Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I hope your week is off to a great start.
This past Sunday we experienced a moving service. Pastor Dave is doing a wonderful job leading us in worship together. And even though it is summer and people are coming and going on vacation, our attendance is holding steady. If you missed the service and sermon, you can now listen to Dealing with Doubt at our website or via the Grantham Church Podcast on iTunes. If you’d like to dive down a little deeper into the topic, you can find the small group discussion questions under “Worship Resources” just below the sermon audio.
Most of you will recall that we did a series in the spring called, Roots: Exploring the Core Values of the Brethren in Christ. In that core values series, we looked at who we are and what we believe as a congregation, as well as the unique distinctives and perspectives of our denomination. This coming fall, I’ll be preaching through a series that looks at what we’re doing as a church. Jesus said that the great commission of the church is to make disciples. Dallas Willard once said that the two most important questions a church needs to be asking are: (1) What is our plan for making disciples? (2) Is our plan working?
Therefore, beginning Sunday, September 10, we will kick off our fall ministries with a new sermon series that will give some direction at how we can intentionally make disciples at Grantham Church. We will look at the various spaces of the church (public, social, personal, and intimate spaces) and how we need to be working all of those spaces in order to grow up into healthy disciples.
In keeping with this intentional focus, we will be formally tying our small groups to the sermons, which we’ve been moving toward since last year through the utilization of the sermon-based small group discussion questions. Many of you have already benefited from this approach. In time, we would like the majority of our church involved in small groups. Why is that?
For several reasons: (1) Jesus had a small group (i.e. his 12 disciples) and the earliest churches were small gatherings; (2) small groups provide a personal space (8-12 people) to interact with what God is saying to you through his word; (3) small groups create space for you to share life with others, to minister and be ministered to; (4) small groups can serve as a primary vehicle for discipleship and pastoral care.
Some of you may know that my wife and I met in house churches for about 5 years. We got first-hand experience and saw the benefits of meeting regularly with a tight-knit group of disciples we could share life with and grow in our faith. We learned that in these house churches (or small groups) that we could better apply the principles of community and discipleship that we see in the New Testament (1 Cor 14:26; 1 Thess 5:11; Gal 6:2). This has much to do with why I’m a firm believer in larger churches having a thriving small group ministry that best positions us for going deeper in our relationship with Christ and others.
I will be sharing more about small groups and what that will look like as we get closer to the kick off of our fall ministries. In the meantime, please be in prayer for this important ministry.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. I will be preaching a message entitled, Living with Joy. I’ll be talking about overcoming things like worry, anxiety, and depression in order to experience the abundant life Jesus offers us as his disciples. I hope you will join us for another meaningful time of worship with the body of Christ.
May God continue to bless us as we seek to be his faithful people on the earth.
Grace & Peace,
* 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