But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
I’m excited about our new schedule that will begin this Sunday and especially the Bible study hour (9:30 – 10:30). It is a great time for all of us to find a Bible study group. I often hear people say, or articles start with the phrase, “I’m not a prophet, but” and then they go on to say what they think is about to happen in the future. I do think that it is important to keep our eyes open to what is going on around us and to listen to what people are saying in regards to spiritual matters. I feel like (and I’m not a prophet) that there is starting to be a disciple-making movement amongst believers. We have been getting some visitors online and at church who seem to have an interest in the church’s doctrine, beliefs, and Bible study opportunities. That is exciting to me.
When Jenny and I got married (1995), we participated in an Experiencing God group at our church. I learned the “Seven Realities to Experiencing God” and still remember most of them: 1. God is always at work around you. 2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal. 3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work. 4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways. 5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action. 6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing. 7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you. I was asked to lead Experiencing God at our church and was able to lead several groups through the study. It just so happened that those seven realities were very helpful to me as I wrestled with a call to ministry (especially #5 in regards to a crisis of belief that required faith and action) in 2000.
It seemed like God used Experiencing God as a sort of movement to call believers to go deeper and join Him on His mission. I long to see God do that again. When I see a group of young people going through The Bible Project on Tuesday evenings, hear parents discussing their talks with the children about the Bible, and interact with people via email about what the church believes about various topics, I am encouraged by an increase in spiritual appetites. The past year several people have asked me what vision do I have for BBC and the only answer I have had is that God wants us to focus on making disciples. I don’t know what all that entails and COVID-19 has definitely slowed our progress in that area but I want us to be intentional about multiplying disciples at every level. We want to help new believers to get a strong start in their spiritual growth. We want to disciple and raise up leaders who reproduce themselves and not only make disciples of others but also help raise up future leaders.
I think the church (as a whole) is starting to see the consequences of neglecting discipleship and putting too much energy into making everything attractional and entertaining. Now, there is a leadership crisis in many churches and many have become inward focused instead of being outward focused (because of a lack of discipleship). I think people are becoming more open to spiritual investment and to all the scriptures promise us through discipleship. The Holy Spirit wants to do a work of sanctification in our lives and His primary means is through the truths of God’s Word (John 17:17). I hope you will be a part of this disciple-making movement (as a disciple and a disciple-maker). So, are you in a Bible study group? Would you like us to help you find a group? Be intentional about being here on Sunday morning and we will be so glad to help you!