“What we’ve learned is that the Holy Spirit wants to bring unity,” King says, “and while there isn’t a model prescribed in Scripture, there are some bedrock principles.” One of those, he says, is personal integrity, which is “indispensable in ministry in general and in leadership more specifically.”
NewSpring’s leadership structure just might set a precedent for the future of the American church, King says:
“I just have to wonder if the Lord is using us as sort of an example or maybe a test run. Maybe we are the ones that go first, and maybe we can figure out some of this, so that in years to come as the Holy Spirit pours new wine in new wineskins and the church continues to grow and change and expand and the structures continue to look differently, maybe people can look to NewSpring and say, ‘Those guys are doing team leadership; let’s hear from them.’”
But there’s no rush, King notes. “Every church has opportunities to make changes…and we should seize those opportunities,” says, “but don’t make them quickly or out of panic.” He advises church leaders to “slow down, take your time and labor before the Lord,” knowing that “God’s church will prevail.”
A Second Chance for Noble
Meanwhile, NewSpring’s expelled founder also is experiencing a new ministry chapter. Perry Noble launched Second Chance Church last year, initially as an online ministry with sermons posted on Facebook. This summer he announced the church will have a physical location in Anderson, South Carolina, and Facebook updates indicate that construction is still being completed.
Noble, who frequently uses the slogan “The best is yet to come,” admits past errors and weaknesses. But he takes issue with people who question his motives, as well as with those who say it’s too soon for him to return to a pastoral role. “There may be quite a few things I did wrong as senior pastor of NewSpring Church,” he says. “However, I preached Jesus every Sunday that I had the privilege to serve at NewSpring Church.”