Pastor’s Article – September Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Have you ever had a sense that there ought to be more to being a member of the church than just attending worship, making a pledge, and sitting on a committee? If so, then you have experienced a “divine discontent”. Whatever our religious background may be, most of us long for something more, something bigger than ourselves. We catch fleeting hints of a spiritual hunger for a deeper relationship with God. Wherever we are along the journey of faith, we are pestered by the realization that church should not just be where we go, but who we are. Have you ever wondered:

  • How do I follow Jesus in a real way?
  • How can I experience a more vibrant relationship with God?
  • Where do I even begin to find a pathway leading to spiritual growth?
  • Why do I even come to church?

Harry Caray, the late and much-loved Chicago Cubs announcer, used to quip that on a given day the Cubs got what they aimed at: nothing. The same is often true for church people when it comes to discipleship. It might sound unduly harsh, but if our intention as a church is to “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” then we should be intentional about ways we grow our own faith journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Beginning on September 13 through October 18, we are going to experience a new all-church worship and study series called A Disciple’s Path. We are going to take six Sundays and look at five biblically-rooted, time-tested core practices for fully devoted followers of Jesus. We will deeply explore prayers, presence, service, witness, and gifts.

  • Prayers: A disciple is one who practices a persistent pattern of prayer. My relationship with God in prayer is at the center of everything I say and do.
  • Presence: A disciple is one who worships weekly in the gathered congregation of followers of Jesus. This is my highest priority.
  • Service: A disciple is one who uses the spiritual gifts God has given to serve others as my way of participating in God’s transformation of the world.
  • Witness: A disciple is one who loves people enough to invite them to experience God’s love and become disciples of Jesus.
  • Gifts: A disciple is one who practices the biblical discipline of tithing, giving the first 10% of my income to God’s work as the starting point of my life of generosity.

You can purchase your books on September 6 or 13 for $16 each.

I invite you to get ready as we embark on A Disciple’s Path. Friends, these are the core practices of discipleship for every follower of Jesus. At the end of our study, I hope each of us will be able to put a check mark by each of the above statements. Thank you for being the incredible transforming fellowship you are. You can’t imagine how privileged I feel to be your pastor.