Our congregation passed the name change and as of August 24th, 2014 our church will be known as Gospel Life Church.
I love our church. I have always loved it since God brought me here over eight years ago. Not everything has always been easy, but few things worth giving your life to ever are easy. Yet I am glad that God has called me here to spend and be spent for his church.
In a similar way, should I ever have to change my name (due to a witness protection program or the like — spy stuff and all, I cannot tell you anything more) my wife would still love me. I would still be the same guy she married thirteen years ago. My DNA is still the same.
As our church transitions to this new name, I am reminded each week that it cannot change its DNA either. One major difference between the witness protection program and our church name change is that the witness protection program changes names to hide things; we changed our name to highlight things. The witness protection program changes to confuse, we changed to make clear.
What about our DNA are we highlighting and clarifying? Is it not that the gospel we believe changes lives? The gospel changes my life … your life … it changes the life of family members, neighbors, coworkers, teammates, fellow students, politicians, and anyone else who is exposed to it. No one is the same when the gospel is share with them. Some are saved, trusting that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has paid for their sin and given them new life. Some remain unsaved, hearing God’s amazing love and rejecting that love shown to them in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Yet both have experienced the loving mercy of God far beyond what they deserve.
This gospel gives life. A new life, like one has never experienced before.
Gospel Life that gathers for the gospel: to worship God by serving Him and others; to affirm the truth in a public way; to depend on the work of the Spirit of God in corporate preaching, teaching, prayer, singing, and service; to encourage one another through clear commitments to God’s community; and to benefit from the diverse gifts in God’s church.
Gospel Life that grows in the gospel: by living each moment as worship to God; by submitting every action and attitude to the truth of God’s word; by affirming dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit for every good work; by learning from God’s community to live godly; and by using God’s diverse gifts together.
Gospel Life that gives out the gospel: so that God’s name is worshiped in all the earth; so that God’s truth is known to all; so that it is clear that we depend upon God to save; so that God’s community increases; and so that God’s diverse gifts can be evidenced to all.
Different name — the same DNA.
I love my church!
Your Co-Laborer in Christ,
Pastor Bryan Heller