This is the third email in our series:
I have been trying to figure out how to explain the connection between the last email (about community) with this one (about New Life Ranch). A long time family friend, Boxley, pointed me to a very elegant way of explaining this. Boxley works for an organization called CrossWorld. These ideas are straight from their web site. They have three core values: We Worship, We Love, We Go.
So, first we must worship God in full dependence on him. We Love is where community come in; “Godly worship spills over into a life of caring community. We show and tell each other the love of Christ. Mutual care means servant leadership – eagerness for accountability in holiness – carrying one another’s burdens.” We Go is ministry; “Godly worship and mutual care spill over in mission. So we enter into ministering relationships with the people we serve and to whom we preach Christ. Because God loves us, we pursue the hearts of the world.”
So at New Life Ranch our community’s “go” is this: “To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to equip believers for ministry.” This is the mission of New Life Ranch, and it is the reason this community of people exists, it is the thing we have in common and all work toward. NLR accomplishes this in several specific ways. The attached pdf explains the seven areas of ministry that we engage in, and the web site (www.newliferanch.com) has even more info. Our big distinctive is that we concentrate on relationships. Summer Camp is a lot of fun, but it is really designed to allow counselors to develop meaningful relationships with campers, and ultimately we want these relationships to point to Jesus. Our Retreats ministry focuses on developing relationships and partnerships with group leaders so they can minister to their participants.
Right now this all sounds to good to be true. Sometimes this stuff works really well. Sometimes we are really all humble and fully dependent on God, fully engaged in His work in this world, we really do support each other, and great ministry happens. Other times we act like the fallen people we are. We are selfish, lazy, gossipy, whatever, people. Most of the time there is a big mix of the two. In the end its not up to us anyway. It is God who will glorify Himself through the ministry of New Life Ranch.
CrossWold has one more part to their values: “Then we rejoice together as they worship, they love, and they go” This is the fun part! To celebrate the lives that have been changed by Jesus Christ though the ministry at NLR. It is an honor to be a small part of all of this.
Ben and Beth