Jan 26, 2020
John 15:1-17 “Clear Vision: Where Are We Going?”
There is a wide variety of words that we use to talk about the direction of our lives.  Sometimes we talk about it in terms of Vision and Mission; oftentimes Christians use the term “calling.”  We ask ourselves questions like “where am I supposed to go” or “what am I supposed to do.” These are, too often, life questions that we feel will affect our destiny and, if we’re not careful, possibly throw us out of God’s will for us. Scripture gives us the answers to these seemingly big questions with Jesus’ simple statement: “follow me.”  Elaborating on what this looks like, Jesus talks about the relationship believers are called to and abiding in Him.  Doing so, He says, will empower us to bear fruit, which is what we are called, by God, to do. Perhaps it is time for us to ask ourselves: “Who am I following?” Questions to take home:
  1. Reread John 15:1-17.  How does Jesus talk about “calling” in this passage?  What does He tell His followers to do? What are those actions meant to produce?  How does this impact how you think about and live the life of faith?
  2. At the beginning of this month, we witnessed several baptisms.  We were reminded of Jesus’ word in Matthew 28:18-20 to “go and make disciples.”  How is this passage informed by our Scripture passages from today?
  3. Today we are ordaining and installing Elders and Deacons.  Ordination is an acknowledgment of a specific calling, being “set apart” for a specific task.  Think about some of the Scripture passages we read today. How do they speak to this “calling” placed on their lives?  In what ways can we do our best to support and spur on our Elders and Deacons?
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  • Jan 26, 2020John 15:1-17 “Clear Vision: Where Are We Going?”
    Jan 26, 2020
    John 15:1-17 “Clear Vision: Where Are We Going?”
    There is a wide variety of words that we use to talk about the direction of our lives.  Sometimes we talk about it in terms of Vision and Mission; oftentimes Christians use the term “calling.”  We ask ourselves questions like “where am I supposed to go” or “what am I supposed to do.” These are, too often, life questions that we feel will affect our destiny and, if we’re not careful, possibly throw us out of God’s will for us. Scripture gives us the answers to these seemingly big questions with Jesus’ simple statement: “follow me.”  Elaborating on what this looks like, Jesus talks about the relationship believers are called to and abiding in Him.  Doing so, He says, will empower us to bear fruit, which is what we are called, by God, to do. Perhaps it is time for us to ask ourselves: “Who am I following?” Questions to take home:
    1. Reread John 15:1-17.  How does Jesus talk about “calling” in this passage?  What does He tell His followers to do? What are those actions meant to produce?  How does this impact how you think about and live the life of faith?
    2. At the beginning of this month, we witnessed several baptisms.  We were reminded of Jesus’ word in Matthew 28:18-20 to “go and make disciples.”  How is this passage informed by our Scripture passages from today?
    3. Today we are ordaining and installing Elders and Deacons.  Ordination is an acknowledgment of a specific calling, being “set apart” for a specific task.  Think about some of the Scripture passages we read today. How do they speak to this “calling” placed on their lives?  In what ways can we do our best to support and spur on our Elders and Deacons?
  • Jan 19, 2020Psalm 139 “Clear Vision: Where We Are”
    Jan 19, 2020
    Psalm 139 “Clear Vision: Where We Are”
    Our hope is that every person and family would accept this challenge as part of our commitment to the larger Kingdom initiative of our church and our classis.  We believe that developing a clear understanding of where we are will help individuals and families to gain traction and begin moving forward toward a deeper relationship with Jesus and gaining Momentum toward greater Kingdom impact in the community around us.

    HOW to calculate your Momentum Number?

    The Momentum number is calculated on a scale of 1 to 100. The larger scale provides a fuller range of responses than just a simple 1-10. For example:
    • 1 would be an extremely low score - no activity
    • 50 would be a middle range score - some activity - not a main focus 
    • 100 is an exceptional score - tremendous activity - high priority - extreme area of focus
    Because this is subjective - you will have to determine the number on your own or as a family.
    Here are some self-reflective questions for you to honestly ask of yourself and your family in order to self-determine your/their own MOMENTUM number:  Love (deep relationship, genuine care) On a scale of 1 to 100, how is the level of deep care, love, and community in your/your family’s life? Do you/your family practice the “one anothers” of scripture? Do people just recognize each other, or do they deeply care for one another? Jesus said his followers would be known by their love. How evident is that at your life/your family’s life? Scripture: Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:22-23 Prayer (people knowing and caring for one another) On a scale of 1 to 100, how is the intensity, frequency, and priority of prayer in your life or the life of your family?  Is prayer a daily, constant, and/or consistent practice?  Do you pray for those in your family and do they pray for you?  Do you share and follow up on prayer requests, celebrating the work of God in other’s lives? Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2 Evangelism (telling your story, sharing Jesus with others) On a scale of 1 to 100, how are you/your family doing at talking about their faith, actively attempting to share Christ with others, intentionally including Christ in your interactions with non-Christians in your life? Have you seen fruit (is there clear evidence) that people are exploring faith because of the way you/your family live, act, and speak?  Are you/your family active in serving those outside the church? Scripture: Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16; 1 Peter 3:15 Discipleship (growing deeper in faith, committing to faith in community) On a scale of 1 to 100, are you/your family noticeably going after “discipleship” level growth (this is NOT just showing up to church!)? Do you/your family spend time reading the Bible, identifying and sharing ways that God is at work in you/your family’s life, and referring to themselves as disciples? Do you/your family have a growing head knowledge AND heart commitment AND a faith-in-action lifestyle? Would you/your family describe themselves as being in a strong season of spiritual growth? Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Generosity/Stewardship (sharing of time, talent, and treasure to honor Christ and in service of those around you) On a scale of 1 to 100, are you/your family growing in an OUTWARD focused attitude?  Does your/your family’s attitude toward giving reflect the Biblical encouragement toward joy and generosity?  Do you live from a sense of scarcity or a sense of abundance? You can see it in the ‘serving’ they are doing inside and outside of your church. You can see it through commitment to tithing and through money given for special causes. You can feel it, as your church is actively pouring OUT. Scripture: Micah 3:10; Matthew 22:21; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Relational / Leadership Development On a scale of 1 to 100, are you/your family intentionally seeking out relationships to pour into, encourage, and strengthen?  Do you/your family have relationships that are intentionally pouring into, encouraging, and strengthening you?  Have or are you/your family seeking out ways to serve, learn, and take responsibility for ministries in your church?  How does your family encourage the children to learn and take responsibility for the various elements presented on this list? Scripture: Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 12:3-5 Sense of Unified Velocity (This isn’t just ‘amount of activity’ or ‘fast activity’ - it’s speed on purpose) Are you/your family aligned with God’s calling for you? Do you/your family have a vision or mission statement?  Are all the events and things in your life clearly going in that direction? Do they serve to advance the mission of your family?  Can people ‘feel it’ gaining velocity? Do parents talk about the direction of the family? Are there goals that you/your family are working toward?  Do your best to assign a number between 1 and 100 that captures your sense of Velocity as a church. Scripture: Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 29:18 Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 58:11 Priorities & Statistical Factors:    Look closely at all the statistics that represent you/your family’s priorities comparing them to what you know about the transformed life God calls you to in Scripture:  Time spent with children, family, spouse, friends, God.  Time spent in leisure/recreation, chores & duties, extras, etc.  Giving percentage of income (tithing).  Time spent working vs. resting (sabbath).  Think of these (and other things) in terms of what you desire and what God calls you to vs. what is reality for you.  Do they match up? Example:  
    • >50 if almost all the statistical data is trending in the wrong direction
    • 50-75 might be assigned if there is mixed statistical information
    • <75 if all (or almost all) of the statistical information is moving up.
    Scripture: Mark 2:27; John 17:15-17; 1 John 2:15-17; Ephesians 5:21-6:9
     
    HOW to calculate your Momentum Number   Momentum Factor: Love     (1-100)                                                           ____________ Prayer  (1-100)                                                           ____________ Evangelism (1-100)                                                    ____________ Discipleship (1-100)                                                   ____________ Generosity / Stewardship (1-100)                             ____________ Relational / Leadership Development (1-100)          ____________ Sense of Unified Velocity (1-100)                              ____________ Priorities / Statistical Factors (1-100)                       ____________   Total of All Factors =                                     ____________  (divided by 8) This year’s Momentum Number   =      ___________   What to do with the results? We believe the very process of asking these ministry specific questions will catalytically create stronger spiritual reflection, discussion, and prayer in your own walk with Jesus and within your family. We encourage everyone to share their final Momentum number with their spouse, family, and/or a close friend or accountability partner where appropriate.  Pray over this process individually and as a family, or with the person/people you shared this with and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal places when God is calling you to greater obedience and movement in your journey of faith. Save this worksheet somewhere.  We will return to this same thing in January of 2021 to both evaluate and celebrate what how God is moving in our lives!
  • Jan 5, 20202 Timothy 3:10-17 “Biblical Lenses: Seeing Clearing through Scripture”
    Jan 5, 2020
    2 Timothy 3:10-17 “Biblical Lenses: Seeing Clearing through Scripture”
    As we begin a new year and a new decade, we are embarking on a new series that will take place over the course of 2020.  This series is called “2020 Vision: Clarity on what Matters.” Over the course of this coming year, we will be looking at a wide variety of topics and zeroing in on what Scripture says about them, gaining clarity as to how God calls us to live out our faith. Scripture is the first and primary source that we turn to as we seek out the truth.  It is the Word of God and, as it says, is useful for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness.  As we begin this new year and this new series, we lay the groundwork for study, putting on our “spiritual glasses” so that we can see the world as God calls us to see it, through the lens of His Word. Questions to take home:
    1. What do you think of when we say that the Bible is “The Word of God”?  Where do you place it on a level of importance in your life? How does this phrase impact how you read the Bible?
    2. Re-read our Scripture passages for today.  What does the Bible say that we should be doing with it?  What are some of it’s uses? How do these passages impact your approach to Scripture and interaction with it?
    3. How would you define the word “truth”?  Do you think that truth is unchanging (static) or variable (fluid)?  Read these passages in John: 14:6, 8:32, 17:17, 16:13, 1:14 &17, 18:37.  How does this impact how you think about truth?