Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week - Listenings

Along with some Holy Week Readings, consider doing some Holy Week Listenings. Page CXVI has released a superb collection of songs to commemorate Holy Week. 

Page CXVI continues to put out great music and Relevant Magazine is streaming their album on the Drop for free. Check it out, and provide your ears with a terrific soundtrack for this week.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Raised? Four-Part Documentary

Is it possible to cross the chasm between unbelief and faith in Christ? Watch this four-part documentary and find out.

The Raised? film takes an unflinching look at doubting the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Definitely worth watching. 

Definitely worth sharing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 Tips on Gathering Well

Be Intentional:
When you come on Sundays, consider why we do what we do. As a church, our mission + vision is to drive all we do: "Grace Church is a community of changed people committed to serve + renew the Greater Dunedin area with the movement of the Gospel." Everything we do is to this end and it can be summarized with discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20). 

So, when we come to a Grace Church Sunday morning Gathering, let's remember WHY WE GATHER and come with an intentionality to grow, to learn, to serve, to give, to encourage, and to worship. 

Do not come solely for social reasons. Do not come to be entertained. And do not come out of some begrudging sense of obligation (whether to God or to your church community). 

Come because the MOST SATISFYING OBJECT in the universe has invited you to come and experience Him the best way we can, together.

Be Committed:
So come with a clear intentionality and, may I add another key component, come regularly. Make our time of worship, service, and teaching a core part of your week. God, most certainly isn't to be viewed as an "add-on" to your weekly endeavors and neither should His people (nor our involvement with His people). "Let us not [give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrew 10:25). 

Also, as expressed in earlier seasons of Grace Church, positive, forward momentum is a huge help to the advancement of any church. A huge momentum-killer is a low turnout to church meetings. When you come, and arrive on time, your simple presence and participation can do a lot for our church's forward momentum. Please consider that and realize what a crucial part that plays in the kingdom-building cause of our mission + vision.

Be Punctual:
Also, and related to that, being on time is also very important. When a large percentage of the Sunday morning crowd is 10 to 20 minutes late, unintentionally, a negative message is sent to our new comers and visitors. When the auditorium is empty at 9:56am, not only does the already big DHS auditorium feel empty, there's also, and more importantly, no one there to greet them and welcome them in their seats. And they can very easily get a sense that corporate worship may not be a priority to this group of people. Obviously, that's not the case for us and we don't want new comers to feel awkward, so let's do our best to be on time.

Be Expectant:
Come ready to learn. May I encourage you to invest your mind and prayers into our teaching series and/or topic. Give some thought to the text ahead of time. Listen to the Grace Church Podcast to catch up if you missed a week. Consider doing some of the extra readings recommended throughout the series. Check the blog and Facebook page for more resources and quotes. 

The more personal effort you put in to our teachings, the more you will, inevitably, receive. (This same principle applies to Community Group. Not reading through the questions and prayerfully thinking through them, before your Community Group, will significantly hinder your opportunity to grow and be discipled through our Community Group ministry.) 

So, may I encourage you to come ready to be challenged and ready to learn.

In summary, coming with intentionality and expectancy while remaining committed and punctual will greatly help our Sunday morning Gathering experience together. 

Let's keep going! May we experience all the spiritual growth and vitality we possible can together!