The past few weeks, I’ve been explaining the significance and purpose of our new Vision Statement:
“Becoming Disciples Who: See Jesus, Know Jesus, Serve Jesus.”
We learned that a ‘vision’ is a descriptive picture of the future of a congregation. It builds on the past and present but it always looks to the future. Visioning is about defining and understanding ‘core values’ and implementing these throughout the entire system. Our vision is about becoming disciples and being discipled. This is important because through being disciple and growing spiritually as individuals, we learn to serve Jesus and share His Gospel with those around us. It is the heart of the Gospel, and our answer to the Great Commission!
Last week, we focused on the first part: “Becoming Disciples Who: See Jesus”. This week we will expand on what it means to “Become Disciples Who Know Jesus”.
Coming to know Jesus is about Christian Formation. People need to connect or reconnect to the church community or they won’t stay. A church that helps Jesus make disciples will be transformed. Christian formation helps people recognize the presence of Jesus in their lives.
A Christ-centred life is a journey where a person continually learns from and grows closer to Jesus. The church needs, and will be transformed by, an effective process for adult Christian formation. This is often done well in Small Groups such as Coffee Break or Bible Studies, but should also be happening at Council Meetings, and leader meetings for our GEMS, CADETS, etc.
At the heart of Christian formation is Small Groups. They were the building blocks of the early church. If each member of a church belongs to a small group, the church is assured that a small community of faithful people is looking after the spiritual and pastoral needs of each member. The church needs to deliberately create and manage small groups – carefully identifying community needs, selecting and supporting leaders, choosing locations and materials, and monitoring group progress.
This is a lot of work, and we are certainly not there yet. But we have made some steps, and the hope is that we continue to move forward with making Small Groups integral to the life of this church. Small Groups are not about the material being studied. It is about building relationships with one another as a family, helping each other live out faith in everyday life, and using and developing each of our spiritual gifts for helping one another, and reaching out to others to grow the group.
So, when you see opportunities for joining a Small Group, I encourage you to do so. If you want to start a Small Group (they can take on many different forms) let Council know, so that we can encourage and assist you! This church invites all to “Come to Know Jesus”! Shalom.