Distinctives of the NLBF vision
Embrace a Transformational Mission
We desire to move beyond the self-serving mission of building a campus & programs to meet our needs
- The intentional/systematic spiritual development of its members toward Christ-likeness
- The advancement of the rule & reign of Christ in their neighborhoods, cities and region (salt & light)
Measure Effectiveness Qualitatively
We desire to move beyond the quantitative measures of Attendance, Buildings & Cash (The ABCs) discernable & measureable ways developed and embraced for measuring qualitative transformation
- A profile of the Christian life developed & embraced that describes what it means for their members to believe like Jesus, act like Jesus and have the character of Jesus.
- The hallmarks of the practice of the Christian life in community identified and described
- Annual measurements of progress toward activating:
- The beliefs, practices & virtues of the profile of the Christian life in its members’ lives
- The hallmarks of the practice of the Christian life in community
Pursue Life-together in Community
We desire to move beyond strategies influenced by the independence & isolation of our generation.
- Our primary strategy is the encouragement of the practice of the Christian life in community.
- Community is understood as the gathering together of believers & non-believers to carry out common purposes.
Adopt a Systematic Approach to Spiritual Formation
We desire to move beyond merely accumulating more & more knowledge about the Bible.
Our infrastructure is designed to help activate the core characteristics of the New Life Profile in our members’ lives by providing INSPIRATION, INSTRUCTION, INVOLVEMENT and INTROSPECTION.
INSPIRATION – Inspiration is a vital part of church life. It could come in the form of renewed hope, a sense of awe, encouragement to obey God or a conviction of a way of life. At NLBF, inspiration takes place primarily in our Sunday morning worship services.
If a person is not inspired they will be immobilized in their spiritual growth.
INSTRUCTION – Instruction is foundational to healthy Christian development. It involves helping people increase in biblical knowledge, biblical wisdom & practical application of the Word of God. At NLBF, instruction primarily takes place in our Adult Sunday School programming.
If a person is not instructed, they will be ignorant in their faith.
INVOLVEMENT – Involvement allows a person to put into action things about which they have been both inspired & instructed. At NLBF, involvement primarily takes place through our Small Groups. These small groups meeting in homes are ideal communities for allowing people to live out their faith by encouraging, serving, challenging & caring for others.
If a person is not involved, they will be isolated from God’s activity.
INSTROSPECTION – Introspection is asking God: “What is it that you want me to change?” or “Where in my life do I need to grow?”. At NLBF, we desire to help people become growing and maturing disciples of Christ by providing resources designed to help identify areas needing spiritual growth and designed to help determine practical steps to achieve spiritual growth in those areas. These resources include The NLP Assessment Tool Workbook, recordings of sermons and various teachings.
If a person is not introspective, they will be impaired in their understanding of God’s will for their life.
Small Groups that Embrace all Church Functions
We desire to move beyond the organization of people around church functions
We organize people around vital relationships & then allow the functions of the church to flow from those relationships so we can work together in community to carry out His work in the world.
We describe the hallmarks of the practice of the Christian life in community as:
“The A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Functions of Biblical Community”
Authentic Relationships: We are relating authentically, intentionally and systematically pursuing spiritual formation together using tools like the New Life Profile Assessment Tool Workbook.
Worship: We are experiencing God’s presence together, giving reverence, praise and devotion to the Lord through a variety of means.
Empathy: We are demonstrating Christ’s compassionate character through acts of compassion both inside and outside the body.
Service: We are serving in the various support ministries of our church, such as youth, children, worship, nursery, ushers & greeter, etc.
Outreach: We are reaching out to the disconnected, connecting them to authentic biblical community.
Missions: We are actively supporting specific international missionaries and mission projects through commitment to prayer, financial contributions and short-term missions trips.
Evangelism: We are praying for & seeking opportunities to speak to unbelievers about the reality of sin, death, judgment, and God’s marvelous provision of pardon through repentance and faith in Jesus.
These functions are not departments within the church that people pick and choose.
Instead, they are singular relational communities (missional communities) committed to embrace together all of the seven functions.