Cultivating Missional Discipleship
Summer has been amazing as our families became more available and schedules opened up. Now, our calendars are filling up with increased work responsibilities, kids going back to school, sports, theater rehearsals, music, dance or other actives quickly fill our calendars.
What are you planning on doing this week, this month, and this year to get you from where you are to where God's calling you to be?
Living the Christian life comes down to one basic thing: growing as a disciple of Jesus. We refuse to allow a hurried world to set the pace for our lives. We choose instead to live by rhythms that are slower and more deliberate. We set aside time each day to immerse themselves in Scripture, silence, and solitude, which are foundational practices for their communion with Jesus.
"I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you." - Romans 1:12 (NCV)
September 11: The Joy of Hearing God’s Word (Communion)
The Word: Nehemiah 8:1-18
CONNECT- with God in heartfelt worship & a compelling Christian Community
Centrality of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16) This value is demonstrated by Keeping God’s Word central in our actions, speech, and teachings.
Personal Spiritual Growth (Phil. 1:6) This value is demonstrated by sincere desire and daily dedication to deepening our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Feel: Nobody automatically drifts into spiritual growth and stability, but anybody can drift out of dedication and growth.
Know: It is one thing to “know the Bible,” and quite another thing to know the Son of God, the central theme of the Bible. The better we know Christ through the Word, the more we grow in grace; the more we grow in grace, the better we understand the Word of God.
Desired Outcome: We need to go from managing boundaries between the compartments of our lives to integrating family and mission into one life, a cohesive framework and fabric that empowers a culture of discipleship and mission, not just occasional events and periodic programs. This requires diligence! It demands discipline and priorities.
September 18: The Joy of Spiritual Maturing
(Commissioning Service for Youth Group, Family Night & Sunday’s Children’s Ministries)
The Word: Luke 8
GROW-in a life transforming walk with Jesus
Joyful Service (1 Corinthians 12:4-7) This value is demonstrated by joyfully giving our time, spiritual gifts, and resources in order to further God’s kingdom. If you call NLCC your home church, we encourage you to join a ministry team. Much of what we do here happens through the work of volunteers. Contact a ministry leader for more information.
Feel: People are streaming to Jesus to find out more about the new kingdom. But Jesus knows that the darkness in our hearts is not easily overcome by mere curiosity.
Know: People who hold fast to the Word and bury it in their hearts will produce a crop. The emphasis in this parable is always on hearing the Word, not on doing the work. The seed is obedient to its calling; God does the work.
Desired Outcome: an effective church education program is second only to parental influence in promoting and fostering spiritual growth in youth and adults in the church. What are you doing to nurture faith in those God has entrusted to you?
September 25: The Joy of Stepping Out in Faith
(CONGREGATIONAL VOTE testing the will of moving to the Alliance of Reformed Churches)
The Word: Luke 10:1-24
SERVE-through sacrificial & generous living & giving. Using your hands to meet the needs of others
Priority of Prayer (Romans 8:26, Colossians 4:2-6) This value is demonstrated by acknowledging our need for open communication with God in all circumstances.
Feel: Jesus demands more than listening to his teaching and agreeing with what he says. He places us at the crossroads of life and forces us to decide to live his way or the world’s way.
Know: Jesus is claiming every square inch of this planet, and he is appointing his followers to go before him as his representatives. We each face mission opportunities that call for immediate action: will we represent God or the world?
Desired Outcome: Jesus is calling us to accept his lordship, to step out in faith, to take risks, to sense the urgency of the mission. Accepting his challenge stretches us, tests us, and brings us tremendous blessings and joy.
October 2: The Joy of the True Gospel (Communion)
The Word: Colossians 1:1-14
GO-intentionally and share the Good News to our world
Heartfelt Worship (Psalm 138:1, John 4:23) This value is demonstrated by allowing ourselves to be uninhibited instruments of Godly praise.
Love and Acceptance (Romans 5:8, John 13:34-35) This value is demonstrated by loving others in a way that reflects God’s love for us.
Feel: The apostle Paul is like a coach who sees a rag-tag team that’s just beginning to play together. He knows the team is not as good as it will eventually be, but he sees great possibilities.
Know: In one sense our problem is that we think too small. We have no idea what we can become once God answers our prayers, “filling us with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” We please God by bearing fruit, growing in knowledge, being strengthened for adversity, and giving thanks for salvation!
Desired Outcome: Rejoice in God’s good design for growing things to spread and multiply. That includes people. That includes Christians. That includes God’s love. God wants it to spread all over the world. Let us be filled with knowledge and power for this—a life of increasing goodness and gratitude to God to the end.