Gather -> Grow -> Go
- Gather to Jesus.
- Gather together to worship, learn, and grow.
- Gather through Baptism into church membership at Fellowship.
- Grow close to God by regularly reading God’s Word and Praying.
- Grow in community by participating in group Bible Study.
- Grow in competency by fanning to flame your spiritual gifts.
- Go to gather and grow others.
- Pray for others.
- Serve as as a member of the body to build up other members.
- Do good works as God’s light to the world.
- As you go, share the good news of Jesus!
- Get equipped to Share Jesus
These steps are further detailed below.
1. Gather to Jesus.
Jesus is the way to Heaven. Every journey begins by getting on the road headed toward your desired destination. Heaven is the final destination desired by most. But how do you get there? Jesus is the answer.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” (John 14:6). Someone making such a claim is either a lying con artist, crazy, or telling the truth. Good news is, we have lots of evidence letting us know Jesus was telling the truth. Jesus’ message, his miracles, his resurrection, and the many who personally knew Jesus –who then went on the be martyrs for him– lets us know that everything reported about Jesus is indeed truth. Jesus is the way to the Father in Heaven.
Why Jesus? Jesus is Christ the King, the eternal Son of God come down from Heaven through a virgin’s womb to rescue us from sin and death. All have sinned, and what we’ve earned with our sin is death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, took on our sins by laying down his life on the cross to pay the penalty for sin in our place. God proved Jesus made the sufficient payment for our sins by raising Jesus from the dead the third day. We receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life by trusting that Jesus’ cross work and resurrection is indeed the sufficient payment for our sins. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved! (Acts 16:31)
What is sin? Simply put, sin is anything that is offensive to the righteous character of God our Maker. We understand the righteous character of God by the Law he has given. The Ten Commandments let us know that God alone is God, we are to worship no other. We are to honor his name. We are to love others: Love our parents by honoring them, Love others by honoring their right to live, love our spouse by honoring our vows to them, honor others’ right to property by not stealing, nor bearing false witness against them, and not coveting their stuff (Exodus 20:1-17). Jesus further revealed the heart of God behind these laws when he said things like “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,”” (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus also points out that hatred in the heart is equal to murder in God’s eyes (Matthew 5:21-26, 1 John 3:15). These laws are like a mirror that reveals our imperfections, our sins, and our failures to live up to this standard of perfect love and righteousness.
Why is sin so serious? Sin is mankind’s greatest problem. Sin is rebellion against the eternal, holy, and almighty God and Creator. All have sinned, going their own way in open rebellion against the perfections of God’s character, and a penalty for sin must be paid. That penalty is eternal death and separation from God. The Bible describes this eternal penalty for sin as unquenchable flames, darkness, the bottomless pit, the eternal Lake of Fire, and Hell or Gehenna (Gehenna was a perpetually burning trash deposit outside of Jerusalem). God graciously offers forgiveness of our sins because the penalty for our sins was paid for by Jesus. We expect an earthly judge to properly punish sin, so we should expect that God would punish sin. God would not be perfectly Just, nor righteous if he just let sin off the hook. How gracious that God’s own Son paid sin’s penalty in our place!
Jesus died for your sins: If we are honest, we admit we have missed the mark of living up to God’s level of perfection. We disobeyed parents. We look lustfully. We selfishly covet things and are dishonest at times. We have blasphemed by dishonoring God’s name and we often put other things ahead of Him. The fact is, we are often down right rebellious and selfish. By our self-will and unloving actions we have spurned the God who made us and who holds our very next breath. Our sin must justly be dealt with, and it was justly dealt with through Jesus: Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and resurrected to life again the third day, (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).
Through faith turn to Jesus: None of us are perfectly righteous, but God graciously offers forgiveness. God also gives us the freedom to accept or to reject His offer. To reject God’s offer of rescue means facing sin and it’s eternal penalty yourself. But why do that, when Jesus came down from heaven through a virgin’s womb, lived the sinless life we fail to live, then took on our sins and paid the penalty for them on the cross? Turn from whatever road your life is currently on, and turn to Jesus. Through faith, receive God’s offer of forgiveness and life. Simply trust Jesus for what He’s done for you. Call on Jesus, ask him to forgive you, and begin reading his word and walking in this new way with Jesus. Gather to Jesus.
This seems narrow. Jesus affirmed this when he said “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14). The gateway to heaven is narrow, because there is only one way, through Jesus, God’s redeemer of sinful mankind. Many are on the path do destruction, stuck in the Devil’s ruts of selfish desire and deception, and these naturally oppose God’s righteousness and the way of Jesus. Consider how Jesus put it in John 3:
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”John 3:16-21, underline added for emphasis
Turning to God through the good news of Jesus the Savior is counter cultural, and comparatively few follow this path. Be among them, and escape the path to destruction! Call on the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, to be your Savior. Believe in Jesus.
2. Gather together to worship, learn, and grow.
Sunday School is an excellent place to get to know other Jesus followers. On Sunday mornings at 9:30 am a group of people your age meets to study the Bible together. These groups also get together on occasion outside of church to have good times of fellowship. Come together with others around God’s word.
Sunday Worship Service is a place where you can worship God together with others at 10:30 am on Sundays. Gather to worship God and receive encouragement and challenge from God’s word.
3. Gather through Baptism into Church Membership at Fellowship.
Baptism and Membership are the next steps which involves membership classes or at least an interview with the Pastor and a Deacon. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, learn about baptism and our church, and consider becoming a member of Fellowship. Let the pastor know if you are ready to take this step or if you have any questions.
Baptism is the way to identify publicly with Jesus as your Savior, and with his people as your friends. Baptism is much like a wedding ring. It’s an outward symbol of a past transaction, and present reality. Through baptism you demonstrate visibly the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to be the means by which you were cleansed from sin. Going under the water also symbolizes death to sin, and coming out shows forth being risen to new life in Christ Jesus. Through faith in Jesus, God’s grace saved you from sin the moment you believed, and baptism demonstrates in pictures the work God did in you. Jesus gave us this step of obedience as a way to demonstrate our affiliation and commitment to Christ and our association with him and with his people. When you are ready to take this step, let the pastor know.
Membership with a local assembly of Jesus followers goes naturally with Baptism. The New Testament Scriptures indicate that local churches kept up with who was associated with their assembly. Being officially part of a local church means you identify with God’s people as your friends, and you are committed to those Christian friends to help grow one another in the faith. This means being committed to see the work of the local assembly flourish in good works, in good growth in Christian maturity, and in good outreach with the good news of Jesus. Helping along the flourishing of God’s work with your prayers, your service, and your financial support is expected of members. God gives us the picture of the church being a like a body with each member doing its part to help the whole body function and grow in maturity. Gather as a member of the body, for it’s no fun and no use being a cut off body part. Let the pastor know if you are ready to make this step, or have any questions.
Growing to walk with God more closely and become more like Jesus in character is a life long pursuit that begins the moment you start to rest in Jesus as your Savior. This pursuit of growing in Christian maturity is aided by some ongoing steps. These steps are important even before gathering into church membership.
4. Grow close to God by regularly reading God’s Word and Praying.
Read God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to mankind. Its sixty-six books, divided into the Old Testament and New Testament, is God’s inspired word. It contains the historical record of the beginnings of our world and mankind, and it does not hold back in displaying man’s demise into sin, but gives as its central message God’s magnificent work to rescue humanity from our sins by sending his only begotten son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Spirit inspired this holy writ and can guide you into the depths of knowing God personally and deeply as you allow him to speak to your heart through regular time spent with God in his word.
Pray to God. Reading the Holy Scriptures allows God to speak to you, and prayer is how you converse back to God. Just as you walk in relationship with people by talking with them, prayer is the way you walk in relationship with God as your Heavenly Father. God’s fatherly heart so desires to give when you ask in faith with a heart genuinely in love with God.
5. Grow in community by participating in group Bible Study.
Sunday School. Sunday School is a great time to get to know people your age while systematically studying through books of the Bible together.
Small Group Study Opportunities. Through the year various opportunities are available to engage with others in special Bible Study topics. These usually take place in the evenings seasonally. The Women’s Ministry normally hold a Spring and Fall Ladies’ Bible Study. Join the next one!
6. Grow in competency by fanning to flame your spiritual gifts.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy to “to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). Every believer born into God’s family through faith in Jesus has some spiritual gift given to them by God according to His choice. Several varying gifts appear in Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12. These special spiritual aptitudes and abilities are to be used to build up and to bless others in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12). Just as embers in a fire can be fanned and caused to burn hotter and brighter, so the Christian’s spiritual gifts can be developed and honed for more effective use. Reading books, going to trainings, asking questions, and learning from others are all ways you can grow your special spiritual gifts into greater spiritual use. The greatest way to aim your special spiritual aptitudes is to aim them with love as your chief motivation (1 Corinthians 13.)
7. Go to gather and grow others.
Pray for others. – Wednesday evenings, 6:30-7:30 we meet to pray. This is some of the most important ministry of our church. Join us.
Serve as as a member of the body to build up other members. – Many opportunities avail to be used by God in service to others. Check our many opportunities at our Go Serve page.
Do good works as God’s light to the world. – Our Go Serve page highlights some local ministry opportunities you could potentially get involved in.
As you go, share the good news of Jesus! – Gospel tracts (pocket sized gospel pamphlets) and Bibles are available by two of our entry ways to help you share the good news of Jesus with the world. Also, it’s hard to beat a simple 15 second testimony of the difference Jesus has made in your life. Tell in a couple words what you were like before Jesus; how you met Jesus and he forgave your sins because of His death, burial and resurrection; and tell the difference Jesus makes to you know. Then ask them if they have experienced such a change as that. Check out the gospel sharing helps below.
Get equipped to share Jesus. – Grab a sheet of paper, take an hour or less of time and take part in this helpful 411 training to get you rolling in sharing God’s good news. 411 stands for 4 questions, in 1 hour or less on 1 sheet of paper (folded in half, so 4 sections using back and front.) This will get you thinking about who around you needs Jesus, and will equip you with simple ways to share Jesus. Get equipped! – this training is available in playlist format here on YouTube.
You can do this! Go – Abide in Jesus, grow others up in Him, and tell others of Him.