What is L.I.F.E.? What does it mean to you? By abbreviating it, clearly it’s an acronym that stands for something — but what? God revealed the answer to Damian Tibbs early into his tenure as the pastor at New Life Christian Ministries. Since then, L.I.F.E. has led to the creation of the Matthew 25 Community Dinner.
In April 2015, Damian assumed pastoral responsibilities from his father, Edward Tibbs, who had been the pastor for many years. Though Damian didn’t have any pastoring experience, God told Damian to trust in Him. With this assurance, Damian followed the call and began his L.I.F.E. sermon series.
What is L.I.F.E.?
Every message since that series has tied back to one of the four components of L.I.F.E. The first, Love, is the foundation of it all. Believers need to understand that God loves each one of us. After that, we need to learn how to love God back, followed by loving ourselves and finally loving others (for those wondering why we love ourselves before others, check out Jesus’ wisdom in Matthew 22:39).
Next, we need to understand our Identity: who we are in Christ as a child of God. This is followed by growing in our Faith: the engine that runs it all. The final component to L.I.F.E is our Eternal Purpose, based on Matthew 5:16:
The whole purpose is to get people walking in their Eternal Purpose. Empowering others to find theirs is the basis of a twelve-fold ministry of New Life Christian Ministries.
Empowering the Church
Everyone is a minister. By helping others identify their Eternal Purpose, Damian’s church now has a men’s ministry, women’s ministry, media ministry, safety and security ministry, Kingdom Care (elder ministry), Kingdom Keepers (groundskeeping), pastor’s aide, intercessory prayer, children’s ministries, Faith, Family & Fun, Compel (fulfilling the Great Commission), and finally Matthew 25 Ministries.
In Matthew 25:34-36, it says,
Under Matthew 25 Ministries falls all of their missions including jail outreach, an orphanage in Kenya, and their kitchen ministry — otherwise known as their Matthew 25 Community Dinner.
Matthew 25 Community Dinner
When is the last time you went out to eat at a restaurant? Some of us go out weekly, and many more of us go out more than that. For many of those who struggle financially, going out to eat is simply unaffordable.
Damian’s church has provided an opportunity for those same individuals to go out to eat several times a month. On the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, from 4:30pm to about 6:30pm, New Life serves the community with a free, home cooked meal. Partnering with Lima First Assembly of God, they also serve a meal with volunteers from Lima First on the last Saturday of every month from 11am to 2pm.
Everyone is welcome. There’s no need to show an ID. The goal is to make this into a community dinner where people from all walks of life can fellowship, eat an amazing meal and have a great time discipling and making connections with others.
Those volunteers who are there serving are walking in their Eternal Purpose. The results are something only God could ordain: over 300 people per month are served by the Matthew 25 Community Dinner. It was a step of Faith that led to New Life establishing the dinner — and it’s enabled the church to be able to establish connections with people who wouldn’t normally come to church, but who will come and be ministered to at the meal. New Life is serving their community. The church has become more than just the church on the corner: it’s a place where people can receive and be shown love. It’s L.I.F.E. at its purest, and is an amazing example of God in Action.
5 things we get by serving others
Jesus instructs us to lead through servant leadership. When we obey His commands there are things that we get out of it. Learn what those are in our free guide.Download our guide here