Tag Archives: New Song

Counting the Cost of Discipleship

In September of 2009, I started an Immersion Discipleship Training (IDT) program. Now, a year later, I have much to reflect on.

This week, I started my second year of my IDT student internship at New Song Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s safe to say that I’ve been effectively discipled in this last year. I am more proficient in the Word and Spirit. I walk in more power and authority. I also have a lot less free time on my hands.

Biblical discipleship is not that common of a thing. Few churches and Christian communities invest the time in the upcoming generations.

The current trend is quite opposite of what I’m experiencing at New Song. Most leaders today hoard their positions, grasping them with a greedy death grip. New Song’s leaders don’t do that.

Discipleship is expensive! But not necessarily in the monetary sense. Sure books and materials for Bible classes cost money. Yes, the cost of food to feed students is consequential. But the greatest cost of biblical discipleship is time.

Time, talent and treasure. God asks us to sow all of those things into His Kingdom. These triad T’s are being sown into me.

Time
Want to show somebody you love them and care about their future? Invest time in them. Give them the thing that cannot be repaid. Give them the ticking seconds on your life’s clock.

The staff at New Song Christian Fellowship believes in pouring into the next generation and they do it very well.

Talent
Each person is created by God with a unique set of gifts. These gifts are not meant to be exploited for personal gain. Rather, they are designed to be shared. We are created to bless and complement each other. We are meant to work together. We’re weak in some areas so others can be strong and help us with them. Too, we are strong in particular practices so we can practically provide for others. Daily I am strengthened in my weak areas because the staff at New Song share their talents with me and help me refine the talents God gave me.

Treasure
I admit it. Money is important. But money doesn’t make the world go ’round. The earth spins because Jesus holds all of the universe together. We can’t serve two masters, God and money. We have to instead master our money and use it for God’s Kingdom. Numerous people have sown financially into me. I live in a host home rent-free. I’ve received anonymous financial gifts. I’ve gotten gift cards to buy food. My high school mascot was a Pirate. As a Pirate, I really love treasure. ūüėÄ

My hope for every person reading this is that you have an opportunity to be discipled. Know Christ better. Grow in your knowledge of the Word. Know that the Bible is not this obscure, impossible to understand book. Realize Christ is alive. Life a life of dynamic power and movement.

If you’re not plugged into a dynamic community of believers, don’t despair. There’s hope for you.

The Lord has impressed it upon the hearts of the New Song leadership to create a resource called Disciple’s Handbook. This way anybody who wants to can be effectively discipled. The Great Commission is carried out through this resource. We’re currently in the process of writing the pilot edition of Disciple’s Handbook. It’s not perfect. There may be a typo or thirty. But we know that it’s God-inspired and Holy Spirit directed. The end result of Disciple’s Handbook will be three editions with 12 lessons. Right now we’re up to lesson seven in edition one. We’re working on writing lesson 11 right now. However, the rest of the book and editions haven’t even been written yet! That’s how fresh this is.

Go to New Song’s website to download the lessons for Disciple’s Handbook. Post a comment and let me know what you think of it!

Pastor Dale Evrist, Senior Pastor of New Song Nashville does a daily Old Testament podcast on iTunes. If you want to grow in understanding the Old Testament and how it applies to you today, listen to his free podcast. It’s full of great truth and life lessons. Download iTunes if you don’t already have it. Here’s a link to his Walking Through the Word Podcast on iTunes.

Consider yourself resourced!¬†I am going to warn you, though. Laying down your life in obedience to Christ is costly. But it’s absolutely worth the investment!

A Little Sabbatical

Long time no write!

In September, I joined a student internship through my church–New Song Christian Fellowship. Since then, there’s been a whirlwind of classes, meetings, learning, mentoring, working, sleeping, eating…

And during all of that activity, there has not been much time for me to sit at home on the computer on the internet.

But hey, that’s totally a wonderful thing! For awhile, I’ve been longing for an internet sabbatical. Well, I got one!

It’s been wonderful to be immersed in ministry to the point of not having time for the computer.

Here’s what’s happened since my last blog:

I needed a new job. I looked for one. I found one. Now I’m working seasonally at a home decor store. When the Christmas season is over, I think my temporary seasonal job will end too. So now I’m on the lookout for the next job.

I’ve taken and completed one term of Bible classes in my student internship at New Song. I took Pentateuch, Systematic Theology and Spiritual Leadership. I recently turned in my finals (Dec. 1) and now I’m waiting on my grades for those classes. I think I did well on the finals and I really enjoyed those classes. In January, I start my second term of classes.

Well, that’s pretty much it. I’m too busy for the internet and that’s a wonderful thing.

I’ll post again when I’ve got some free time. Have a Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the important One here, not materialism.

Dominican Republic Mission Trip Recap

After much waiting and anticipation, I am finally blogging about my mission trip to the Dominican Republic. From here on out, I will most likely shorten Dominican Republic to DR. You with me so far? I hope so.

From July 2 until July 14th, I was on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic with 22 other young adults from my church. We are part of the Frontline Ministry at New Song Christian Fellowship. Our trip was unique in that we were all involved with Frontline and we are all very similar in age. Chalk one point up on the side of unity for that. We also stayed in the same house (on varying floors and in gender-specific rooms). We were together constantly. Make that two points in the unity category. And as a final and glue-like third point, we were all walking obediently in the Holy Spirit. Consequently, we were later told that we were the best mission team to come from our church in over 10 years. The unity that we experienced was phenomenal! The Holy Spirit gave us unity and we worked together to sustain it. That was one of our greatest team testimonies.

New Song is a network of churches all over the world. We have several campuses in the Nashville area (we’re hoping to have 9 in Nashville by the end of 2009). We also have congregations in Mexico, India, Nepal, Africa and of course the Dominican Republic. All of the congregations in our network have the same values and teachings. It’s very cohesive and very nice.

A few brief, interesting things about our trip…

We could not flush the toilets very often. The plumbing was not very good so we had a motto: If it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down. Simply put, if we peed, we didn’t flush. If we pooped, we did. Also, we didn’t flush the toilet paper also because of the plumbing. We used the toilet paper to wipe and then put it in a trash can “sunny side down.” In other words, we turned it over so no one could see the yellow or brown on the paper. Toilet paper was not provided in every bathroom, either. While we were traveling around, many bathrooms didn’t have toilet paper. So, we carried our own with us most of the time. Also, the water there is contaminated so we drank special purified water the whole time. We were not to ingest any of the tap water. Thirdly, we didn’t always have electricity. In fact, every day, the city of Santo Domingo cut the power in a grid form around the city. So, between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. every day we lost power. They cycled the power cutoffs around the city.

While we were in the DR, we spent the majority of our time in the capital city of Santo Domingo. However, we did spend three days in Pedernales, which is a town on the border of Haiti. Pedernales is only six minutes from the Haitian border. Two United Nations officers were staying in the same hotel that we stayed while we were in Pedernales. They chose to stay in the DR because it’s safer than Haiti.

We arrived in Santo Domingo on time and very tired on July 2nd. Our call time that morning was 3:45. I can’t sleep effectively on an airplane so I was especially tired. After we landed in the DR, we made the hour-long trip to the house where we were staying. The owners of the house were the national directors of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). They were on furlough (a mandatory visit back to their home country to maintain proper missionary residency requirements). Basically, every missionary in a foreign country has to leave the country they are visiting (missioning in) for a specified amount of time.

We were supposed to stay on the YWAM base, but it was full of other mission groups. Instead, we were blessed to stay in the director’s house. It was three floors, had at least three bathrooms, numerous rooms, a glorious view and a nice patio. It was truly a gift from the Lord to be able to stay in La Casa de Norell.

The second, third and fourth day of our trip, we were in the city of Pedernales on the Haitian border. We made a six hour drive to get there. We drove from one coast of the DR to the other. On the way, we saw glorious beaches! While in Pedernales, we planted a church, which happens to be the first international church multiplication in the New Song network. We loved our time with the children in Pedernales. Many of the people on our team wanted to stay in Pedernales with all of the kids. The first night in Pedernales, we showed the movie ‘Facing the Giants’ in Spanish with English subtitles in a neighborhood where the church members lived. The second day there, we had a kids’ ministry day/construction day. Most of us worked with the kids and a few people went to build a patio roofesque wooden structure on the pastor’s house so vines could grow on it and create shade. The second night, the pastor spoke, we led worship and also presented two of our dramas. The third day was a Sunday. We went to the Pedernales church, which met in a meeting room of the local hospital. We led the service there and presented a dance. The girls of the Pedernales Bible School also presented a drama and dance for us.

One of my favorite things about the Pedernales section of the trip is my experience with a girl named Kenifer. I met her my fist day there and asked her every question in Spanish that I could think of. i.e. What’s your name? How old are you? Where do you live? Where are your parents? Do you have any brothers and sisters? After I ran out of questions, she moved on to talk to others.

As the weekend progressed, Kenifer kept approaching me. She introduced me to her mom, aunt and uncle. (Her aunt and uncle were the first people to convert to Christianity at the Pedernales church.) She came up to me and gave me a hug during one of our ministry times. During that particular moment, we were praying for people. As she stood there hugging me, I prayed for her and prophesied over her life. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to pray that she would know God as her Father and would find a husband that honored her and that she could stand alongside in ministry with. I also saw that she was a leader among her peers so I pray that she’d be an influencer for good and not for bad and also that she’d pursue God wholeheartedly.

After I’d prayed all those things, I felt led to tell her the things I prayed for. I was praying in English, so she didn’t understand me. I asked one of my Spanish speaking friends from the trip to translate for me. She gladly agreed. So, the last day in Pedernales my friend translated everything I’d prayed. Soon after that, I approached Kenifer’s mom to tell her everything I’d prayed for her daughter. Her mom said that Kenifer’s dad is gone a lot (I prayed that she’d know God as her Father…that turned out to be important since her earthly father was often gone.) Her mom also said she was one of the top students at Bible School. I’d prayed that she’d be an influencer for good and would grow in the knowledge of the Bible. It was great to see such an immediate clarity for the things I’d prayed for.

After Sunday church, we headed back to Santo Domingo. The next two days of the trip were work days. I worked on the house that the student interns would be staying/learning in. It was hard work. Lots of manual labor. I left the first work day with two blisters on my right hand. I was working with a crowbar and breaking up cement so we could put in underground plumbing. A combination of water, my leather work glove and the repetitive concrete breaking led to the blisters.

The fourth day of that week was a tourism day. We toured Santo Domingo and did a little barter shopping. I was very sick this day. I felt like sleeping the entire time and I had no appetite. Perhaps some of the bad water got into my system. I’m not sure. I started taking medicine that day to make me feel better. That night we hosted one a church service at one of the network churches.

The next day we relaxed a little/rehearsed/set up for the Alabaster Heart conference. Pastor Dale Evrist, the lead pastor for New Song Nashville was the key speaker for this event. He shared a series of messages about growing in deeper intimacy with Jesus. Writers from New Song wrote original songs for this for our original Alabaster Heart Conference in Nashville. The songs were translated to Spanish so we could sing them in the DR. We had four of the top singers from the country singing those songs and those of us that were not in the band or doing tech arts sang in the choir.

The Alabaster Heart Conference was very successful! Many people received prayer and were healed. Everyone was definitely ministered to. I learned new things from Pastor Dale’s message that I’d not learned while in America. He brought new perspective and a refreshing viewpoint on the series.

After the Alabaster Heart Conference, we made our way to a resort for a few days of relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. The majority of the trip, we didn’t have air conditioning, beds or even enough water for a full-length shower. It was also wonderful to share a bathroom with just one person and not five other people. The endless buffet was a real treat too. The beaches on the resort were beautiful. The water was very warm as well.

This is a lengthly blog, but there are so many things that I didn’t even mention. For example, what exactly I got out of the trip. I’ll post this as is and come back later with my personal thoughts on the trip and what it meant to me.

Off to the DR

So, it’s finally here!

Tomorrow at 3:45 a.m., I leave for the Dominican Republic! I’m excited! I know God will do a marvelous work in me and through me while I’m away. Please pray for me/our team while we’re gone. i.e. team unity, safety, protection, etc., etc.

Also, for updates while we’re in the DR, read our team blog at http://newsongdrteam.wordpress.com.

I’ll post when we get back with lots of pics, stories, testimonies…

Dominican Republic Support Update

Hola!

Good news! I received three support checks early this week. God is faithful and He has now provided a large chunk of the money I need to go to the DR.

I am still short on the total amount of financial support needed. But I am so excited for the financial boost that I’ve received.

Praise God!

It’s the most wonderful time to blog…

Although this blog has not been updated recently, many things have ocurred.¬† Perhaps that’s why the blog has been neglected.¬† Hmmm…maybe so.

Here’s a recap:

1. I got a job.¬† Albeit temporary.¬† It is still a job.¬† I work for a personnel service in their office.¬† I’m a Human Resources Assistant.¬† I do not know how long this job will last.¬† Could be a month.¬† Could be until December.¬† The wonderful thing is I can quit with a two day notice if another, more stable job comes up.

2. I am still pursuing work at the local college.¬† I just applied for another job the other day for the media department of the athletic program.¬† I am truly contending for that specific job in prayer.¬† It’s something I’m qualified for and something that excites me.

3. I bought a Trikke.¬† It’s a three-wheeled, human-powered, fun, fitness machine.¬† It’s comprable to a scooter/roller blades/bike/skiiing.¬† It’s rather hard to explain.¬† Here’s a link to a website where you can buy the Trikke if you are interested.¬† I am a Trikke affiliate.¬† If you order the¬†Trikke from this site, be sure to use the¬†Promotional Code 595.¬† It should already be loaded with that code, but if not, make sure it is.¬† Here’s the link: http://www.trikketampastore.com/595.html.¬† In the near future, I’ll post a video and/or pictures of me riding the Trikke on my YouTube¬†and this blog.¬† But before I document me on my new ride, I must become more skilled at riding the Trikke.¬† It’s relatively easy to learn how to ride, but it still takes time to perfect my technique.¬†

4. My church satellite congregation¬†is almost ready to launch into Sunday mornings.¬† Since April, we’ve been having church in the afternoon¬†in another church’s building¬†because we’re in the launching stage.¬† But, in October, we will be ready to start meeting on Sunday mornings.¬† It’s very exciting.¬† I’ve never taken part in a church plant before.¬† It’s thrilling, yet challenging stuff.¬†¬†In October,¬†we will¬†meet in a movie theater because it’s a feasible option for this time.¬† I’ve also never gone to church in a movie theater.

5. I’ve been singing background vocals on the worship team¬†since April.¬† Very soon, I’ll be trained in how to lead worship at Life Group (a small group Bible study).¬† After that, I’ll be trained further in leading worship on Sundays.¬† Exciting stuff in the realm of worship!

6. BarlowGirl’s brand new CD Home For Christmas comes out September 23rd. If/when you see it in stores, you should definitely buy it.¬† Why?¬† Because the CD is awesome and so is BarlowGirl.¬† But also because I am singing on the CD.¬† I am in the choir that sang on the CD.¬† So whenever you hear the choir, then you’re also hearing me.¬† It was such a pleasure and such a dream and desire come true to not only be able to sing on a CD but a BarlowGirl CD!¬† Woot!

7. I also sang on a live worship recording for my church.¬† It’s called The Alabaster Heart Project.¬† You can find information about ordering the CD at http://www.new-song.com.¬† I’m also in the choir on that CD.

I think that’s about it for now.¬† As I said, a lot has happened.¬† Hopefully I won’t be as delayed with my next posting.

In Transmission

It’s nearly August and I am still unemployed. As of August 13, it will be exactly three months.

I am in transition. From working in Nashville to working in Murfreesboro. From what I thought was everything I wanted to what I know is everything I’ll need.

I’ve invested many hours in petitioning God and asking Him what I should do. Questions like: Where should I apply? What should I say in the cover letter? Where are You leading me?

Honestly, I haven’t received a clear word from Him on where to apply. He hasn’t said, “Lindsay, I want you to apply for the Claim Processor 1 position at State Farm.” He hasn’t said, “Direct your attention to the Daily News Journal and look for jobs there.”

During the entirety of this time He hasn’t called me to go on to the next job. Rather, He has asked me to stay. He reminded me of things He said months ago and is still saying now. Things that I ignored. Things I took too lightly. Things I thought were clever ideas and crafty suggestions. He asked me to linger in His presence, spend time and grow in intimacy with Him.

In the words of my pastor, “With every encounter comes a commission.” Whenever I spend time with God, I should come away with a conviction for the next task He’s called me to.

I’ve been thinking that God would give me directions on job stuff. I’m unemployed. Shouldn’t He be getting me out of this? Shouldn’t He be providing for me? Shouldn’t He do this? Shouldn’t He do that?

No.

Romans 9:20-22 (NIV) says: 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “[a] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Who am I to tell God what He should and should not say to me at certain times in my life? Who am I to direct Him to where He should lead me? Who am I to demand that He only speak to me about a pressing circumstance?

It is not my place to talk to God like that. By His character, God will provide for me. He is my provider. He just may not necessarily provide for me in the way that I expect Him to.

I cannot worry about my status of unemployment. It is not as if God is not aware that I am jobless. He knows this. He knew about it thousands of years ago. And just the same, He knows the exact moment when I will receive the next job. He’s not biting His fingernails and pacing around Heaven saying, “OMS (Oh My Self)! I am so worried about Lindsay. I don’t know what her next move should be. I’m not sure what she should do tomorrow. Oh. I’m so nervous about this.”

God is the potter. I am the clay. I am being molded, refined and perfected for my next venture. I can’t wonder why He made me into a pot of unemployment.

I researched what the word “command” means, and part of its biblical definition means, “transmitting a message.”

Although I haven’t received anything in my GodMail inbox regarding a job interview, I have received a few messages from Him regarding the ways I’ve disobeyed things He told me to do.

He told me to start taking prayer walks on the local college campus in December. I didn’t start those until May/June. He told me to write my mom a very important letter sometime in January. I didn’t do that until May. God called me to Murfreesboro in the winter of 2006. I didn’t get a local Murfreesboro number until a few days ago.

As you can read, God gave me concise directions. And I ignored them. I thought they were just ideas and suggestions. To that, God replied, “They are commands, not suggestions.”

Lots of people complain that God doesn’t speak to them. They don’t hear Him because they aren’t listening.

After months of disobedience, I realize that I am not only in transition. But I am in transmission. God is transmitting messages to me. God is commanding me. And as I receive each message and follow each command I know that they will eventually lead to a job.

I think God has asked me to stay here because I needed to comply with His previously ignored commands before I can move to the next thing.

I started taking prayer walks. I wrote my mom the letter. I have a new cell phone and a local number. I am looking for jobs in Murfreesboro instead of Nashville.

Just yesterday I asked God to tell me His next command. During the launching stage of New Song Murfreesboro (the church in my town) I missed a few sermons because of the transition. God told me to listen to all of the sermons since April. He originally told me this in April, but I didn’t do it then. However, He reminded me of this command so I began the process of listening to the old messages today.

After an honest assessment of myself, I think I’ve complied to all of God’s commands for me that I had previously ignored. While I hope that He commands me to apply for a specific job soon, I will still obey whatever command He tells me, whether it involves a job or not.