Dear Brothers & Sisters,
A new season is upon us! Your church staff is working hard to officially launch us into our ministries for Fall 2017 beginning this Sunday.
This past Sunday we offered a preview of what is coming. If you didn’t receive a Fall 2017 Ministries guide, you can download that as a PDF on our website. If you missed the service on Sunday, you can now access the sermon, Getting the Gospel Right, at our website or via iTunes. The sermon serves a precursor to our upcoming fall sermon series. As I articulated in last Sunday’s message, if we are going to be his people and be the spiritual house he is building on the earth, it’s critical that we understand what Christ proclaims as his “good news” for the world
You may have noticed that on the back of the Fall 2017 Ministries guide you can find information about our fall sermon series. To sum up the focus, Brick by Brick: How Christ Builds His Church, is a series that looks at God’s way of building us into a “holy temple” and a “spiritual house” made up of “living stones” (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5). We will be challenged to consider what it looks like for us to become disciples of Christ, to be shaped and fashioned for his divine purposes. This edifying 6-week sermon series will also invite our growing congregation to answer the call of Christ to be a disciple-making church.
This Sunday I will begin our series by talking about what the apostle Paul called God’s “eternal purpose” for the church (Ephesians 3:10-11). The church is God’s chosen instrument for bringing the Kingdom of God to the world. Jesus said we are the light of the world, a city on a hill. He said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church and his intentions to build his Kingdom here on earth (Matthew 16:18).
Do we believe this today? If we’re followers of Jesus, we must believe it and not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). While the church in America is currently facing some serious challenges, we would do well to see the bigger picture of what the Spirit has done since her inception, and how God might be on the move in unexpected ways today. I’ll talk more about this on Sunday.
As we move along in the series, I’ll be applying what we know about God’s design for the church to what we’re doing here at Grantham Church. I’ll invite us to think about various “spaces” that exist in the church and how we must be involved in public, personal, and intimate spaces if we’re to grow into healthy disciples on mission for Christ.
For example, a personal space opportunity is our small groups ministry. As I’ve said before, we are re-launching this ministry as “sermon-based” small groups where I’m encouraging us to specifically engage with the content of the sermons, using discussion questions as a springboard into conversation that is intended to deepen your relationship with Christ and with others in Christian community. I’ll be sharing more about the importance of small groups in the weeks ahead and why, in time, we’d like the majority of Grantham Church to participate in this vital ministry.
In the meantime, please consider signing up for a small group near you this semester by filling out a form 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.
Finally, I’d like to ask that you pray for what God wants to do this fall. Please pray for your staff and all of our volunteers. Pray for God’s protection against the enemy and for the Spirit’s empowerment, as we seek to be all that he wants for us as a thriving church. I’m praying for you and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we pour ourselves out in worship to Christ, the one who builds his church.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Don’t forget, Matt Bushoven, our new Youth & Young Adult Pastor, has invited all college students to stay after the service for a picnic on our lawn facing Messiah College. If you’re a college student or you’re interested in college ministry, please plan to attend the picnic and enjoy the food and fellowship. If you’d like to volunteer to help in some way, contact Matt ASAP email@example.com.
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org