our values

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

GOOD FOR EVERYONE

Romans 12:16; Galatians 6:10

GOOD TO EACH OTHER

John 13:35; Galatians 6:1

GOOD WITH OUR BIBLES

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:16

GOOD FROM GOD

James 1:17; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

our strategy

Founding Pastor Luke + Kristen Macdonald

We love the good news. We are giving our lives to trying to spread it. Our ministry passions are clear bible teaching, ethnic diversity, and growing our ability to truly love each other.

Previous to starting Good News in the Neighborhood, Luke was an associate pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church, a historic African American congregation in South Los Angeles. Before that, Luke was a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel for 13 years, serving as a youth pastor, helping start Vertical Worship, and leading many initiatives + ministries. He has degrees from Moody Bible Institute + Talbot School of Theology.

We are high school sweethearts who have grown up into partners in life and ministry. We are raising three lions and a princess – Carter (13), Reid (11), Graham (9) and Felicity (5).

Luke loves playing golf and a good book. Kristen loves hospitality + a long walk with a loved one. Our family loves sports, rooting hard for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and Tottenham Hotspur.

Together we write a newsletter that drops every Saturday morning, ‘Good News Weekly.’

Co-Founder, Laura Weigle

Previous to starting Good News In The Neighborhood, Laura worked for 12+ years in corporate finance followed by 4 years in church ministry. In addition to being a small business owner, her expertise includes managing complex programs/projects, delivering excellence on-time and on-budget as well as managing creative teams.

Laura and her husband, Lucas, live with their two children in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Lucas loves old homes (he owns and operates a home inspection business), Talking Heads, and creating fun experiences for their kids. Laura loves reading, 90’s hip-hop, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Together, they love sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to old and new friends.

Are we an Evangelical Church?

Over the last few years the word ‘evangelical’ has increasingly become understood in culture as a voting block as much as a theological coalition. The chaotic era of 2016-20 has many people re-examining the label to see if it still fits. So it’s fair to ask, is Good News in the Neighborhood an evangelical church?

I was raised, educated, and discipled by a variety of conservative evangelical institutions. Evangelicalism as the large, broad coalition of white Christianity in America was organized in the late 1940’s, personified by the ministry of Billy Graham. Evangelicals wanted to hold strong to biblical truth as a contrast to the slippage they saw in mainline denominations. They also wanted an outward focus as a contrast to the insular fundamentalists. The movement (which claims 1/4 of Christians worldwide) is framed around 4 ideas:

  • the work of Jesus on the cross
  • a personal response to that work
  • a high regard for the Bible
  • a commitment to tell as many people as possible

 

Do you nod your head as you read that list, wishing evangelicals had stayed a little more focused on their main components? 

I believe the church must make a critical shift in how these 4 concepts are executed and perceived to be fruitful in the generations ahead. If we want to be multi-ethnic, Bible-teaching, and life-giving, we must love + listen well.

In summary, We are an evangelical church in the sense that we believe the things the evangelical church believes, but not in the sense of having a fixed political ideology.

– Pastor Luke MacDonald

 

current events essay

v. 1, summer 2022

if you are reading this, it’s likely something dramatic or traumatic has happened in the world recently. just since the start of may 2022, the shooting in Uvalde, Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, the crypto crash, January 6th Committee Hearings and rapidly rising inflation all feel like generational events. the world appears to be moving faster and the need to think wisely is increasing. rather than try to successfully parse each unfolding situation biblically in real time, i have been working on this essay to articulate what I believe about current events. my plan is to return periodically to this content to update it as God grows + changes our community

1. i choose to be a kingdom independent by rejecting a partisan left or right identity, while also rejecting the faux morality of passive moderation.
the political system in the united states + the (social) media environment underpinning it wants us to see ourselves as on a team competing with an opponent. with sporting + war metaphors galore, most events are almost immediately transposed into combat. many people dislike this dynamic, with some attempting to be a moderate. this is usually articulated as being less binary about issues and more gracious in speech.

however, the moderate is not inherently more spiritual than the partisan. in Acts 5, Gamaliel rejects Jesus and doesn’t want the apostles killed. He is less evil than the Pharisees, but no less dead in his trespasses and sins.

the moderate tends towards passivity to avoid offending others. honoring Jesus is anything but passive. it requires strong convictions, hard work, and not becoming part of the world system, while still living + working inside of it. to be a kingdom independent is to work towards a biblical vision while accepting often feeling a bit politically homeless or misaligned.

2. i believe human life is created by God and must be protected and cherished.
whenever life is lost or quality of life is lowered, God’s desired outcome has not been reached. from the womb to the tomb, all people with beating hearts matter to God. my views are inevitably shaped by a preference for life.

although there is a variety of views acceptable for what role the government should play in helping those in need, the church + individual Christians have a mandate to help. any opportunity to eases suffering or increase opportunity is something Christians should pursue.

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

3. i choose to focus on personal responsibility AND systemic issues as important factors in almost every news event, not one or the other.
when we focus solely on personal culpability, we lose compassionate nuance. when we focus solely on systemic issues, we lose internal locus of control. we must being willing to see in issues like politics, race, gender, sexuality, violence, criminal justice, that systems produce the environment for disaster and individual people pull the literal and proverbial triggers of disaster.

the biblical support for this concept is Israel’s relationship with God in the Old Testament. sometimes, they were blessed (David and Goliath) and sometimes cursed (Achan) by one person’s actions. yet at other times, blessed (Jericho) or cursed (golden calf) by communal decisions. ideologies that refuse to integrate both systemic and personal responsibility for culture are unhelpful.

4. i want to avoid the foolishness of immediate reactions + headline judgements.
Richard Jewell during the Olympic Bombing in 1996, the Duke Lacrosse case, and Jussie Smolett are well-known examples of how our culture rushes to judgment on the first few rumors or facts. Whether Joseph or Mary or even the Lord Jesus, the Bible has many examples of people judged harshly + incorrectly because of their speed in assessment. we must do our best to avoid certainty in particular situations until we have additional information.

Proverbs 18:17
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

5. i reject the false feeling that expressing my opinions on the news of the day is essential.
as the pastor of Good News in the Neighborhood, my responsibility is to God, my family, our congregation, and our local community. the need to broadcast binary certainty to the world at large about my thoughts + opinions clearly causes more damage than help. it is bad fruit of our performative culture to assume in others that quiet is indifferent.

by being willing to avoid stepping into every news cycle, we preserve our right to learn more and to change our opinion later. we don’t just want to build a church of competent warriors, but also kind neighbors. we believe you can be clear on biblical truth without being required to yell about it.

when our energy is spent on well-crafted opinions about things we can’t control, we lose some of our energy to help our neighbors with things we can control. going small and going local is the primary way any of us can ‘change the world.’

this is good news.
–pastor luke macdonald

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