it. The more we experience the gospel personally, the more compelled we are to share it. We will do anything short of sin to reach the lost.
“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” —Luke 15:7
- Biblical Community: Good News loves one another!
We believe the gospel enables us to do life together. We need each other to grow, serve, share, and reach out.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. —Acts 2:46,47
- Joy: Good News loves to make it enjoyable to learn about God!
It is a sin to bore people with the gospel!
Life is hard; so when we gather, we will laugh hard, loud, and often because Jesus is the Joy-giver. Nothing is more fun than learning about God and serving Him with people we love!
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Priority of the Next Generation: Good News loves children, youth, and college students!
The church is always one generation from extinction!
We place a top priority on reaching the next generation in all we do.
All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. —Judges 2:10
We believe understanding who we are will help us accomplish our three-year goals.
3 YEAR GOAL
Our Three-Year Goal: Healthy Church Growth
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit,and so prove to be My disciples.” —John 15:8
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. —John 15:16
Healthy growth happens when you . . .
- Lead small (200 leaders of 10)
We can keep growing as a church when we lead small and lead 10. We can have the best of a large and small group when we lead small. We will not be overcome by compassion fatigue when we lead small. Anyone and everyone can lead small. There are endless opportunities for people to get on the field and make a difference when we lead small.
- Give big (Tithe and Up)
We want to focus on generosity. If we increase our giving 10% each year, we could pay off our debt, plant more churches, and reach more people in our county.
- Reach more (2000 attendance)
Year One – 2017 strategic objectives: This year we are going to focus on who we are and what we do. We believe the more you understand who we are and what we do, the more you will want to join us, the more you will want to grab the nets and help pull. This year, we want you to exchange your fishing pole for a net. Let’s do this together.