Over the last six years that I have been among you, we have been praying for New Zion. Three years ago that prayer took the form of our 7:24 prayer that we would pray at 7:24 in the morning and in the evening. Our prayer then was and still is, “What’s next, Papa? What dream do you have for our church that only You can fulfill? Let us at New Zion see the new possibilities you have for us to reach new people and make new disciples for Jesus Christ. Amen.” We pray trusting God and God’s Word. We pray believing God’s promise to Israel and to us through the prophet Isaiah, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19a NLT).
We have seen and experienced some new things already and we will see other new things happening over the next few months. There is new sound equipment which allows for enhancements in what we can do with music and drama in worship. As his Eagle Scout project, Tristan White designed and built a prayer garden in the wooded area on our grounds. We’ve seen new playground equipment for children installed and the play area moved. We will breaking ground to improve accessibility to all levels of our building to improve our handicap parking. God is doing new things. Do you not see it?
Those are all tangible things. We have seen new enthusiasm stirring in people with new outlooks. There’s been a new desire to connect with our neighbors. One group covered the area within 3 miles of our building with around 1500 packets that contained Vacation Bible School information and New Zion Kids information and a survey about the needs of our community. We received some surveys back and have had a new guest as we’ve reached out. We’ve planted yard signs for Vacation Bible School and created a new internet link to the kid’s page on our website, NZKids.org. Whoever goes there can find out about our ministry to kids and registration for Vacation Bible School and New Zion Kids. July 2, we are launching a redesigned Sunday School for kids that will have the feel of Vacation Bible School and the excitement that goes along with that. We can provide transportation and have many volunteers lined up to help. God is doing new things. Can you see it?
On September 3, we will be moving to one worship time with a blended style of worship. We will also be seeing changes occur to move us so that we can offer more excellent worship to God as the body of Christ. Our Sunday School will move to starting at 9:00 a.m. and our worship together will begin at 10:10 a.m. Romans 10:10 (NLT) says, “For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” One way we openly declare our faith is by worshiping together and we will do that as we worship together at 10:10 each Sunday. God is doing a new thing. Do you see it? Will you be a part of it?
These are all changes that we can see, but the real change has to be in each of our hearts. We can make all these changes, but still not impact the world like Jesus calls us to do. We need to be changed from the inside out as well. Neil Cole said it well when he said, “Jesus didn’t come to earth just to change your Sunday morning routine. He came to change your life every day and in every way.” Let Him do a new thing in you. You won’t regret it.
Grace and peace,