“To Live a Godly Legacy of Radical Discipleship”

We are blessed to be recipients of a godly legacy that was left to us by those who had the willingness to trust God and believe in what he could do through this church. Our best days are yet to come! We want to continue this legacy by living lives of complete surrender and dedication to Jesus just like those who exemplified it for us. This is not something we do. It is something that we become as Jesus changes us day by day. As the Scripture says, “In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).” We want to be for the next generation what the previous generation was for us.
 
“We must decide if we want our ministry to count in the momentary applause of popular recognition or in the reproduction of our lives in a few chosen people who will carry on our work after we have gone. Really it is a question of which generation are we living for.”
– Dr. Robert Coleman “The Master Plan of Evangelism”
 
breathe deeply logo 2
 

           In creating a five-year vision for our local church in 2014, I felt led to start a Saturday night service. I had just preached on Psalm 42 and 43, and felt clearly that God was on the verge of doing something new in our church. And as I prayed and sought out God’s face, he led me to what we are calling “Breathe Deeply.” Breathe Deeply is not your typical worship service, prayer service or time of teaching. In fact, by its nature, it defies being labeled.

          When I had previously envisioned a Saturday night service I was thinking of a similar format to Sunday morning that would focus in on the younger generation of believers. Instead, God told me, “I just want you to come and be in my presence: no set format, no agenda and no time limitations. I just want you to come and be with me. Let me make the service what I will.” So starting at the first of the year, we began to meet on Saturday nights.

            I can’t describe what this service is like because it is different from week to week. I can tell you that it is free from concerns about attendance, offerings, or doing what people like. So often in our services we spend so much talking about God that we don’t take any time to enjoy his presence. We live in a fast paced society where we always have to be doing something, and we can’t sit still. Breathe Deeply is like skipping dinner and going right to dessert. It breaks free from our normal, busy routines and defies our pattern of what “church” is.
 
           Whether we have three people or thirty, every person that comes is changed. Something is happening in our church as a whole because a few people are laying aside the “better” things they could be doing on their Saturday night and just celebrating Jesus. In all reality, Sunday morning service now begins at 7:30 on Saturday night. As God’s Spirit is free to move about in those who are willing to just delight in Him, it is carrying over to the rest of the congregation and we are seeing people saved, sanctified, and becoming disciples consistently on Sunday morning.
 
            It isn’t about results and it isn’t about anyone’s ideas about what makes a successful, trendy church. It is all about being with Jesus. Simple, straightforward, and somewhat strange at first. it has become the best spend time of my week. What is more valuable than breathing deeply of God’s presence and letting him show his love for you?
 
radical discipleship logo
 

Christians are called to be sold-out followers of Jesus: radical disciples. Out of this core conviction our sermon-based radical discipleship groups have been established. We have created a hybrid ministry out of what was once Sunday school and small groups. It is only through life-on-life application of the teaching of God’s Word that we can go beyond a nominal Christianity to something that is powerful and life-changing.

Here is how radical discipleship groups work: You commit to a group for 8 weeks. Every week you will get the Scripture for the next Sunday’s sermon so you can study ahead. Then on the next Sunday morning in your bulletin you will get your sermon notes and discussion questions that are based on the sermon you will hear that morning. After the service, you join your group with the goal of learning how to apply and live out the message for the week in your day-to-day experiences and relationships. After the 8 weeks you can stay with your group or find another one you are more comfortable with.

Kids during that hour are part of a kid’s choir. 4th and 5th grade have the option of being a part of their own radical discipleship group. 6th-12th grade also have their own radical discipleship groups.

Everyone comes in with the same Scripture, the same notes, the same questions, but different lives and experiences that we can draw from in order to grow deeper in Christ. It is a simple approach that is amazingly powerful.
 
Family Supper
 
Making it to church on a Wednesday night after a full day of work or school is hard enough without trying to grab supper on the way. That was the initial inspiration behind “Family Supper.” We wanted to help individuals and families make Wednesday night study a priority. The greater benefit of this time is to enjoy Christian fellowship that we are all constantly hungry for. You will get the opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with folks you normally don’t get to see during the week. As the early church devoted themselves to “breaking bread” together, so we understand the need not just to learn from God’s Word together, but to live together in fellowship and community.
 
Elderberries

All of those in our congregation 55 years and older we have our Elderberry group. The second Monday of every month this group gathers together for a Bible study at the church at 11 AM and then go out to eat lunch afterward. The Elderberries also take several trips a year and really enjoy learning from God’s Word and from each other.
 
 
Men’s Group

 

Men’s ministry is a way to create greater community, accountability, and ministry within the men of the church. Men’s ministry like women’s ministry is a paraclete ministry meaning that it is to come
along
and support other ministries. It cannot become too strong an entity that it hurts other church ministries, but instead it should help to accelerate accountability and growth among the men of the church.
With that said, men’s ministry is an avenue to teach and discuss issues that are unique to men. This occurs in our Men’s Radical Discipleship Groups, Men’s fishing trips, and service projects. These special events provide opportunities to live like Christ from father to son and brother to brother, The specific overflow and outreach of this ministry seems to branch out into three predominant areas:
1. Health and welfare 2. Kairos 3. Building/maintenance projects.
 
 
Women’s Group
 
The church does not and cannot run without the women of the church. By design, they are the nurturers and caregivers of the home and the community of faith. Women’s ministry has two distinct groups that have often made the ministry difficult: young women/mothers and older women/grandmothers. Both groups deal with different issues and have unique needs. Elderberries, knots of love, the senior saints radical discipleship group, and the women’s discipleship group are all a good support system for the older women of the church. Live a legacy and small groups within the children’s and youth ministry are often a support to the younger.
So women’s ministry focuses on creating accountability between women of the same stage of growth and development and encourage mentorship between the older women and the younger. Mentorship is of great worth as I have learned so much sitting at the feet of the elders of our church.
The overflow of ministry for the women’s group assist ministries like the health and welfare ministry, nursery, children, youth, visitation, meals, cards, welcome, and caring ministries. Women’s ministry helps to strengthen and safeguard the women of the church personally so that they are growing in Christ and have the overflow to help meet the needs of others.
Special events like a ladies/young ladies tea and women’s retreat are designed for creating community and accountability. The greatest thing our women’s ministry does is pray. United together, they pray for one another, those on the fringe in the church, and the children/youth in the church to grow to become what God has designed for them to be.