At the beginning of each year, we have historically used our Sundays in the month of January to re-focus, share vision, and ground ourselves in the Gospel for the coming year. In 2017, we plan to do the same. However, because there are some very specific things we want to discuss, celebrate, and explain in detail for the future, the elders have decided that it would be best to bring everyone together for one gathering each week in January. The elders are excited about the fresh things that the Spirit has been showing us and the new season that lies ahead. Please plan on joining us to worship, discuss, and celebrate the ways we get to experience Jesus and His Kingdom come in new ways for 2017.
In so many ways, this week's discussion is the culmination of everything we have been talking about over the past month. Coming out of a Day of Repentance, having talked about the vision of Kingdom Come, and after reviewing our mission of discipleship centered on Radical Gospel Transformation, there are some specific things we want to share with you, update you on, and explain so that we are all on the same page. These "holy details" include updates on our 2017 budget, new leadership, and the prospects of a building. As a church, we have so much to be thankful for and we are excited to both share and celebrate these specific evidences of God's grace.
As we continue to walk into our Vision Series in the new year, we want to take a more detailed look at our Mission Statement - "Being and Making Disciples Who Are Radically Transformed by the Gospel." In seeking "radical Gospel transformation," the questions abound: How does a person change? What's God's part? What's my part? And what issues should we expect to engage individually and as a community. This week, we will explore the components of "radical Gospel transformation" and discuss a mental map for us all to walk into as a church family seeking to experience more of God's transforming work.
Last Sunday, as we focused on repentance and forgiveness, we talked about "turning from" and "turning to." We are turning from our sin and broken ways that stem from wrong beliefs about God, and we are desiring to turn toward God and His ways. This week, as we continue our vision series, we want to further explain the vision of our church in concrete and practical ways. As we talk about "Everyone Experiencing Jesus and His Kingdom Come," we want to make sure we are clear and on the same page about what it could look like for the Kingdom of God to be lived in Olympia through the body of Reality. Join us as we explore the Kingdom vision that the Spirit keeps refining among us.
Before forging ahead into new vision, the elders feel led by the Spirit to spend a day in corporate repentance. Following the example of Daniel (Daniel 9:1-19), we desire to speak on behalf of the church to name the specific sins that have hindered or kept us from fully pursuing our calling as God's people. Before we rally around the new, we want to turn from the old patterns and beliefs about God that leave us settling for less than God's best. And because repentance is a grace that further leads us into the God life, we do so with joy and celebration rather than darkness and gloom. As the forgiven people of God, we desire to humble ourselves and freely enjoy the fulness of life that is ours in Jesus.
New Year's Day marks the beginning of a fresh, clean slate. It's signals a new day, in a new month, in a new year. And with a new year comes the desire to make new resolutions that address the problems areas of our lives. Every year, we know that something is lacking, and instinctively, we feel the need for something brand, spanking new. But is that really what we need? Something new?
As we embark on a new year, we are going to talk about the spiritual journey of discipleship- about being followers of Jesus that help form other followers of Jesus. Unfortunately, following our "New Year's" trends, people tend to try and address their spiritual needs through the gimmicky, trendy, and innovative shortcuts for their spiritual journey. We want a new book, a new program, or a new podcast. But what if Jesus isn't as interested in giving us something new as He is in renewing what's already there. This week we are going to look at an entire chapter from discipleship plan of Jesus in Luke 9 to see how Jesus forms the human soul. It may include a surprising list of tools and building blocks that He invites us all to explore and offer back to Him.