Dear NCS Brudders –
We’re entering our 13th year of just showing up to work on friendship with each other based on friendship with Jesus. Hard to believe it’s been 13 years.
We started our NCS chapter in Winston Salem with a simple mission: to be a place for men to gather to work on relationships and to hear stories of God changing hearts and impacting lives. The many testimonies shared over the years at the Lodge and at our other gatherings have presented themselves as a tapestry of living Psalms, opening our ears, eyes and hearts to hear, see and follow our callings.
If that is too subtle to grasp, our Prayer Meister Emeritus described our gatherings as “not church, not work, not Bible study and not school and if you don’t have fun don’t come back.” I tend to agree.
So what’s next?
I believe it’s now time for us to expand our communication with each other, given all that the Lord is doing through and around us. I’m excited to share that we are launching a quarterly newsletter to better inform, encourage and connect us.
The newsletter will offer us an outlet to share more details about the missional living that has broken out around us. Though we began gathering with a simple relational focus, the focus has gone beyond our interactions with each other. Here’s what I mean.
I view missional living as that which injects purpose into our task filled schedules. When I observe what is taking place through the men who gather at the Lodge, at Forsyth Seafood, Captain’s Galley and Brookberry Farm, I am amazed.
Our obedience to our callings is impacting lives, influencing cities and connecting us to a relational network of Believers. It has opened my eyes to the power of the Gospel as it relates to standing and credentials in the Kingdom.
When we travel to countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Germany, Austria and beyond, we experience what I call “first church fellowship” with fellow Believers. We travel in prayer with an intentional purpose of connecting, encouraging and lifting up the name of Jesus. It is both inspiring and fun - and perhaps gives us a taste of the abundant life of which Jesus spoke. It is as if we are credentialed for Kingdom Diplomacy.
I want to provide a means for us to share these experiences more broadly.
But I’m also eager to share the mission going on at home too. From Rolling Hills, the Winston Salem Street School, Break Bread Winston Salem, Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry, and so many more, the call to obedience and service abounds.
We have been blessed with a relationally rich network and at the end of the day, true wealth is relational.
I recently heard this at a gathering in Mittersill, Austria:
What counts is seldom what we can count...
We know what we have is special. May we cherish that which is special and has been given to us and, as Oswald Chambers reminded us, remember that obedience is the key to understanding.
Thank you for showing up!
You cannot get through life without trouble; You cannot get through trouble without friends; Therefore, you cannot get through life without friends. - Shared by Tim Keller