Summary: This sermon deals with how God makes a way out of no way for us. It is preached out on our third anniversary as a church. It encourages us to stand for the Lord.
God’s Provision In Uncertain Times
Today we celebrate three years of God’s provisions in the life of New Life Fellowship. God has taken a thought and an idea in the minds of some, and turned it into a church touching the hearts and lives of people. One of the most awesome things about God, is God making provisions for things, long before we understand the reason behind it. Before New Life Fellowship could begin, God had to do an amazing work of stirring the hearts of the people at Glenville.
There were three things God did at Glenville to open the way for New Life Fellowship. The first was God placed it on our hearts to increase the number of lay pastors at a time when it appeared we had enough. Without that increase in lay pastors, we would not have been open to launching a new church and stretching ourselves even thinner.
The second thing was an increase in the number of people who committed themselves to learning the word of God in Lifesharing to understand the purpose of the church. The local church does not exist for itself, but for whatever the purposes of God might be. Glenville’s call to bring people into a right relationship with God was not to be limited to bringing them into it’s four walls.
The third thing was the rising up together as a congregation for the vision of the New Life Center. That process took many of the saints at Glenville to a higher level in their walk with the Lord, and they made themselves available to God for ministry. The New Life Center vision energized Glenville to do something it had not dreamed of before.
During the first six months of New Life Fellowship, people signed up at Glenville to go and worship at New Life Fellowship for four weeks at a time to begin the congregation. Some came over and never went back to Glenville as their primary ministry calling , because God had a plan here for their lives.
Helen Britt became the senior lay pastor to whom many at New Life Fellowship look to for counseling and wisdom. The Armstrong and Sullivans families came and built the foundation for and built a solid Youth Worship program. The Thornton’s came with a spirit of service to give of themselves wherever they were needed. Sam came out of his shadow and became an eager volunteer in the church.
The Holloways and Cospers began using their gifts and talents in ways they had not dreamed of doing at Glenville. Terri Johnson found herself directing a choir and teaching youth group. Tony & Carmen and their children rose to level of giving of themselves in a pastoral family role that has been truly incredible. Their gifts of preaching, teaching, and leading worship have blossomed here at New Life Fellowship. Mary Mosely, has consistently reached out to her friends to bring them into the life of the church. These were the initial ones that God was making provisions to use in the first year of the church.
At the same time God was raising people up out of Glenville, God was moving in the hearts of people here in the Miles Park area. Even before we had come to New Life Fellowship, God had spoken to Barbara Jackson that she was to come to this church. When she came, her first Sunday here, they were about 45 minutes early. They still waited even though they lived across the street. Little did we know how great an impact the Jackson and Smith family would have in making a difference in the life and growth of the church. They became critical parts of the ministries that were started.
That first year also included the Copeland, the Owens, the Lewis’s, the Lee’s and the Malone’s. Our joy though is that God continued to add for the next two years people and gifts to the life of the church. Without the hard work of you who came later combined with the sacrifices of those who were here at the beginning, New Life Fellowship would not possess the energy and spiritual life it has today. God is continuing to send us what we need to grow as evidenced by Jeff and Derrick’s joining the church today.
God has blessed us with some tremendous singers, great dancers, wonderful people willing to serve, outstanding leaders, and unique opportunities for ministry. Several of you have visions not only for ministries that the church can do, but you also have visions for ministries you’re believing God to raise up out of your own lives.
In the same way God was doing a work in Glenville to give birth to New Life Fellowship, God is doing something in New Life Fellowship to give birth to something else that we currently do not see. You see, we cannot boast that our church has grown the largest in the past three years in Cleveland. We cannot boast of many miraculous signs and wonders. We cannot say a number of things that the Lord has blessed other three year old churches with, but we can say the hand of God is upon us. We can say, God called us for a reason. We can say, we know what it is to be touched by God. We can say, God’s provision has been there to meet our needs.