Since the beginning, the vision for New Mercy has been to be a Church for the Broken. If there is one thing that the gospel accounts make clear, it’s that Jesus came to love and to redeem broken and sinful people. New Mercy is merely continuing this gospel legacy — just as Jesus embraces all who are broken, our church strives to do the same.
Being a church for the broken, however, does not simply involve accepting broken people into the community. A church that is for the broken is one that ultimately seeks the renewal of its people. Jesus did not just welcome broken people and then leave them in their brokenness. No, he also restored them. To be truly for broken people, a church must be a place where people can find healing and restoration from their brokenness.
Certainly, this dimension is implicit in the vision of New Mercy. We always believed being a church for the broken means we are to be: (1) a church of the broken; (2) a church that grows the broken and; (3) a church that serves the broken. But, unfortunately, like many churches, it is not clear to the average congregant at New Mercy how exactly they are to go about growing out of their brokenness. In a sense, our church has offered an à la carte approach to growth — if a person wants to grow, they have to pick and choose what they think they need to grow from the various things we offer. The difficulty with this, of course, is that for someone in the process of growing, it is not always clear to them what they themselves actually need to accomplish this growth.
In the Bible, Jesus does not leave the growth of his disciples up to chance or up to them. Contrary to the approach of many churches, Jesus is rigorously intentional with his disciples: in an intimate community, he walks with them, teaches them, counsels them, and disciples them. The path to restoration was made clear to them. Jesus commissions the church to do this very same thing when he tells the disciples to disciple others.
Church surveys reveal that Christians long for growth in their lives — congregants actually desire real discipleship in their lives. In fact, if a Christian attends a church and finds that they are not growing and that it is not clear how they are supposed to grow, they often become disillusioned in their walks and with the church.
Because of how central discipleship and restoration are to the mission of Christ, the church, and the life of the believer, we believe it is not sufficient for us merely to imply it in our vision — we must make it explicit. And so, in prayer, the leadership of New Mercy has incorporated into its vision this gospel conviction. We are now a Church For the Broken, Called to Restoration. This change marks the next major evolution in the life of our church.
Along with the vision, New Mercy is launching what it’s calling a Path to Restoration. This new initiative involves a year-long, intentional discipleship process. Certainly, the life of discipleship continues even after this initial process; however, New Mercy recognizes that for people to even know how to continue their lives of discipleship, they require deliberate, intensive time to learn the core tools they will need. For more details on this program, please visit the Path to Restoration page (going live this week).
Finally, since this is the first year of our new initiative, we wanted to kick it off by dedicating all of 2017 to this new aspect of our vision: Called to Restoration.
We have also created downloadable content to serve as a reminder of this year's theme. As Deuteronomy 6:4-7 reminds us to keep the Lord's commands and his words, we pray and hope that these pictures will serve as tangible reminders. Simply click on the buttons below.