SHARE the Gospel!

Hello SNC Brothers and sisters-

Wow what a great weekend. Saturday night’s Catalyst service was such a sweet time of worship and prayer. I will remember it for many years to come; Thank you Jesus for allowing us to be together and to worship You!!! Sunday morning was also a great time with so many people present and baptisms; great worship and studying the Word. I was just blessed and I hope you were as well..

I want to take this 2nd look to fill in some blanks. Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about our church’s values but how does that translate into our next steps as a church? So we’re supposed to KNOW, LIVE and SHARE the Gospel – what are some next steps we are going to take as a church to pursue these values and get them more deeply ingrained in us?  I’m so glad you asked that question!!!  🙂

Moving forward from here, there are several different areas that we as a church need to emphasize:

1) Spiritual Formation and Discipleship.

As I have said during this series – “I don’t know much – but I do know this – we are called to ‘make disciples.” Much of this process involves helping people grow in their relationships with God. There are several areas of major concern and development for us in this.

a. Small groups. Almost nothing we do in our church addresses our values (KNOW, LIVE, SHARE) like small groups. Small groups happen at various times and locations during the week with a variety of people from our church, examining a variety of topics. What do small groups do? Well – first of all – they teach you and help you Know the Gospel more deeply. Secondly – small groups get you into a more up close and personal environment with other believers. They help encourage you – inspire you – hold you accountable – pray for you. Small groups tend to be where we minister to one another (which is Living the gospel) and often times – you can bring a friend to a small group (Share the gospel). Small groups are essential and the reality for us is – we have a lot of our people involved in small groups – but as our church grows – we need to create more. Not only that – but we need to continue training up new small group leaders! This is an area of huge need for us and we need to take intentional steps to work on this.

b. New/young believer next steps mentoring: I’m becoming more and more convinced that maybe the reason why God doesn’t bring new believers to some churches is because those churches wouldn’t know what to do with a new believer if they had one. Do we have a plan in place to mentor new and young believers? Do we have a team of people who can disciple/mentor? Do we have accessible material that is truly helpful for those starting out in their journey – to build roots in their faith? This is another area we are going to need to develop. Recently – we have been reviewing new believer material and will be offering a class down the road for people who are interested in being mentors/disciplers.

c. Continue offering resources for people wanting to grow deeper in their journey with Jesus. I’ve had a dream that we could have something called a “Center for Spiritual Renewal” here at our church. To be honest – I’m not sure what that would look like – but my hope is that we’ll have something up and running in a few years that is a powerful resource to help people grow in their relationship with Christ!

Let me take a break for a moment to highlight something. These concerns fall under one team: “Adult Discipleship” – and for the last couple years; that team has been without leadership. WE need a leader to take this challenge – to take this team and run with it! Please pray about this! This is such a vital area of development and growth for our church and we need a leader in there to partner with me to develop these crucial ministries. Man you wanna talk about making an impact for the Kingdom of God and here at our church?  Being part of this team will do that!!

2) Missions and Outreach

As a church – we must reach out. It is simply naive and we would be gravely misled to believe that the world is just going to come to us and ask us what the gospel is and then get saved and all we have to do is sit here and wait. That is not the story I see in the Bible and it’s not what I see in every day life. Now, I’m not saying this never happens – but the majority of the time – we need to get out there and reach our community – our town – our state – our world. As a church we need to be a force of blessing and love in the name of Christ – with the express purpose of winning others over to Jesus! We need to do this and if we don’t we are being disobedient to the calling of Christ in our lives. That may sound blunt and that is because I am being blunt. 🙂 The biggest pressure we are going to face is to keep our faith “In house” so to speak – but Christ calls us to “Go public” with the gospel. So where are some areas we will be making steps?

a. An annual missions trip. Every year our church will be doing an annual missions trip. This is a huge undertaking but it is deeply worth it. I’d like to see us do more missions work in conjunction with our denomination. They have a missions arm called: “Reachglobal.” It’s an amazing organization. Here’s their website: http://go.efca.org/ministries/reachglobal

So this is going to be an area of focus – we need to be a church that supports and goes on missions trips. I want to invite you to consider that you may be called on one of these trips with us. I can guarantee you that while a missions trip may be challenging for you – it will touch your life. The story I hear over and over again is how grateful the person who went on a mission trip is because they went. A missions trip can be challenging – tough to raise funds – but it is deeply worth it and it is within our calling as Christians to Go into ALL the world and make disciples.

b. Local outreach events – we will continue to focus on blessing our community and helping those in need. My hope is that many in our church will be able to testify to how God used them in this community because they jumped in with local outreach efforts..

c. Fighting human trafficking: Here in Los Angeles – we have one of the largest human trafficking hubs in the world. There are a variety of ways to get involved with fighting this horribly tragic movement in our town – and currently we are researching and looking for ways to get our church involved. Please be on the lookout for this.

So these are our major areas of “next step” development. Please keep Dennis, myself, our other elders and team leaders in prayer because they are continuing to need God’s leading and blessing. I’m so very thankful for these faithful men and women and am looking forward to more ministry ahead. Please be in prayer for our church in these ways:

1) God would inspire us as individuals to evangelize – to build relationships and seize opportunities God gives us to share the gospel with people who don’t know Jesus! This church doesn’t grow because of its pastor – it grows because people in the congregation get committed to the mission of outreach in our community and to our oikos. Please pray our people would get inspired and become a force of sharing the gospel.

2) Please pray for God to raise up new leaders for our adult discipleship team – our missions and outreach teams – our children’s and youth ministry – and our worship team.

3) Please pray for a radical movement of God’s Spirit in our midst and through us – that we would be empowered to love and to meet needs in very real ways – and that we would be given a vision for how we can do that.

Thanks everybody- have a wonderful week!!!

Pastor Ryan