Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I hope you’re having a good week and enjoying the fall weather!

This past Sunday we continued our Brick by Brick series with a message entitled, The Relational Depth of Intimate Space (5 of 6). I highlighted the importance of close friendships within the church. It’s great to be a part of a small group, just as Jesus was. We want everyone at Grantham to be a part of a small group. But it’s also necessary that we’re sharing intimate space with other disciples. 

In the sermon, I listed a few benefits of participating in intimate space with close friends in the church:

  • It’s a space to be totally honest and real; a safe place where you can be completely vulnerable.
  • It’s a safe place for confession (James 5:16).
  • It’s where you should expect to receive counsel and advice from close friends (Proverbs 27:9).
  • It’s the best context for accountability, where we ask, “How are things going?”
  • It’s where we find that “intimacy” is about raw human connection, where we bare our souls.

We saw examples of this in the testimonies from church members. If you had a difficult time hearing the videos shown during the sermon, you can now watch them by clicking on the interview links under Worship Resources at the sermon page on our website, or by going to our church Vimeo account. I want to encourage all small groups to watch/listen to those interviews again and talk about them in your time together this week.

It’s my prayer that our 14 small groups are growing deeper into Christ and cultivating community as you continue to meet this fall. I’m thankful and encouraged that our small groups are multiplying at Grantham. Remember that it’s not too late to join one for this semester. Our sermon-based small groups continue through December. Please contact the office if you’d like to get involved in this unique personal space.

This Sunday we will conclude our sermon series with a helpful recap of the Brick by Brickseries and a look forward at what I believe God wants to do at Grantham, what our needs are moving forward, and how you can help. I hope that everyone is able to be in attendance for the final message. We have a robust service planned, being that it is homecoming weekend and the conclusion of our 6-week series. I look forward to worshipping with you.

Finally, I want to ask that you pray for the church board. We have an important meeting with a full agenda next Tuesday evening. This is the time of year where we are working on next year’s budget and the staffing plan for 2018. Pray that God would give us wisdom, discernment, and vision for the future as we seek to steward his blessings so that we can be a blessing to others. Thank you for supporting your leaders with your prayers.

May God continue to bless Grantham Church in the days ahead.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We had a fantastic day this past Sunday! If you missed Bruce Webb’s message on Improving Relationships, I strongly encourage you to take the time to listen at our website or on the go via our podcast. Bruce talked about how we need to take Jesus seriously in the way we treat others. He shared personal stories of what it looks like to say, “I was wrong” and make things right with people we may have hurt or offended.

Please reflect on the message and keep the conversation going in your small group this week. Remember, disciples will take this message and apply it to their lives.

Sunday evening, we had our annual fall festival, Harvest Happening. We had to move things indoors because of the weather, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time together. According to our best estimate, there were 270 people present for the event. It was good to see some new faces and families in attendance. Thanks to all those who came out, and a big thanks to those who helped set up, serve, and tear down at the end of the night.

This Sunday we will return to our sermon series, Brick by Brick: How Christ Builds His Church. We began this series by looking at God’s eternal purpose for the church in the book of Ephesians, and hearing Jesus say to us that he will accomplish what he has set out to do with his church. We then heard Christ’s call to become “living stones” and disciples, and what that looks like in the public and personal spaces of the church. 

We will be looking at the “intimate space” in worship this Sunday. How is this space different and why is it important for discipleship? I’ll address this and more in a sermon entitled, The Relational Depth of Intimate Space (5 of 6). I hope you can join us as we continue to think about how we’re called to be intentional in making disciples at Grantham Church.

Finally, I want to ask you to pray in preparation for our time together this Sunday. Please pray for those in our Discover Grantham Church class who will soon be making a decision about church membership. Pray that God will open up minds in all of our Learning Communities. And pray that the Spirit will draw us into the worship service with hungry hearts and thirsty souls.

Until then, I invite you to meditate on these words from God through the prophet Jeremiah, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Are you seeking him with all of your heart? The Lord says that we will experience his presence when he is all that we want. May that be evident in your life this week and in our worship together this Sunday.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

For the past 4 weeks, we have been working our way through our Brick by Brick series. I’ve been inviting us to consider how Christ builds his church. Our part is to make disciples who make disciples.

And discipleship is about being fashioned as his living stones so that the Spirit can use us in the construction of a spiritual house for the Lord. Therefore, this work can only be done in community with one another.

This past Sunday we continued to talk about the various spaces in the church. If you missed the message, you can listen to The Discipling-Power of Personal Space (4 of 6) and access our worship resources (e.g. sermon slides, bulletin, small group discussion questions, etc.) at our website or at the Grantham Church Podcast via iTunes.

In this sermon, I challenged us to go beyond the public worship service and invest in the personal spaces of the church. We have several personal space opportunities, but we want to begin making our small groups ministry our primary vehicle for building community and making disciples.

Check out our updated webpage for our sermon-based small groups at our website! If you’re interested in joining, leading, or hosting a group, please let us know. We currently have 14 small groups that are meeting regularly. If you’re in a group already and you happen to meet on Sunday evenings, I encourage you to take notes to help in your discussions. In the future, we will provide the questions with the sermon on Sunday, but for the time being we’re not able to create and post them to the website until Monday afternoon. Thank you for your patience as we grow in to this new sermon-based model of small groups.

Remember that this Sunday we will break from our series to hear from Bruce Webb. Pastor Bruce, a friend of mine from Texas, will be our guest speaker. I can’t wait for you to meet Bruce. He is a wonderful pastor with a heart for the church. He will be bringing a message to us on Improving Relationships, based out of Matthew 7:1-5. I hope you’re able to join us in a great time of worship together.

Finally, don’t forget that this Sunday evening is our annual Harvest Happening at 4:00 pm! Invite your friends and neighbors. This is a great opportunity to introduce people to Grantham Church. This year we will be out on the front lawn facing the college and visible from Grantham Rd. Come join us for food, games, apple cider, and other fall festivities. Canaan’s Land Bluegrass band will provide our entertainment. Bring your lawn chair and/or a blanket and join us for a special time of fellowship.

See you this Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

P.S.  As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, we have seen yet another mass shooting in our country. Sunday evening’s massacre in Las Vegas was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. Please join me in praying for all those who have been affected by this senseless act of violence. As a pastor and theologian, I want to encourage you to remember what we believe our prayers accomplish. The New Testament tells us that there are fallen angelic forces that seek to fuel the chaos on earth by exploiting our weaknesses as fallible human beings. Ultimately, our battle is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12), so we pray against those demonic forces that influence us and others to do evil. But we also pray for those men and women who are in places of power and influence (1 Tim 2:1-4). We pray that those in authority will make wise decisions so that we all may live peaceful and quiet lives. May the Lord hear his church cry out for more of the kingdom, and may we work to be peacemakers in the world until Christ comes to make all things new. Amen.

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love most everything about it. I especially enjoy the cooler temperatures and seeing the leaves change colors on the trees. I’m also a fan of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. And in a couple of weeks, my family will make a trip to the pumpkin patch!

I also enjoy this time of year in the life of the church. Our fall ministries are going strong, we’re now in the middle of our fall sermon series, and we’re gearing up for our annual Harvest Happening event on Sunday, October 8 at 4:00 p.m.

This year we’re going to move our festivities around to the open lawn that faces the college. We will have live bluegrass music, food, cider, and games and activities for all ages. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket for this fun time of fellowship. And I want to encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors to join us for a memorable time together.

We will break away from our Brick by Brick series and have a guest speaker in worship that morning. Bruce Webb, a personal friend and mentor, will be doing a workshop with our staff and board on Saturday, and then give the message in our service the next day.

As I said last Sunday, Bruce was largely responsible for encouraging me to return to vocational ministry several years ago. He pastors a large church in Texas and is delighted to be with us next weekend.

If you missed last Sunday’s sermon, you can now listen to The Purpose of Public Space (3 of 6) and access the worship resources at our website. You can also subscribe to the podcast oniTunes and watch the sermons on Vimeo.

In the last message, I gave a brief overview of all the “spaces” that exist in the church, and I encouraged us to consider the benefits of public space ministry, as well as the limits of our public worship service. Understanding the differences in these spaces will help us to be clear about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It can help us today and guide us into the future.

This Sunday I will be preaching a message entitled, The Discipling-Power of Personal Space(4 of 6). I will invite us to see how Jesus called people deeper into the personal space, and talk about what personal space opportunities are available at our church.

I will specifically address how important our sermon-based small groups are to the disciple-making process, and why I think it should become our primary vehicle for discipleship at Grantham Church. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we continue to learn about how Christ builds his church.

Finally, please don’t forget that this Sunday we will have a special Congregational Council, prior to our annual meeting on Sunday, December 3, to consider a few modifications and enhancements to our Governance Plan.

Details of the proposed changes are available at the back of the sanctuary, and have recently been sent to you via email. I hope you will join us for a brief time of singing and this important discussion in the life of the church.

Until we’re all together again, may we all continue to see our roots grow deeper into Christ and in the fellowship, that is Grantham Church.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We’re moving in to the third week of our six-week series, Brick by Brick: How Christ Builds His Church. In the first sermon, we looked at the eternal purpose of God and reflected on how the church is God’s chosen instrument to bring about the kingdom upon the earth.

Therefore, we should see Grantham Church as a local expression of Christ and the kingdom where we live, work, and play. 

This past Sunday, we considered how Christ wants us to be “living stones” (disciples in formation) who are being built into a spiritual house. I talked about how are we to be chiseled and shaped into living stones that fit into the beautiful building of God.

This sort of discipleship, the kind Jesus wants, is meant to take place within a committed community of faith. If you missed the sermon, you can now listen to The Call to be Living Stones (2 of 6) at our website or on the go by subscribing to the Grantham Church Podcast via iTunes.

Also, remember that you can access the small group discussion questions under “Worship Resources” at the bottom of each sermon posted to our website. Please use the questions to help your group engage with the sermon and guide you in fruitful conversation together.

The sermons and small group discussion questions are posted to our website each Monday afternoon. That’s pretty fast! Each post also includes the sermon slides, video (mp4) of the sermon, and the bulletin from the service.

Please be on the lookout for an email from Ron and Barb Burwell that will have information about our small groups, as well as other helpful tips for those leading small groups. I pray that the Spirit will bless your efforts as you set aside time to develop relationships, listen in for what God is saying to you, and share your journey within a personal space that is intended to deepen discipleship.

This Sunday I’m going to introduce you to the different “spaces” that exist in the church, i.e. the public, social, personal, and intimate spaces. It’s important that we’re working each of these spaces if we want to be healthy disciples and grow up into Christ together.

The sermon this Sunday will focus on the nature and importance of the public space, including its limits. How was Jesus active in the public spaces? What does this mean for our corporate worship experience? Join us as we talk about the purpose of our worship services and how we believe Jesus wants to use them to draw us closer to himself and each other.

Finally, set your calendar for our annual Harvest Happening, being held here at Grantham Church on Sunday, October 8 at 4:00 pm. I’m looking forward to this festive time together. If you like bluegrass, apple cider, good food, heart-warming fellowship, and fun activities and games for all ages, please don’t miss this upcoming fall event. Stay tuned for more details.

See you in worship on Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I hope you’re having a great week!

Our Fall 2017 ministries are well underway. Last Sunday we launched our Learning Communities and our sermon series, Brick by Brick: How Christ Builds His Church. Did you miss the first sermon in the series? Visit our website and download the message and access other helpful worship resources, or listen on the go to the Grantham Church Podcast via iTunes.

In The Master’s Plan for the Church (1 of 6), I encouraged us to see the “eternal purpose” God has for the church (Ephesians 3:10-11). The church is God’s idea and his chosen instrument for bringing Christ’s kingdom. Therefore, not only should we be committed to a local church (e.g. worshipping, growing, serving, etc.), but we should also be hopeful that Christ will establish his church and expand the kingdom through us. The church will always face challenges, and make mistakes along the way, but we continue to pray that more of the kingdom will come in our generation. We’re called to do good and not grow weary (Galatians 6:9).

Are you interested in going deeper with the sermons and being spiritually formed in relationship with others who are following Jesus? Please consider signing up for a small group near you by filling out a form at our welcome centers and dropping it in the offering plate when it comes around in the service. The church office will contact you soon with details about your group. Ron and Barb Burwell are helping with forming our new sermon-based small groups. They will be sharing a brief word this Sunday in our service about how our small groups have changed and how you can join one this semester.

Each message in our Brick by Brick series will build on the next. So, if you miss a message, it will certainly help to stay caught up online. This Sunday I will begin where I left off with last week’s sermon on God’s eternal purpose for the church. I will be addressing the topic of discipleship and what it means to follow Christ and be in a process of spiritual formation. In my experience, sometimes local churches will think of certain events or programs as “discipleship” that may just be a social gathering, which doesn’t help us gain clarity on what we mean by “making disciples” and what counts as intentional disciple-making ministries.

Yes, while everything done in the right spirit can be edifying, not everything we do in the church should be thought of as discipleship. I’ll be expounding on this in our upcoming worship service. I hope that you will closely follow our Brick by Brick series as we think about what we’re doing as a church and how our ministries fit into a disciple-making strategy for individual and corporate growth.

Finally, don’t forget that our Discover Grantham Church begins on Sunday, September 24. This 4-week class is for those interested in learning more about our church, our denomination, baptism, and church membership. The class is filling up! If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, please contact our pastoral assistant, Jill Stauffer, via email.

It’s an exciting time to be at Grantham Church. The Spirit is at work among us and your staff is working and praying hard for you. Let us know if there is anything you need.  Check out our new staff page at our website and contact us directly. You can also find our Fall 2017 Ministries guide and updated info and times for our programs and events. Stay current on what is happening by utilizing our website.

May God continue to bless Grantham Church.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org