On Sunday, we visited Pastor Phil Camden’s Church 180. It meets in two locations in Newcastle and we were in the downtown locale. They purchased an old theater and it is perfect for church.
Everyone was so friendly as they handed us welcome brochures and offered us tea and coffee. The pastoral care pastor, Garth Belford saw us and immediately escorted us around. It was obvious we were new and I loved the way everyone seemed genuinely interested in greeting us and getting to know us a little.
The service opened with the Hillsong United song “Go” where the first line is “Giving it all away, away!” I don’t know whether it was the presence of God in the room, the reality of our “giving it all away,” or just the beauty of seeing people like us worshipping God in a way that felt comfortable that caused me to be overcome with emotion. Maybe it was a combination of it all. The song was appropriate on every level. Greg and I are “giving it all to go your way!” As much as all of the unknowns can be intimidating for us, we are also in a place of perfect peace. Knowing we are doing exactly what we are called to do is refreshing and meaningful. My favorite line from the same song is “we are caught in your freedom.”
When you live in a place of total surrender to God’s will for your life, there is ultimate freedom. So many people think if they give their lives to God, there is a list of “what-not-to-do’s” waiting on the other side. The opposite is actually true. Christ set us free to live a FREE life (Galatians 5). That means we walk without fear, with an attitude of gratitude in all things, in peace, with joy and dreaming big dreams. The only place I want to be “caught” is in this very freedom.
When we know we are standing for what Christ died for and surrendering everything to go His way, there is complete freedom. I love the bathroom stall sign at Church 180:
I want to encourage you today to turn your “cant’s into cans.” With God, your dreams can and should turn into plans. All things are truly possible. As we venture out into the unknown to plant a church in Newcastle, it is encouraging to know that we will be in a city with other great churches who are making a difference. To know their heart and methods are Christ-centered and their “product” (for lack of a better term) is much like what Lift Church will be is very inspiring. Many lives will continue to be changed and we feel honored and blessed to come alongside Pastor Phil and Church 180 to make a difference in this awesome city.