Before I could begin focusing on Sunday’s message, I had you on my heart this morning and felt I needed to communicate several things with you:
- Rest. With all the great results that are coming in from the campaign let’s admit something…it was tiring. Rest. It is ok. Breathe.
- Use the spiritual discipline of celebrating. Make a mental choice that you are going to find things to be thankful for during this season. Then express your gratitude towards God. On every hour look around and find one thing to be thankful for and tell God “Thank you for_________”.
- Be determined to let Christmas be fresh to you this year. Begin asking the Lord to refocus your mind on the Christmas message. Be determined to be with people throughout the Christmas season. We have three events planned to help with this: Wednesday December 2nd Annual Christmas Party for all who volunteer (even if it was just once) and Wednesday December 9th a Christmas program put on by “Restoration” and finally our Christmas Eve services. The Christmas eve service will be focused on finding and celebrating the true message of Christmas. Our prayer for the Christmas Eve service is to experience the fullness of Jesus and His place in our lives and in our world.
- Small groups in 2010. We are going to encourage you to meet every other week (beginning February 7th). Some groups may feel they can meet every week…that is up to you. But for this season and after listening to groups as the campaign came to and end, we feel it is best to encourage you to meet every other week. I should have mentioned that in my previous email.
- Three or four have asked about 863. It will resume in January.
The last thing I want to share with you is this…what drives the decision making here at Eastridge. Two years ago our focus became “Loving God, Loving People, Serving Others”. That is a great description of what every believer should look like. But… what we needed was a more focused vision statement. We, the elders, agreed that the vision for the Lord’s church has not changed in 2000 years. He commanded that we make disciples. He is not changed it. (Matthew 28:18-20).
We adopted the following statement as our vision statement:
Eastridge Community Church exists to make disciples who follow Jesus Christ.
That one statement is driving us in all our decisions. It helps us measure the programs, ministries of the church and new ideas. All we have to ask is “is it helping believers follow Jesus Christ? Are they becoming disciples of Jesus? If so, then they should look more like Jesus.”
Our focus in 2010 will be “making disciples who follow Jesus Christ”. What should it result in? Loving the Lord our God with all of heart, and all of our soul and with all of our mind and all of our strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves. (Mathew 22:37-39)
Plans may change but vision should never change…because it is His vision.
Church, I love Jesus Christ. I love the Father. I love the Holy Spirit. I love His church and His mission for the church. I cannot think of anything greater to give our lives to. When this world come to an end the Church will be the only surviving entity. We will live with Jesus forever.
What is your role? You are a member of His church…not just Eastridge…but Jesus’ church that has been around for centuries. You are responsible as for its mission. What can you do? Be determined to become like Jesus. Develop time with the Lord in His word. Learn to walk in the fullness of Him. Pray to be filled by His Spirit on a daily basis. Pray for the completion of His vision.
Church I love you. I pray for you daily. Let’s pray together “Not my will but Thy will be done.”