Our focus is relational discipleship rather than numbers and community rather than buildings and programs. Passing through the threshold of 500 has presented unique challenges to our storied church. The elders, staff and I have been discussing all of this in light of our priority to affirm our commitment to each individual, every marriage, and every family.
Our biblical text this year will be the Book of Galatians. Paul’s “Magna Carta of Christian Liberty” is all about accessing the grace of God in ways that release new life in Christ. I’m going to be teaching it with our specific community of faith in mind. This means that all of us, together will be saying, “We want to help you trust the grace of God in ways that will release your new life in Christ”.
This brings a huge commitment on our part. As we’re saying this to others, we should be asking ourselves, “How do we treat people as special as they are to Christ?” Our discussions and actions over the next 12 months will center on determining how we multiply groups, multiply and equip leaders and organize ministry so that we stay in touch with those who need God’s grace, encouragement, and guidance. The overarching Breakthrough Prayer we’ve settled on is simple but stretching: Please mature us as a church as we extend grace to more and more.
The best way I know to help you understand why we chose this theme is to take you back to one of our favorite passages from last year. It comes from a section of First Peter designed to strengthen our resolve to follow Christ even when He asks us to suffer unjustly in His name. It ends with a reminder that we shouldn’t suffer alone and we’re running out of time to glorify the Lord Jesus here on earth. We need our community of faith.
Here’s the link to the sermon, study notes, and discussion notes from last Sunday: