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Friday, August 16, 2013

E-note From Pastor Andy 8-15-13

August 15, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

Today I have a couple items I want to remind you about for this weekend and I have another thought to consider about discipleship.  First of all what comes to mind when you think of that word discipleship?  What is discipleship?  Do you consider discipleship when you think of Jesus Christ’s core ministry?  Do you picture Him healing the sick and raising the dead?  Do you imagine Him traveling from town to town preaching?  
The ministry of Jesus certainly included all of these things.  However, I would argue that His core ministry–the example He left us with to follow–was something even more amazing.  Sadly, it’s also something many of us simply disregard and fail to practice…discipleship or making disciples.

The Great Commission was the final call of action that Jesus gave his disciples.  He told them to “go…make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the…”  Earlier, Jesus said I will build my church; our job is to make disciples of Jesus.

Robert E. Coleman, in his powerful yet simple book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, says that men were Jesus’ method.  Jesus chose a few select men with whom to live life, teach, and equip, while still enabling Him to complete His ministry.

The Church today, however, often fails to focus on a few, but rather the masses.  In an attempt to grow churches, gain numbers, and produce converts, the individual is neglected in favor of the program.  Jesus taught us that discipleship was not a program or a checklist.  He had things in mind that He desired to teach, absolutely.  Yet, His approach was allowing these men to simply live life alongside Him.  They were able to observe, ask questions, participate, and wrestle with His deity.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Discipleship, places discipleship at the center of Christianity.  He wrote:
“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son…There is trust in God, but no following of Christ.”
Discipleship within the Church is not taking place as often as it should be because, as you may have guessed, it isn’t easy.  It is a commitment that can last years, or even a lifetime.  It creates accountability when often times people would rather remain anonymous.
It also requires action and a call to continue making disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples…

That seems to be what Jesus had in mind–using men to continue His ministry, men who would disciple other men, in the same intentional and powerful way He had done…and nothing less.

Who is discipling you? Who are you discipling?

  • Saturday Morning Prayer Service
Each Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. here at the church Pastor Daniel will lead our prayer service.  Everyone is invited to attend.

  • Back2School Party
On Saturday, August 17th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm we will have a Back to School Party for our students ages 3 to 6th grade.  The Registration will begin at 11:15 am.  We will be serving lunch along with a Bible story, craft and games. 

  • Sunday School Supplies
When you send your kids back to school after a summer holiday you have school supplies to purchase for the school year.  Here at the church we are needing some school supplies as well.  If you would like to help out by purchasing some supplies we would greatly appreciate it.  Our list of needs include: Glue sticks; Glue bottles; Construction paper and Upper elementary scissors.  Some of these items may be on sale at the beginning of the school year

  • Bibles for Kids
We need more Bibles for our kids to use in Sunday school as well as for a project during our Back2School Party.  If you would like to sponsor a Bible for a child we are asking for $5 per Bible.  Mark your check or offering envelope “Bible for Children”

  • Spanish transmitters
We have recently had a good problem, more people who attend the worship service on Sunday morning who also need the service translated into Spanish.  To remedy this problem we need to purchase some more transmitter/receivers.  We estimate the need to be about 7-10 more at the cost per unit of a little more than $100.  If you would like to help with this need you may mark your check or offering envelope “Spanish Ministry” and we will use that money to purchase more transmitters.

  • MNU church matching scholarship
This Sunday will be the last Sunday Josh, Anna, and Sarah will be with us before going back to Olathe to attend our regional school we support as a church, MidAmerica Nazarene University.  Josh will be a senior finishing his ministry degree program, while Anna and Sarah plan to pursue a degree in nursing.  We will miss the twins and their work in children’s church and we are looking for volunteers who may want to help fill their spots on the schedule.
MNU offers a Church Matching Scholarship for each student.  For every dollar the local church gives to that student (up to $500 each) the school will match and apply towards their tuition.  We will receive a love offering this Sunday and if you would like to contribute towards this in the next couple of week you can simply mark your check or offering envelope “MNU or MNU matching.”

I’m looking forward to worshipping with you Sunday.  I plan to preach a sermon entitled “The Most Important Commandment of All” using the verses from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Mark 12:28-31.

Pastor Andy

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