Fanning the Flame: A Recap
By NMC - March 10, 2016
Posted in Fanning the Flame, Stories from NMC
Sometimes we are called to sit and be still, to allow the Holy Spirit to wash over us with His presence and power. We are called to be silent, to focus for a moment on what the Lord is saying. It requires great energy to block distractions and to lean in.
Sometimes we are called to stand, to clap, to shout, to proclaim. We are called to dance before the Lord, to disregard all else as we worship Him. We are called to live with praise dripping off our words.
Sometimes we are called to examine, to allow conviction to seep into our bones. We are called not to live under condemnation but in the reality that sin is more than a three-letter word. It is a barrier that separates us from the God who saves. We are called to repent, to turn.
Sometimes we are called to be refreshed, to be renewed. We are called to carve out time in our schedules, to allow our normal routines to be disrupted. We are called to “withdraw” from our typical weeks to be with the Lord.
These callings are placed on our lives every single day, but sometimes, a moment or event will draw out one or the other. This past week brought out all four and then some. It brought out the need to be still in the Lord’s presence, to set aside the many distractions from the week. It brought out the need to worship the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It was the sort of worship that reminded us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It brought out the need to repent, to allow the Holy Spirit’s conviction to prick our hearts. It brought out the need to be refreshed and renewed during the troubles of life.
This week brought Fanning the Flame, a tradition that has been ingrained in the NMC culture for more than 30 years. It’s a time people set aside to worship the Lord as the collective Body of Christ.
This year, four speakers came to the adult and high school track. They brought with them specific words from the Lord and youthful energy. The room had an incredible intergenerational feel, the kind that reminds us of the leaders and influencers in our lives and produces anticipation of future trail blazers.
Middle school got to experience energy-infused worship led by Brock O’Dell and his band. The kids proclaimed the glory of God through song, singing about all the Lord has done. Their speaker, Dan Hamrick, taught them about identity. In a time of life when identity could form in unhealthy ways, it’s crucial for kids to recognize that they are image-bearers, and the One who created them gives them a whole and complete identity.
Fourth and fifth grade saw a familiar face in worship leader Ryan Graham. Kyle Howard, their speaker, taught them about prayer, breaking down a complex idea into simple language kids can understand.
Our kindergarteners through third graders gawked at dinosaur bones and fossils that are thousands of years old. They were reminded that their God is a big God, strong enough to create a creature like the T-Rex yet personal enough to care for them. Matt Miles, their speaker, taught them about creation and about the incredible story we find in Genesis.
Our Pre-K kids learned that their great big God is their shepherd, their light, their song and their strength. They got up close and personal with Baxter, the sheep, and took home CDs filled with worship songs they can sing with their family. They listened as their storytellers taught them about their incredible God and all He does for them.
Sometimes we are called to pause, to carve out time. We are called to worship both as individuals and as the collective Body. Sometimes we are called to shout our praises to the Lord, to worship Him with all of our might. Sometimes we are called to sit in conviction and allow the Holy Spirit to move us toward repentance. We are so thankful for the ways Fanning the Flame captures so many different callings, and we’re so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s fingerprints throughout this past week.