Netcast 2 Year Anniversary (Update: Matt Chewning)

Can you believe that it has been 2 years since we moved to plant Netcast?

I was reminded this morning how so many people were a part of our transition as we followed God's call. We were so blessed with all of the people praying for us, coaching us, financially supporting us, sending encouragement, etc. To look back and see how God has multiplied our efforts and prayers is amazing. Two years ago when we moved to Beverly, MA we didn't know anyone. Now, we are surrounded with so many friends and family. In that time, Netcast went from an idea, to now a movement on the North Shore of Greater Boston. To give some perspective, this week I got a phone call from a guy who has been podcasting us. He is a leader at a campus of Life Church (Craig Groeschel's church and wanted to let us know how blessed he's been by our ministry. It's stories like that that blow my mind of how Jesus is using all of us to encourage His Kingdom.

 Here's a current update of what's going on and how you can be praying for us...

Netcast has continued to grow faster than any of us could have expected. This is a great testimony, but also brings some anxiety. A year ago in September we were averaging about 200 people per weekend and now a year later our attendance has doubled to 400 people. In the past year we have seen a ton of people begin to get into community. We currently have 11 community groups and need to add more since many of them are way too full. In 2012, (based on what we know from handed in connect cards) we have seen at least 500 new people come through our doors. We have also seen at least 27 people become Christians and will baptize about 30-40 people in 2012.

We have also done our best to enhance our discipleship process this year, by adding ways to plug people into the life of our church through serving, community and partnership. Our online ministry is still growing as well. We are almost done putting together an App which will be launched soon. In the past year there have been 53,000 page visits to our website and we have reached 80 countries thus far. Amazing!!! As far as our funding has gone, we are doing well. All of our ministry expenses (Community Groups, Equipment, Space, Administrative costs, Online Ministries, Outreach, Children's Ministry, Missions, etc...) are fully covered by the church. We are also giving away between 20-30% of what is brought in towards church planting and other ministries. Currently, only our staffing costs are being raised from outside the church.

I want to thank you again for supporting us if you have. Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed and we continue to be so grateful for your love and support. Please pray for our family as we have been sick lately and crazy busy. Beth and I recognize that we are in way over our heads; please pray for wisdom and that we clearly hear from the Lord. Right now, Netcast needs more leaders and laborers for all that God is doing out here. Pray that God sends people and we see leaders risen up from within the body. Also, please pray for my humility as I know that God opposes the proud and there is currently a lot to get excited about. May I never take credit for anything that Jesus does. Also, pray that the gospel stays central to all that we do as we seek to give Christ all the glory and see disciples made.

I love you all. More than you can imagine.

 Matt Chewning and Family

Motivation to serve.

I had a blast last night talking with my community group as we explored what it looks like as Christians to serve. I thought I'd take a minute to talk about our motivation to serve since it was brought up a bunch yesterday. In scripture I see a few reasons why we should serve and thought you'd enjoy seeing them too. This is also addressed in "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald Whitney

1. Motivated by obedience. 
Deuteronomy 13:4 says "Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. We cannot neglect to serve because we simply don't want to do we can't serve with the right heart. Our goal is to serve by obedience and believe that God will change our heart in the process.

2. Motivated by gratitude. 
1 Samuel 12:24 says "Serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." In our salvation, when we actually see that God has never done anything greater for anyone, nor could he do anything greater than what he has done for us; it will lead to a gratitude that leads to action. So, it is vital that we slow down and remember what great things God has done for us.

3. Motivated by gladness. 
Psalm 100:2 says "Serve the Lord with gladness." If we can change our thinking from serving as something that we HAVE to do, and rather something that we GET to do; then our serving will be a privilege, not a burden. Seek a gladness in your service.

4. Motivated by forgiveness, not guilt. 
In Isaiah 6 when God cleanses Isaiah of his sin through atonement; Isaiah's immediate response is "Send me." In this case, service became an act of worship based on the forgiveness that he received. We all should see our service as worship because we have been forgiven of our sin. Because forgiveness was the motivation to serve, there could be no guilt.

Holy Spirit: Gifted for Impact.

Through the study of scripture we see that the Spirit of God has been continuing the work of Christ ever since Christ fulfilled the gospel and has gone to be with the Father. And the work that Christ came to do is establish God's Kingdom here on earth. Therefore, God the Holy Spirit is currently at work in fulfilling the plan of building a Kingdom with people from every tribe, tongue, nation, culture, and race. God the Holy Spirit is doing this by empowering and gifting people to be Kingdom advancers. In essence, The Spirit of God, gifts and empowers the Church of God, to continue the ministry of the Son of God, all for the Glory of God. Therefore Christians are empowered, equipped and expected to serve God through the power God provides in the Spirit.

However, our flesh fights viciously against hiddenness and sameness. We hate doing the same thing over and over again; and we hate doing things without recognition. However, the Spirit loves to serve and Glorify Jesus. Our Spirit finds great joy in serving the Kingdom, but that joy is never found until serving becomes a discipline used by our Spirit to fight our flesh. Therefore if we don't discipline ourselves to serve, we'll never know how God has gifted us, and we'll only serve when it's convenient and self-serving. When we do that, we can only experience results in which the flesh can produce; and will miss out on finding the joy and power in the Holy Spirit through our service.

1. How have you benefited from others serving within the Kingdom of God? (Personal Question)

2. How do you serve out of the grace given to you in the gospel, and not because of guilt? (Gospel Question)

3. How can our group be more intentional to serve together and hold each other accountable to serving? (Community Question)

4. How have you experienced a joy in the Holy Spirit through serving within the Kingdom? (Application)

Drinking and The Holy Spirit

Text: John 7:32-39

In John 7, Jesus stands up and says to the audience in the temple, (I'm paraphrasing...) “If you believe in me, I will fill your heart with a water that will forever quench your thirst. This water will not just quench your thirst, but it will so fill your heart that it can potentially lead to seeing others quenched as well." This was a profound statement to make. But, honestly what does it mean? In the next verse, John answers that question. In the next verse, John says that the quenchable water is something Super-Natural; it is the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit.

Many of us, when we look at our lives and churches we don't see much that is “Super” or “Natural”. Much of our lives and churches are instead, “Mediocre and Planned.” And worse of all, we tend to be pretty content with that. But this is NOT how life was meant to be lived. Jesus tells us that if we believe in Him, then God the Holy Spirit would come to live in us and our world would be opened up to things unimaginable.

As a Christian, a natural question would be “How do I receive a deeper measure of the Holy Spirit?” Our tendency will be to think that the measure in which the Holy Spirit is poured out is through how holy we behave. But, the gospel says that in Christ, you are as holy as you will ever be. You have Christ's perfect holiness (2 Cor 5:21) which was given to you at salvation. And so to tap into the Holy Spirit's power, is to simply pause long enough to believe by faith, that you have access to all the power that God intends for you to have, through Christ. Not because you are so awesome, but because the God who lives in you, through Jesus, is so awesome.

If you're thirsty; Have a drink.....

New at Netcast Invite...This Sunday.

Knowing that we had a crazy influx of people who are fairly new to Netcast (or have just recently visited), I thought I would throw this up on my blog and invite anyone at Netcast who feels new to our New at Netcast get together this Sunday. At a new church, it can sometimes be hard to get plugged in and feel connected. I'd love to invite everyone to grab the family, a friend or whoever, and join us for a free meal. There will be plenty of fun stuff for kids to do while we all get an opportunity to connect with new people, meet the staff, ask questions and relax.

It will be this Sunday, September 9th @ 1:30pm located at 17 Parsons Hill Rd. Wenham, MA.

Also, you don't have to register, but it would help with our food planning to fill out the form at or just email me back.

Hope to see you there,

Pastor Matt