Every year we get together in Chicago for our NewThing Gathering. And every year it makes us feel like we’re coming home. Over the years we have even started to refer to our Gathering as our family reunion. This year, we’re doubling down on that.
At a family reunion there’s food, your wise family member giving you advice, a crazy uncle (or two), and most importantly – tons of stories. Old stories that we’ve heard a thousand times, but still inspire and ignite us when we hear them. New stories that cause the older generation to ask questions, and the younger generation to learn and wonder. The collection of these individual stories are a part of a greater whole that takes us back to our roots – the story of our tribe.
tribe /trīb/ noun
noun: tribe; plural noun: tribes
a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
NewThing is our tribe.
We are a family that is linked by our culture made up of our beliefs, language, and way of life.
Our beliefs are simple. As believers in Christ, we can all agree on the big one — John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish, but have eternal life.” God gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins to be forgiven. By the grace of God, three days later He rose again before ascending to sit with the Father in Heaven. There are a lot of other theological debates we could get into (which happens a lot at any family reunion), but we know that we don’t always have to be like-minded to be like-missioned.
Our language is distinct and purposeful. NewThing’s mission is to be a catalyst for movements of reproducing churches. It can sound like big buzz words, but at the core, our goal is to network churches with one another around the vision of reproducing leadership at every level of ministry, and most importantly, planting churches (that plant churches that plant churches) together. If you’ve been a part of the tribe for a long time, you’re probably used to hearing this. These words, however powerful, mean nothing unless we put action to them. Until we make it a part of our DNA. These are the words to the story being written.
Our way of life is kingdom focused. Jesus gave us The Great Commission found in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. He instructs us to GO. In Matthew 22 Jesus tells us the two Greatest Commandments — to love the Lord you God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. He commands us to LOVE. In John 17 Jesus prays for the believers to be brought to complete unity. Once this happens “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” We call this The Great Collaboration. He wants us to serve TOGETHER. We know that in order to move the kingdom of God further faster, we have to go love together.
To some this is an old story. To others it’s a new one. On Monday, November 4th at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois…we’re having a Family Reunion. We’re bringing it back to our roots and the radical minimums of our NewThing family.
There’s always an open seat.