Are you ready for August? School buses are being fueled up, pencils are being sharpened and new shoes are flying off store shelves all over town. There’s no doubt about it. School is back and the Fall season is starting up with a bang!
Another “change” that we often observe around this time of year, particularly among churches, is in the number of new faces sitting in church pews (or in our case, folding chairs!). We have definitely seen that in our context over the past couple of weeks! I think the last Sunday in July we barely had 50 people in the building including kids and everybody (a few of us sat down afterward and counted up 16 families that were out of town that one weekend. Crazy!). Then last Sunday, the first Sunday in August, we looked up and had around 120 folks!
And there are several reasons for that. For one, summer travel plans are winding down so people are naturally back in town. Then too, most people who move, typically move during the months of June and July. So if they are looking for a church, they often start their search during the month of August. Additionally, all those college graduates from last May have now moved into those first new apartments so that they can start those first new jobs their parents have been praying so hard for!
Well, as a growing church, we would like to take advantage of the spike in newer faces by taking a few weeks to break away from our sermon series through the New Testament book of Mark. During the month of August, we plan on taking a more detailed look at some of the basic, DNA level, foundational stuff of who we are and who we feel we are called to be as a “diverse, local family of disciple-making disciples who proclaim the Gospel MESSAGE, in Gospel COMMUNITY, while serving together on Gospel MISSION.”
Hopefully this will serve two purposes in that…
A) it reminds those of us who are already “in” what exactly we signed up to be “in” in the first place. So, if you are one of those who are “already in”, let me ask you a favor. Will you commit to be here every week during the month of August, so that we can, together, all be reminded of who we are and what direction we are traveling in? And then…
B) for those who are newer, hopefully this will give you guys an opportunity early on to figure out what you might be getting yourself into. That way by the end of August, you will have a good idea on whether or not you want to dive in more deeply with us a church family. So if you are visiting with us, I would ask you for a favor as well. Will you commit to be with us for the entire month of August so that you can get a comprehensive view of who we are and what we are trying to accomplish as a church family?
So the month of August will look for us something like…..
- (August 9th), the Gospel MESSAGE, what it is, where do we get it from, why does it matter?
- (August 16th) we will take a look at the type of Gospel COMMUNITY this Gospel MESAGE calls us to be and to participate in.
- (August 23rd), we will take a look at how we as a Gospel COMMUNITY are supposed to take this Gospel MESSAGE and serve one another and our surrounding world on Gospel MISSION.
- (August 30th) We then plan to wrap up on the last Sunday in August hearing from Jason Williams, who directs a mentoring ministry here in town called The Aspire Movement. Jason is going to preach for us that Sunday and is going to highlight one particular area of Gospel MISSION where you and I can serve alongside him and a couple of downtown elementary schools by mentoring and discipling young men and women who need an older man or woman to walk through life with.