From Rev. Dr. Tina Hosler:

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

There was a picture going around on Facebook a while ago that really made me laugh. It showed Jesus sitting on a hillside with a few of His disciples, and the caption said this:

And Jesus said unto his disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?" And His disciples answered unto Him, "Master, thou art the supreme eschatological manifestation of omnipotent ecclesiastical authority, the absolute, divine, sacerdotal monarch."

And Jesus said, "What??

I found that humorous because we often feel like we have to use all the appropriate theological words in order to describe who Jesus is. We dont often tell other people about Jesus because we feel like we are going to say the wrong thing, or we just dont know what to say. We are familiar with the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus tells us, 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 teach- ing them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We know that to be the Word of the LORD, but making disciples is a really hard thing to do.

For the last 2 years the leadership team has been studying about discipleship and praying for our congregation. At our annual retreat last December, those in attendance talked about discipleship and ways that we can encourage growth in the members of our congregation. Were not talking about nu- merical growth; we are talking about ways to help folks who are already here grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ so that they can become the disciples God wants them to be. As a result of our discus- sion at the retreat, at the beginning of this year we launched our Thing One and Thing Two Campaign. Our new mission statement is: GO in Service / GROW in Faith. We are encouraging everyone to be involved in the life of the church and we want to help everyone grow in their faith.

Realizing that this will be quite an undertaking, we have established a Discipleship Committee to oversee this project. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we are using the deacons’ flocks as our starting point and we have assigned a Discipleship Team to each flock. Phase 1 was to create name tags for eve- ryone so we can get to know each other, then to assign a color to each flock. Thats why all of your name tags have a colored dot; that will help your Deacon and Discipleship Team get to know the mem- bers of their flock.

This weekend (February 22nd) we are ready to roll out Phase 2 of our discipleship plan. Each Saturday between this weekend and the end of May (skipping a few weeks for holidays) we are inviting a flock to come and have lunch with me, your Deacon and your Discipleship Team.