"Come and Follow Me" - Jesus
Why Discipleship Matters
Simply put, disciple-making is about following Jesus and taking others with you. Study the Gospels and you will see that while Christ ministered for three years to masses of people, He primarily spent His time with twelve men into whom He poured His whole life. He took them everywhere with Him, taught them, trained them, and invested His life into them. They caught the life of Christ by spending time with Him. If you are a follower of Jesus, He has commanded you — no matter if you feel unqualified — to go and make disciples right where you are. As the book of James says, we want people not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. Doing of the Word most often works itself out in the context of discipleship relationships.
Our goal isn't to see 1,000 new people at church -- we want to see repentant followers of Jesus living in surrender to our Lord's will. Discipleship is a way to stand ground on the true gospel of Christ and to fight against folding to worldly morality as a church. Discipleship in churches creates a unified movement with numerous disciples on mission and spurring each other on.
Matthew 28:19 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Acts 1:8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
2 Timothy 2:2 “ And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
- Seeing yourselves as a minister of the gospel
- Living people-centered lives, rather than self-centered
- Understand the importance of engaging personally in the ministry of Christ
- Able to articulate the faith
- Knowledgeable of scripture
- Skilled enough to effectively teach others and do your part in the great commission
- Desire to grow in your personal faith
- Can be trusted (not only with church stuff, but in general)
- Be Shifters of culture at Grace Church for their sake and yours
Practicals of Discipleship
- Have dinner at each other's houses and read the bible together
- Share struggles and excitements together as you do life
- Explore topics through the lens of the bible once every week or biweekly
- Call to check up on each other
- Bearing each other’s doubts and questions and exploring together
“Making disciples of Jesus is the overflow of the delight in being disciples of Jesus.” ― David Platt
The Importance of a praying church
One of our core values as a church is PRAYER. In our list of Grace Church Core Values (those shared core beliefs that drive and guide us as a body and as individuals), we affirm our commitment to prayer "...as demonstrated in our worship service, small groups, and requests for individuals to pray. We know God answers prayer and that we need wisdom and direction from Him. God is our source and we commune with Him personally and corporately.
We are a church are about seeking the powerful presence of the Living God ay work among us as we seek to make the glory of Jesus known in our church, throughout our community, and beyond!
From cover to cover of God's Word, God affirms the importance of seeking Him and depending on Him. In Deuteronomy 4:7 Moses says of God: "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?" Think about that for a minute: God is near to us whenever we seek Him. And in 1 Thessalonians 5:!6-18 is the call for every follower of Jesus to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." God's will is that we'd seek Him! This is true for us as individuals and as a church family.
The truth is: if God isn't filling us up and feeling our work through dependence on Him, we work in vain. Psalm 127 affirms that. But through our faith in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit who assures us of God's powerful and undeniable presence, who gives us everything we need for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3 says so!
So, if God is near to us whenever we pray and His will is that we'd pray continually and if we know that without His power and presence we work for nothing and He's actually given us everything we need to be the people he's called us to be and to the work, He's called us to do... then let's be people of PRAYER.
God IS and GIVES everything we need...
....to build individuals and families upon the solid rock of Christ and the Word of Christ.
...to be a church where life change is a way of life as we grow in our understanding of the gospel and mature in Christ.
...to influence a community and a county and even a country one life as a time through the power of the gospel
...to reach beyond outdoors to meet God in binding up the wounds of the brokenhearted and proclaiming freedom for the captive!
...to be a church where God is so at work that people can't help but come and see what God is doing here among His people!
Could God really use a church like ours, in a community like ours, with people like us, to change the world around us for the sake for the gospel?
YES. God hears. God answers.
God does great things through men and women, boys and girls who pray! God can and will do great things through churches that pray!
“A prayerful church is a powerful church” ― Charles Spurgeon
The Importance of Family Ministry Happening inside the church and inside the home
Family ministry is important because every life at every stage matters to God and should matter to us. From our youngest members to our oldest, we love them all and want to lead them all toward a growing relationship with Jesus. Family ministry is relevant in any church because it should not be strictly between parents: other members of the church are responsible to help guide parents and their children through their faith in every phase of life.
We believe that every kid is made in the image of God to love God with all their heart, soul, and strength and trust Jesus. Our goal is to embrace children's physical needs while laying a foundation for their developing impressions about God's love and God's family.
It is never too early to begin implementing these truths in a child's life. Beginning in the nursery, our trained and background-checked volunteers spend time singing songs, reading a Bible story, and leading an activity with our smallest members.
Through our preschool and elementary programs, we present God's truths in a way that is memorable, understandable, and doable for our kids. We have a regular small group leader and helper (trained and background checked) to create continuity in an exciting environment in which our kids participate in worship, interactive storytelling, crafts, and games that help our kids grow in WONDER at who God is as they DISCOVER who they are in Christ.
Our youth ministry is led by staffed by trained, consistent, adult small group leaders who are there to help your middle schooler or high schooler grow their relationship with God and others.
A typical youth night is a relaxed environment in which we don't take ourselves too seriously, playing fun games that are interactive and challenging. As the night goes on, we funnel our energy and attention towards God as we engage with the Bible through a relevant message. After the message, guys and girls split up into age-specific groups in order to process what they're learning.
From nursery to youth groups, we consistently provide tools throughout the week to partner with parents to ensure that the faith conversations that begin on a Sunday continue at home.
"My favorite part of family ministry is getting to work WITH parents. Here at Grace, we believe that parents should work with their children's small group leaders to disciple their children," says Allie Strunk, our Children's Ministry Director.
Family Ministry at Grace Church looks like intentionally influencing parents to be the spiritual leader for their kids. Parents get about 3,000 hours per year to impact their children's lives, while Small Group Leaders may only get 52 hours a year to have an impact on their lives. While this may seem overwhelming to parents, our church is here to walk alongside all members of the family to meet their needs in any way we can. This goes with children of all ages, from nursery to pre-kindergarten, from elementary to middle school, and even to high school and beyond. We love all our families of Grace Church, and are here for every member of every family that we welcome into our forever family.
We believe that the combined influence of the church and family make a greater impact in developing an every day faith in the next generation. We are committed to doing everything we can to help families win.
“Family ministry should not be another program you add to your list of programs. It should develop the process that drives how both the church and the home combine their effort to influence the next generation in their faith and character. If you really believe that nothing is more important than someone's relationship with God, it makes sense to combine the influences of the home and church.” ― Reggie Joiner