Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This year, the leadership of PPC has an action plan that we are very excited about. We are committed to being more intentional about making and growing disciples. This is, of course, based on Jesus’ great commission found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
To help make this happen, this year we have established a Discipleship Team. This team will be participating in extensive training on what it means to be and to make faithful disciples. As I’m sure you already know, discipleship is a life-long process; it’s not something that happens as soon as you commit your life to Christ or when you join the church. Those are basically starting points. Our goal is to meet people where they are in their faith and help them to move forward to a deeper level in their spiritual journey. We already have a few of those “growth opportunities” available: Sunday School, Small Group Ministry, and Accountability Groups.
One of the things that attracted us to ECO was their requirement for accountability at all levels. This means that we should all be accountable to others for our spiritual growth. The session is in an accountability group, known as a MAG (Mission Affinity Group), with the 5 other ECO churches in our area. They meet the first Saturday in November each year. Every Elder and Deacon is required to be in a monthly accountability group with 4 or 5 other people. This is a very structured time for each person to share how God is working in their lives.
To help facilitate spiritual growth, Rev. Susan Spencer-Smith will be leading a Bible study every Tuesday beginning April 10th from 1:00 - 2:00 in the Fellowship Hall. This spring I will be offering a one-day retreat at the church (lunch will be provided). The date is to be determined, so stay tuned. Participation in this retreat will be required for those who wish to join the church; it will double as a New Member Class. I encourage all officers (Elders and Deacons) to attend, as well as those who might be discerning a call to be an Elder or Deacon in the future. One of the requirements for being in an ordained position is to be involved in a Sunday School Class, Small Group or Bible Study. If you are considering future leadership, this would be a great place to start. After completing this training, you will be asked to make a pledge in 6 different areas. You will pledge to:
1. Be a Functioning Church Member based on 1 Corinthians 12.
2. Be a Unifying Church Member based on Ephesians 4:1-3.
3. Not Let Church be about Your Preferences and Desires based on Philippians 2.
4. Pray for Your Church Leaders based on 1 Timothy.
5. Lead Your Family to be Healthy Church Members based on Matthew 28.
6. Treasure Church Membership as a Gift based on Acts 2:42-47.
I hope you will all consider joining me for this discipleship adventure!