After forty years of full-time ministry, one of my greatest concerns was creating a legacy that would outlast my leadership and continue for generations to come. Having said that, I actually developed this perspective early on in my journey. While I was still doing my undergraduate work, I read books like Robert Coleman’s “Master Plan of Evangelism,” attended Jack Hayford’s “Pastor’s School” and dove deeply into creating a Biblical view of ministry and the church. As a result of these types of endeavors, I became fully committed to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20, and Paul’s writings, particularly in Ephesians and the Corinthian epistles. God kept crafting my experience and the following are some of these crucial guidelines.
My desire is to be a truly spiritual leader.
I know that may sound simple, but God brought leaders like Ray Rachels, Rick Warren, George Wood, Larry Osborne, John Wimber, Ron Youngblood, and Reuben Welch into my life. Their example made me hunger for life in the Spirit and creating a truly spiritual culture both at home and within Newbreak. The spiritual disciplines became very important as I was mentored by books like “Celebration of Discipline” and “The Spirit of the Disciplines.” In addition to this, God gave me a true gift in my wife Teresa. She is the most deeply spiritual woman I’ve ever known. After being married to her for practically my entire time with Christ, has given me an amazing perspective of a radical soul adventure.
If my life was going to matter, I must live on-mission.
I saw this in so many of my friends like Steve Pike, Scott Wilson, and Chris Railey. Jesus’ words in the model prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on the earth as it is in heaven” became a driving force. Newbreak has always been a church on this mission both locally and globally. That’s why we’ve been increasingly involved in helping with clean water, education, church planting, and human trafficking solutions around the planet. We wanted to build this into the framework of everything we do. Our mission statement is, “Connecting people with God, through authentic relationships, to serve communities.” We do this everywhere we are, both individually and as a church.
Carved out of these first two, came a vision statement that ties it all together: “Developing Christ-centered leaders who change their world.” I’ve been discipling Pastor Robert Wachs, our lead pastor, for over two decades now. Robert and his amazing wife, Lisa, are two of the finest examples of this type of leader, and a large part of how I will create a lasting legacy. This vision and the rest of our vision frame, keeps the campuses, staff, and leadership aligned and as Pastor Robert is fond of saying, “We believe that our best years are ahead!”
My mission happens in a small group.
One of our most important Biblical strategies is to do our spiritual life in life groups. This is our primary method of discipleship and cultivates a spirit of authenticity. We say that we are not merely a church that has life groups, but that we are a church made up of life groups. I have learned more from others in life groups than in any other forum. Without other radical Christ followers in my life, I don’t know how I would have navigated all of my struggles with cancer, illness, pressure, my battles, raising godly children in an increasingly secular world, as well as growing in my marriage during all the seasons of life.
These are the guiding principles I have centered my life and ministry on, and now they’re the principles that are leading Newbreak Church into the future. My challenge to you is that you guard this Biblical way of life… beginning each week in worship, belonging to one another in a life group, and becoming the church through serving. My goal is that you become all that the prophet Jeremiah said in chapter 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”