We have been asked a number of times about the #25blessings campaign NLCF has going this year. So, here goes.
The start of this Fall Semester in 1989, NLCF was planted. 25 years may not seem like a long time, but when you consider the percentage of church plants that make it that far, and when you add to that the fact that we primarily focus on a demographic that isn’t able to give as much (read that as on average 90% less than a traditional church), one where if someone wants to go on staff they have to first raise their entire salary like an overseas missionary. Where you regularly send your most experienced leaders to other churches in the cities where they are hired, and where you have to grow by 20-25% a year JUST TO STAY THE SAME SIZE YOU WERE LAST YEAR, well, it is daunting. To be growing and thriving 25 years later is pretty good sized miracle.
So we want to celebrate, but maybe a bit differently than the typical celebration.
What we decided to do was take this academic year and give blessings back to the Va. Tech and NRV community. And we thought that 25 of them would be symbolic.
Being a blessing to our community and university isn’t anything new here. We fully believe that we are called by Christ to be good neighbors, that the Good News should be, well, good news. That the people we are around should experience better lives because of our presence in them.
So, this year, #25blessings. We have already started and we have many more to go. Some of them are a bit expensive and some take a great deal of time. But we are committed. We have been so blessed to be a part of this amazing community for 25 years and we are excited to take a year (an incredibly busy one mind you) and focus on being grateful and showing gratitude. Taking time to slow down a bit and genuinely honor those who have been so good to us is simply the right thing to do. It will take a lot to get it done well, but it seems like a good thing to focus on.
As we are doing this, we are starting to see NLCF’ers (leaders and members) being blessed through it. Looking at our community through eyes that search for ways to bring blessing, not just to receive it. Seeing that even my everyday world needs me to be a light for Christ, not just in big and planned ways (although we have 25 of those) but in small, unplanned ones as well.
This is going to be a fun year! Would you like to join us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will show you how you can!
Here is what Jesus said about all this in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5…
You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Emphasis mine.