When my husband was little, his family opened their presents on Christmas Eve, but only after coming home from Grandma's and changing into their pajamas. Imagine their mom and dad's surprise when two kids in their skivvies ran through the snow into the house. The trip home had become a race to see who could get changed the fastest. Ken and his sister figured out that if they stripped down in the car, they could get changed quicker.
Children love the JOY of Christmas. Instead of the stress and busyness that we tend to focus on, let's remember that the season is about JOY. Jesus didn't come to live on Earth so we could be stressed about celebrating his birth.
Let's re-discover the Joy of Christmas this season. What one thing could you do (or more likely stop doing) that would help you find more Joy to celebrate this year?
I want to share the vision for our church that was cast on Sunday morning. Let me know what you see...
"I see us being a healthy, vibrant church for all ages, actively reaching our community with the good news that God is crazy about them. This good news is shared by people who are fully alive and being transformed into the image of Christ - all while having more fun than anyone else on the planet!"
We may not be able to feed every hungry person, but we can make sure no one in this church is hungry.
We may not be able to tell every child they are loved, but we can ensure that every child within our reach knows that they are loved and have a purpose in this world.
We may not be able to change every person's mind about Christians, but we can make sure that when they meet a Christian from this church they will see Christ.
I would trade my life in - my time, energy and my giving - for this vision. How about you?
I believe in order to work toward this vision we need to prioritize two things: discipleship and ministry to young families and their children.
We have a great team who is praying for and working to increase the discipleship commitment in our church. Dave DiBernardi, Phil Fisher and Richard Brunton have a heart to see you grow in your relationship with Christ.
We have a great team who gives their time for our children's ministry. Now it's time to take it to the next level for the kids in our community.
We also need to develop ministries for the parents of these young ones, so they can connect with us and Christ as well. The best thing we can do for a child is to help Mom and Dad know Jesus.
I can wait to see how this unfolds.
This is what I will work toward. Will you join me?
I've had a couple people ask me why they keep hearing the word 'discipleship' in conversations around the church. So I thought that could be the topic of my 1st post.
Discipleship is really just a $5 word for being intentional about your relationship with God. Every relationship we have requires attention from us - even the ones we neglect. If you don't call your mother, guess who's going to hear about it?!?
A Discipleship Journey or Pathway is simply a way for a church to make it easier for people to grow in their relationship with God. It means helping them learn to pray, read their Bible, understand what they read, and to listen for what God has for them as a result.
Followers of Christ have found certain things help them know God better. Certain practices (called spiritual disciplines) help us become more like Christ.
The underlying idea of a discipleship pathway is that we are not all we are going to be. God is going to speak to us, change us, use us to help others. We have not arrived, we are still on the path to being more like Christ.
You will be hearing more about this is in the future, but I'm excited that people are already talking about it in our church.