One of the things that has changed significantly at New Durham Chapel over the 10 years of my ministry has been the face and nature of the ministry here. When I started ministering here in September 2004 the congregation consisted mostly of white folks with a few minorities mixed in. Today the complexion of the church family is much more diverse. As we have embraced people from every race and culture who have crossed our doors we’ve had some very interesting and challenging growth experiences. Having ministered primarily to white folks in rural settings before coming here I’m amazed at how much grace God had extended to me as He has transformed the basic makeup of NDC.
There are three things that will be happening over the next few months that are reflective of the changing DNA at NDC. First, this Saturday evening we will be hosting a fellowship dinner followed by a concert for the benefit of Roxas City in the Philippines. The dinner will be donated by one of our Filipino attenders who is generously providing a delicious variety of Filipino fare. The concert will be led by our worship director Giselle Sera-Josef and will include music ministry from Global Harvest Fellowship, a Filipino fellowship in Bayonne. The love gift received at the dinner/concert will be taken to Roxas City by two of our Filipino sisters who will minister and represent NDC on the other side of the world as they distribute food and share the gospel.
As we watched the devastating results of Yolanda destroying Roxas City (195 mph winds) we felt compelled to respond because of Gods’ great provisions for us. We’re reminded of John’s words in his first letter to his friends when he writes, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren, But whoever has the world’s goods and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (V. 3:16-18 NASB).
The second thing happening at NDC will be the Church Mobilization Day on March 1st. On that day we will be bringing in speakers who will be ministering to church leaders and church planters. As we partner with Vijay Kumar and utilize some of his resources from the North American Mission Board we will be inviting 15 or 16 ethnic church planters to come and be blessed and encouraged in the ministry that day. Again, as we change the DNA at NDC we need to embrace the uniqueness not only of our surrounding world but also the uniqueness of the distinctive call that God has entrusted to us. As we minister to African, Indian, Filipinos, Chinese and a host of other nationalities in our midst, let us use our resources to build up the broader body of Christ. It is easy for us to think that the only thing happening is what we are personally involved in, or within our own cozy group or clique. We must remember God’s kingdom transcends all race and culture barriers. God has entrusted to us 6 acres of beautiful ground at the edge of Piscataway, South Plainfield, and Edison. He’s located us in the center of one of the busiest states in the nation. We have 5 exits off of route 287! Let us embrace this role of making a difference beyond the four walls of our church building. As God transforms our DNA we must recognize that God’s work and Word go beyond our own small world view. Let us move into the presence of the Lord with open hearts as we see Him blessing other people and ministries through us. Remember the words of the elders in the 5th chapter of Revelation where we read: And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou has made them to be a kingdom and priest to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (V. 9-10 NASB). Let us rejoice that the work we are doing is going to make a difference in eternity. Remember eternity lasts forever, this life, not so much. Where’s your treasure being stored?
Shalom, Pastor Rich Sivo
Stay tuned…next week I’ll blog about the 3rd DNA changer.