Journey of Discipleship Updates: November 2016
Dear Journey Leaders,
First, I want to thank you for your willingness to heed God’s call to leadership. The task of helping others along the JOURNEY of discipleship is not easy, but so vital to the mission God has given us.
Second, I want to share with you the three-fold purpose of this monthly communication - cast vision, communicate relevant information about upcoming events and opportunities, and share resources:
- VISION: This monthly communication will keep you connected to our larger vision of discipleship. You see, we believe our distinct calling as the Church of Jesus Christ, is to make disciples or followers of Jesus and this entails facilitating an ongoing, intimate, and growing relationship with Jesus. All of our efforts, regardless of the group or educational opportunity, should be toward that end.
- COMMUNICATION: This monthly communication will - get ready for this – communicate any upcoming events we of which we want you to be aware. Specifically, we will keep you up-to-date on events we would like to you to share with your group/class.
- RESOURCES: We further want to help you in your efforts at teaching and leading be giving you access to additional resources (including Right Now Media and possible curriculum) you might consider.
My hope and prayer is that you will feel supported and connected in your efforts in leading others in the JOURNEY of discipleship.
This fall, we will begin utilizing the language of “journey” as we talk about discipleship. The metaphor of “journey” conveys dynamic movement and growth toward a desired destination. Our hope is that the people of our congregation would progress through and grow within that journey. As a leader in our congregation, your task is to help the people under your care in their respective journeys and, hopefully, we are all journey-ing toward Jesus!
When we speak of discipleship, we explicitly mean an ongoing, intimate and growing relationship with Jesus. Thus, this journey entails becoming “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) as we are “conformed to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29). When I think about the awesome responsibility of leading others, I know that I cannot ask of others what I am not willing to do myself. Consequently, leading others in the journey is as much about my own transformation as it is about others’ transformation. As I strive to lead, two specific questions keep me on track. My hope is they might help you in the same way they help me:
Am I closer to Jesus today when compared to yesterday?
Are the people I lead closer to Jesus today when compared to yesterday?
Here is a little something to ponder - If the answer to either of these questions is no, then something needs to change. What might that be for you and the people you lead?
Our next church wide study will begin on January 15. The sermon series title will be “Once Upon a Time” and the study guide is called Reframe. Stay tuned for more info…
So how do you help the people you lead get connected to the journey?
This fall, we unveiled several tools to help the people of First Pres. The first is our Journey Assessment. The Journey Assessment is our trail map. It gives you an opportunity to self-assess and reveal to you that “You are here,” and will provide a starting point along the map of your journey. You can find it at fpco.org/journey.
Second, we have created a Journey Catalog. The catalog presents various opportunities to help facilitate spiritual growth and development. From in-depth studies of the Bible, to classes that challenge you to think about how your faith fits into your work, to how to raise your children as Christians, the catalog includes all opportunities within the church including, but not limited to, Small Groups, Sunday School, School of Discipleship, The Collaborative Orlando, and Congregational Care Ministries.
As you have opportunities to lead the people under your charge, please know these resources are available to you!
On the JOURNEY with you,