Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grace Seminar - ONE BODY

Please take time to read below the invitation from Pastor Dave. 
If you are from Grace Church, please join us that weekend. Take a good look at the poster...if you are from Grace you will probably see yourself. 


As I've grown as a Christ follower my recognition of my need for the people of God has dramatically increased.  Early on in my Christian life (naively and pridefully) I felt little need for the Church.  I suppose this individualism had its roots in two main sins: 1) a tiny view of God's kingdom and the work he means to accomplish in it; and 2) the faithless worldview that I grew up with before trusting in Jesus.
Today, because God has matured me as a Christian and because I've lived quite a bit more life, I'm all too aware of my need for God's people.  I lack gifts which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack resources  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack knowledge  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  I lack love and faith and obedience and examples  which I need and God promises to provide through his people.  God, in his Word, promises to meet certain needs of his people only through his people.  I now know this with my mind and have experienced it in my life.
In the past several years I've been through times of remarkable joy and difficulty in the context of the Church.  I've experienced God's people caring for my family and others in selfless and sacrificial ways.  It's been awesome to experience the presence of God through the people of God.  However, I'm convinced that God, in his Word, holds out even greater promises for the Church.  In this seminar we'll look at the doctrine of the Church (what the bible has to say about the church), scheme together how we might live out the reality that we are all a part of as members of the body of Christ, and hope and dream together about what God might do as we live collective lives of faith!
Please join us us as we look at the heart, mind, and practice of the body of Christ.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."
- 1 Corinthians 12:12
Pastor Dave

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunday's Sermon and Discipleship Groups at Grace Church

The following was put together to give a description and rationale for our sermon-based studies in the discipleship groups this fall:

Discipleship Groups and the Sermon-Based Study
Daniel Patz
September 2011

Beginning this fall all the Discipleship Groups will include a sermon-based study as part of its meeting time. Sermon-discussion guides will be posted online along with the sermon audio and sermon notes on the Sunday the sermon is preached.  Below are some definitions and purposes listed for this move to sermon-base study. I hope you will join me in prayer as we seek to better know and obey God’s Word together.

The Sermon-Based Study:
The sermon-based study is one of the major elements of the discipleship group meeting which uses the sermon, its subject or its Scripture text as the main focus of study and discussion. 

Sermon-Discussion Guide:
The sermon-discussion guide is a handout provided by the preacher on the Sunday the sermon is preached that is used to aid the sermon-based study and its preparation. The guide will include five sections: 1) Personal/experience, 2) Observation, 3) Interpretation, 4) Application, 5) Next week. 

Sermon-Based Study Goal:
The sermon-based study’s goal is to glorify God by taking His preached Word (sermon) and written Word (Scriptures) into our minds, hearts and actions together by the power of the Spirit.

Motivators for the Sermon-Based Studies:
It is our prayer that God would use sermon-based studies to:
  1. Sharpen our focus in the Word by taking less subjects but going deeper
  2. Pursue a greater unity in the body by studying the same passage together in all the DGs (every group will be studying the same subject and we will be hearing what God has to say together)
  3. Train the members of the church to be what Thabiti Anyabwile calls "expositional listeners" - teaching people to take the Sunday preaching seriously and teaching them how to listen for the main point of the sermon and text (“Listening for the meaning of the passage of Scripture and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal corporate lives as Christians.”)
  4. Learn better how to study the bible - thinking in terms of observation/interpretation/application which will be reflected in the discussion guide
  5. Focus on the much neglected responsibility of applying/obeying what we hear and study - being doers of the Word and not hearers only
  6. Grow in the above things (expositional listening, Bible study, and application/obedience) in the context of community - God wants us to benefit from each others’ gifts as we look at and obey God's Word together
  7. Encourage the preacher and to challenge Him to preach with precision and clarity