Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Real Disciples

On Sunday I spoke about the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and talked about God's plan for our church in the coming year. If you weren't there, you can take a listen here. We're the people of God on the mission of God! We're confident in the truth that Jesus has all authority! We're commanded to share the good news, making and teaching disciples, wherever it is that we're going! We're comforted to rest in the promise that our God is with us every step of the journey! Churches are talking a lot about sharing the gospel and making disciples, yet it seems as if many are wondering, how is this supposed to happen?

Thinking about making disciples leaves me pondering one thought: life change. No one can come to faith in Christ without experiencing a changed life. No one can become a follower of Christ, a learner, or disciple, without their life being changed by God. The gospel is not about attracting a crowd. Making disciples is not about getting people to attend classes. Both are grounded in life change. This is what I believe God's desire is for us to focus on this year. Since we launched in 2010, I have consistently encouraged those who attend to love people and build strong relationships for the purpose of sharing the gospel. I know and you know that if we don't have relationships with others we'll never have an avenue to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ! I want to see God do amazing things through our church (as individuals and as a whole).

I know God desires for those who attend Encounter Life to continue to grow as disciples! As we grow in Christlikeness and have greater love and trust in the Lord, we'll desire His Kingdom, both in the here and now and the then and there. That's why the year of teaching is laid out the way it is. We want to spend most of the first part of the year talking about personal gospel-centered life change and the second half of the year we want to talk about how God desires to use his children as tools to reach and help others. I believe it's going to be a great year and God has great plans to work in our lives. I'm praying many will join us on this journey. If you're not a regular at Encounter Life, I want to invite you to worship with us at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday Morning. We meet at 1006 Oakdale Street in Manchester, TN. It's right next to Westwood Elementary School in the old Westwood Baptist Building.

The new series "Transformation" will kick off January 27. I plan to write another post explaining each part of the study and share with you other exciting things that will happen around the series. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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