Thursday, February 1st, 2018
At Sunday’s Annual General Meeting, I laid out some expectations for the year ahead. These expectations are rooted in some basic ideas. Last year’s CHAT Survey revealed that there are a few areas where we are not excelling as a church. We are not learning and growing in community as we ought. And we are not developing leaders. These weaknesses need to be addressed and that is what we intend to do in 2018.
Our church verse for 2018 is Ephesians 4:13: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” I encourage you to memorize this verse, if you haven’t already done so. The implications are vast.
As the body of Christ, we have a great diversity within that body, but we have a singular goal to achieve. It involves growing in our knowledge of Jesus Christ and doing so until we have allowed His fullness of character to be imprinted on each of us. I’ll write more in future newsletters about how that takes place, but you’ll find the answer in the succeeding verses: Speaking truth in love, being connected to the body and functioning within it for the sake of its health and growth.
With that as our basis, we plan to focus on the following items this year:
1. Emphasis on Growth and Discipleship
Everyone has a next step to take spiritually. If you have never responded to the gospel and trusted Christ as your Saviour, that is your next step. If you have never been baptized by immersion, Christ commands you to do so. If you have never declared your commitment to the body of Christ by joining into membership, we encourage you to do that. If you’ve never gone through the discipleship course, you can do that this year. If you’ve never read through the Bible, it’s not too late to start. If you desire to help others grow and learn by discipling someone else, we’ll help you do that. We desire to help you take whatever step is necessary to move you closer to the goal of Ephesians 4:13.
Another practical way of focusing on your spiritual growth is by finding an accountability partner and filling out the Measuring What Matters Most form. This is a helpful tool designed to help you make measurable progress on some area of your life in which you need to grow.
2. Leadership Development
In II Timothy 2:2 Paul tells Timothy (and by extension, all future spiritual leaders), And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. We are to raise up leaders who raise up leaders who raise up leaders.
We believe this begins with men, who are given the biblical role of leading in the home and church. So we will begin men’s leadership training in the next few weeks with a small group of men who will reach out to other men. Of course, women need to trained to lead in their areas of influence as well, and we look forward to developing training for them in the coming months.
3. Teacher Training
Teaching is a vital aspect of “speaking the truth in love.” Without teachers, we will not equip anyone to “teach others also.” Our Sunday School program is in need of teachers. This is true of our Junior Church program, Summer VBS, and other future ministries. If you are interested in learning how to better communicate and teach the Word of God, please let us know so we can include you in this upcoming training. We haven’t yet determined the format, but we hope to settle on this soon.
4. Understanding and Application of Church Values
The values of Truth, Love, Growth, and Community are clearly seen in Ephesians 4. Other passages of scripture point us to the values of Worship, Prayer and Stewardship. These values will focus our teaching and preaching this year as well as our ministry planning. We hope you will strive to understand these values as they are presented in scripture and then apply them practically to your personal life, family life and any church ministries in which you work.
Are you ready to grow this year? Now is the time.
II Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”