Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Grace Appeal November 2008 "Our Membership"

The Ethos of Membership
Membership Matters
At Grace we have a high view of committed community. The Church can only fulfill the mission Christ has for it, when “each member does its part” (Eph. 4:16).
Our membership is not about “society membership”. Our membership is not about “voting”. We are not yet organized independently, and so cannot have these things. So if it is not about government recognized membership, what is it about?
Our membership is about “following Christ”. The Bible says we are to “assemble together” (Heb 10:25), in Churches over which Christ appoints leaders to “equip” us all “for the work of ministry”, (Eph.4:11-12).
Our membership is about “encouraging one another” especially through the difficult times, to “stir one another up to love and good works” (Heb 10:24). How have you encouraged a fellow member this week?
Our membership is about organizing to fulfill the great commission: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).

The Ethos of Discipleship
Discipleship Matters
Through each other we are growing up into our goal of being the body of Christ, making disciples in south Calgary.
Being a disciple is not a program. It does not mean being in small groups, or following any particular pattern, necessarily. But here is the question, what are you doing in your life to be discipled and to disciple another?

What does active discipleship look like?
1) Discipleship simply means building friendships for the purpose of doing one another spiritual good. What relationship are you currently building at Grace, to achieve this? This can be in small groups, or in one on one relationships.
2) Accountability partnerships can work excellently for this. Agree to read a book of the Bible, or a good Christian book with a friend from the church, and meet once a week to talk about what you have learned and how you have applied it. This is ideal for busy people who need to work at their own pace and who have a hard time meeting with a larger group.
3) Small groups are ideal for this purpose, as they allow you to work through bible teaching, and to encourage and be encouraged by a tight knit group that grows to be great spiritual friends together for the cause of the gospel.

The Ethos of Encouragement
Encouragement Matters
One of our most important roles as a Church is to “encourage one another”. The world, the flesh and the devil all conspire together to discourage us.
Jesus faced his greatest challenge, going to the garden of Gethsemane the night he would be betrayed: “taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”” (Matt 26:37-38). Jesus told the disciples that they should “Watch and Pray” together, “that you may not enter temptation” (v. 41).
Even in the mundane of life, Christians need to be the last to look for praise and the first to give it. Paul said to the Philippians, “I thank my God fin all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy” (Phil 1:3-4). Who do you thank God for? Why not encourage someone this week?

No comments: