Pastoral Notes - August 13, 2017

With the start of Sunday School, I asked Greg Wilbur who oversees our Discipleship ministries to not only introduce the fall semester but to remind us of the discipleship vision for Christian Formation.

As the fall starts, we have a wonderful opportunity to announce, celebrate and join in with the specific aspect of discipleship that occurs on Sunday mornings between the services. Sunday School classes are available for all ages with a variety of topics designed to encourage spiritual growth and relationships.

Nursery—Under the leadership of Christy Shurden, the nursery serves our families with young children during services and Sunday School. Not only do we desire to offer a safe and fun location for the infants and toddlers, we also want to walk alongside parents as children make the transition to Sunday School and the worship service.

Elementary—We have more than 100 children in our congregation between the ages of three and twelve! Martha Brooks is organizing teachers to not only implement lessons that point our children to Jesus, but to also create opportunities for our children to get to know one another and build relationships.

Youth (7th-12th grades)—With Randy Allen at the helm, Youth Sunday School systematically takes our youth through the entirety of Scripture—7th-9th in the Old Testament and 10th-12th in the New Testament. Other youth activities occur during the week.

Adults—The Chapel class will be starting a 9-week study called The Gospel-Centered Community and the Koinonia Class is beginning a study of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

BUT, this is just one part of our overall Christian Formation plan. Our image for the formation is the growth seen represented by the green leaves within the structure/discipline of the surrounding square but infused by a field of blue representing grace.

As Nate preached last Sunday, “whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Gal 6:7)” and that we need to live in the light of the ultimate harvest. Weeds grow without help, but flowers need tending and attention. The Christian Formation Plan is designed to help provide intentionality, accountability, and tools so that we may tend our spiritual lives for the sake of bearing good fruit. As thoughts lead to deeds to habits to character to destiny, we long for the Church Body to be so saturated in the Word and prayer (and the other spiritual disciplines) that we think God’s thoughts after Him and that we be found and formed in Christ.

As this fall begins, we urge you to the “simple fidelity” of making the ordinary choices that encourage spiritual growth: come to Sunday School, join a Home Fellowship Group, consider the various options for Men’s and Women’s studies, and devote yourself to the Word, prayers, and the community of believers. We look forward to growing together in Christ!