What is NCS New Canaan all about? We are about ‘honest community”. Our vision is about a community of men that is open, safe, honest and prayerful. What is NCS New Canaan to you? If you like the vision, then how can we, together as brudders, bring your experience in line with that vision?
Note from the Team: Please don’t miss the amazing devotional thought on “Honest Community” at the end of this e-mail.
What is NCS New Canaan to you?
- A Christian speaker series?
- An excuse to eat the best bacon in Fairfield County (thanks Ten Twenty Post)?
- A place to hear guys share struggles that make your own life feel pretty good?
If one or more of these resonate with you, then you may be missing the heart of NCS New Canaan–its life. The vision of NCS New Canaan is about a community of men that is
- “open” (all men are welcome regardless of denomination, vocation, income, past or present successes or failures, current favorite sins)
- “safe” (what is said here stays here, without advice unless requested and without judgment ever)
- “honest” (we share the truth in safety and speak the truth in love–all with humility)
- “prayerful” (we don’t change each other, but through prayer Jesus can use us as His instruments of change).
That is why we gather, and it is at the heart–it is the life–of Energy Groups and Energy Fridays at the Sugar Bowl (and if you aren’t experiencing this and have ideas on how we could do better, please speak truth to the team). Rick Warren really captured “honest community” in a recent devotional. PLEASE read this and PLEASE join in the community–WE NEED YOU because we are God’s instruments of change in each other’s lives.
Change Requires Honest Community by Rick Warren
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” (Ephesians 4:21-25 NLT)
To change the defects in your life, you have to have people in your life who tell you the truth. You’re not going to get well on your own; you’re going to need other people in your life. You’re going to need support. You’re going to need a small group. Change requires honest community.
There are some things in your life you’re never ever going to be able to change on your own, typically the things that are the most difficult in your life and that you don’t want anybody else to know about.
You’re never getting over those things until you share them with someone. You don’t have to tell everybody. You just need to find one person who will trust you and whom you trust — someone who will be confidential, love you unconditionally, not be judgmental, and pray for you. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.
This does not mean a small group where you get together on a superficial level and everyone is “fine” or “doing great.” You have to get to the level of maturity in your small group where you can say, “I had a tough week this week. Life stinks. Here’s what happened.”
“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body” (Ephesians 4:25 NLT).
If you’re a believer, you’re also a belonger. You belong in the family of God, and every other believer belongs to you. You cannot become until you belong. You can’t become what God wants you to be until you belong in a group that’s going to have gut-level, honest community. Put away falsehood. Talk to your neighbor. Tell your friend the truth, because we belong to each other.
If you are serious about changing the deepest hang-ups in your heart, the deepest defects in your life, you’re going to have to face the fear of being honest. You’ve got to stop faking it. You’ve got to put away falsehood. You’ve got to be real.
You can go through life with one of two choices: pretending like you’ve got it all together or getting it all together. But you’ll never get it all together as long as you pretend you’ve got it all together. And you’re never going to get well, get healed, get rid of that area that’s bugging you in your life until you talk to somebody about it.