Dear Family and Friends of CCC:
I want to tell you about the spiritual journey the elders have taken this year and what we believe God has for us as a body. This journey grew out of our need for effective discipleship in our church. We have seen evidence of God’s grace in our church– individuals coming to faith and lives being transformed but we have also seen individuals who were spiritually stagnant and falling away from the Lord and from our body. As we considered the reasons, it pointed back to this lack of discipleship.
We began searching for churches that were actually multiplying disciples and had processes for evaluating spiritual growth. During this time, one of my magazine subscriptions, Missions Frontiers, dedicated an entire issue to the topic! It compared the way missionaries build the church by discipling others with the way American churches build the church by running programs. One article in particular by a retired missionary, Avery Willis, caught my attention. He helped a Church in Idaho develop a process for relational discipleship through small groups.
We read the book together and were excited about its simple and practical approach to discipleship and how well it aligned with our mission of transforming lives by winning people to Jesus Christ, training them to be followers of Christ, and sending them out for local and global impact. Here is our plan for implementing this model in our body:
A number of individuals are going to the Real Life Ministries’ training course; Immersion One this fall and Immersion Two sometime next year. Karen and I are going this Saturday to Immersion One; another group is going in November. Please pray for us!
I am also inviting everyone to a monthly potluck and training to equip as many as possible with the practical skills that I glean from Immersion One and my years of discipling others. This training starts September 25th after church and is open to anyone, but especially those involved in and leading life groups. The registration deadline is Wednesday, September 21st. Please bring a dish to pass.
I want everyone to understand and embrace this process for life transformation so beginning October 2, I will be doing a sermon series on discipleship called , Win. Train. Send. I will be using the Real Life Ministry Training Manual as a guide for this series. The manuals will be for sale ($13) as a handbook to the series. Each weekly chapter is divided into five daily segments that will take about thirty minutes for reflection and application. It is a great resource for practically applying the principles to your life.
To reinforce the truths from the series, we are asking each Life Group to follow the series in your group, using the Real Life Ministry Training Manual for your group discussion. Discussion questions are provided. I believe that a community wide focus will help us embrace this discipleship model as a community. Make it a priority to get involved with a Life Group for this twelve week series. You will never be the same! If you are interested in leading a Life Group call me, 235.8291.
I am inviting you to join us in this journey as a church family.
Be Excited. Expect a Change. Make a Difference.
David and Karen, I am so glad y'all came down to the South to share your lives with us at Immersion. I was so encouraged by your desire to make disciples in Homer. I know God is going to use you and bless your community tremendously as you start to implement what you have learned. I'll certainly be praying for you both in weeks to come. Pastor James, Spartanburg SCReplyDelete
James, thanks for the encouragement! It was a delight to spend time with you and the rest of our small group. I will be praying for you as you seek to make a change in the lives of individuals. I can identify with your frustration running an organization and the way that limits your impact for the kingdom, especially individuals. Remember it is not a total dichotomy, and that in the midst of running programs and rubbing shoulders with people's, is where disciples can be made! Some are called to leave those situations and some are not. I will pray for Gods leading in your life (Eph 2:10). If you have not read Radical Together it may be a great read for your leadership team. It touches on these very issues.ReplyDelete
Also, thanks fo Rhys post; I realized I had not pasted the whole document into the blog! I was missing two thirds of my plan!ReplyDelete