WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP?
Have you ever wondered what’s next? Or, have you ever felt like there was something missing, or that you wanted more out of life? The truth is that we’ve all been there from time to time. This is why we’ve designed our NEXT Steps process to help you discover what’s next in your life!
Taking your NEXT Step begins with discovering who you are because of Who Jesus is, and it continues as you discover who He designed you be. In this process of discovery you’ll begin to see exactly why you’re here… and through this discovery you’ll begin to live a truly fulfilled life!
Everyone of us is on a journey, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all pointed in the right direction. Many of us have tried a lot of different things in our futile attempt to fill the void in our hearts—entertainment, religion, unhealthy relationships—but sadly we end up more and more empty. We can try all these things, but the truth is that a real, intimate relationship with GOD is the only way we’ll ever find real peace. But how do we get to GOD? Thankfully, Jesus answered this question. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6a, NLT).
This all sounds great, but how do we even know where to start? Thankfully—again—Jesus already answered this question. He said, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved…” (John 10:9a, NLT). Jesus is the only way that any of us can ever experience the amazing joy of a real, intimate relationship with GOD. And, the really awesome thing is that He loves you just the way you are, and He wants to be in relationship with you. All you have to do is give your life to Him and trust that He will never leave you on your journey.
So, where do you start? Great question… why don’t we start at the beginning?
STEP 1 | FOLLOW
The Bible calls this repentance. You may have heard about repentance, but do you really understand what it means? Real repentance means to first change your mind, then to change your direction. Let me break this down: 1) Confess that you’re a sinner and that you need a savior; 2) Reject your sins and change your direction; 3) Accept that Jesus has already paid the price for all your sins, and that believing in Him, then following Him, you’re life will be changed day by day.
Pray this prayer and mean it from your heart: Jesus, I’m sorry for all my sins, and I don’t want to be controlled by my own desires any more. Please come into my heart and be the LORD of my life. I surrender my control to your Sovereignty. I believe that you died on the cross to pay the price for my sins, and I believe that you rose from the grave to give me victory over my past, my present, and anything that will ever come against me in my future. I believe that You are GOD, and I give my life completely and totally to You! Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the power that I need to live every day in relationship with You. In Jesus’ name!
STEP 2 | CONNECT
Ok, so you’ve started your journey in the right direction, now what? Great question! Now that you’ve started following Jesus you need to surround yourself with people who will walk beside you on your journey. These are Life-giving people who have your back no matter what. But, what does it mean to be Life-giving? This simply means that no matter what you’re facing, we’re going to shine Jesus to you. If you’re hurting, we’ll comfort you with His love. If you’re lonely, we’ll be there with you as He proves to you that He’ll never leave you or forsake you. In other words, we become your circle, and we protect you and help you grow.
Relationships aren’t built on a single connection once a week. This is why it’s important to get connected with other believers, and to do life together. Laugh, cry, hurt, rejoice and serve together. We’re all better together, and this is how Jesus heals us from our own issues. “Confess your [issues] to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” (James 5:16a, NLT).
STEP 3 | DISCOVER
Jesus designed you for more than just merely existing. In fact, before He ever spoke the worlds into existence you were in His mind, and He had a Purpose for your life (Ephesians 2:10). What’s great is that He already knows you… because He created you. The Bible says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it, (Psalm 139:13-14, NLT).
He knew exactly who you are before you were ever born, and He designed you for His Purpose. Your personality may have been shaped by your life experience, but He wants to show you how He can use your personality to connect other people like you with Him. And, when you receive His free gift of Salvation, His Holy Spirit fills you and empowers you, giving you the equipment you need to reach others for Him. As you discover how your personality and your giftings work together, you’ll begin to discover your GOD-designed Purpose, and that’s when life really gets fun!
STEP 4 | SERVE
Jesus wants every day of your life to be fulfilling… filled with passion. And, He wants you to dream big so that He can show you that if you put Him first in your life, He’ll bring all of your dreams into reality (Matthew 6:30).
When you discover your purpose, your NEXT Step is to start using your personality and giftings to serve others. As you serve others you’ll find out that your life has so much more meaning. And, as you give out of yourself to others, you’ll begin to realize that Jesus has already started to meet all your needs without you even asking!
The Bible challenges us to “be inventive in hospitality,” (Romans 12:11-13, The Message). Ask Jesus to show you the opportunities that are all around you where you can use your gifts to make a difference in someone else’s life. And then, watch how He answers this prayer every day of your life!
GOD bless you!
~ Ps Monte
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
Now that you’ve started your journey with Jesus, we’d like to welcome you to the NOLA Family! We’re all here for you to walk alongside you, encouraging you and cheering you on. No, we’re not perfect… we’re all just like you, with our own struggles and insecurities. We’re not perfect, but we’re on the same journey with you, and together—with Jesus leading us—we’ll change our world!
We’d love to meet you and help you get connected with NOLA Church. You’re invited to join us at the next session of our NEXT Steps class. You’ll get to meet our Lead Pastors, Monte and Olga Young, as well as some members of our Dream Team.