Birthdays, Blogs, & Bulky Weight-Lifters

Welcome to our Church Series blog! Thanks so much to taking the time to follow our posts!

As my birthday candles have increased and manual labor as a profession has decreased, I’ve embraced the fact that I need to exercise if I want to ensure this body of mine can keep up for the long haul! So . . . in an effort to counteract the natural decline in my health, I’ve been attempting to exercise. It makes me tired just thinking about it!

Interestingly, as I’ve gone to the gym, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon – some fairly small men have turned into hulks in a short amount of time. As I’ve grown in my understanding of this phenomenon, I’ve come to realize it’s the result of dietary supplements.

Don’t get me wrong, these guys work hard! Yet, their bodies would never respond with the same results without using some additional resources. These are resources we find in the foods we eat everyday, but the supplements package them in a way that allows the body to gain additional benefits by targeting the body’s specific needs in a timely way. And the result is increased strength over a shorter period of time.

You’re probably wondering why I am blogging about exercise and dietary supplements.

The Church: Home Away from HomeWell, in many ways, this blog is an attempt to supplement our sermon series. It’s an additional resource we can use to address our church body’s specific needs in a timely way.

Through our current series on the Church, it’s our hope God’s Word will guide our thinking on how to tangibly express ourselves as a local church. Generally speaking, there are ways this series will help us understand our responsibilities as members of a body on mission together. However, there are some specific ways God’s Word informs how our church should operate to ensure strength in our mission.

It is our prayer this blog will serve in helping deepen our understanding of how the biblical truths we explore on Sundays specifically tie to how we operate as a local church. This realm of operations is most tangibly expressed through our constitution and bylaws (also known as our polity).

If you were around during the summer when we distributed our first draft of our newly proposed polity, you will remember we decided to postpone ratifying the polity until we spent time teaching on the subject on Sunday mornings (hence, our current series on the Church). As we developed the series, we didn’t want to narrow our application of God’s Word to just the technical business matters of our church, so we thought we’d use our blog to help us all see how the previous week’s sermon attaches to certain key elements of our newly drafted polity and allow Sunday sermons to remain broad in their application.

In the weeks ahead, we plan to enter into greater detail as it relates specifically to God’s design for the local church – our home away from Home. As we prayerfully sought God and His Word concerning these matters, here are 8 key questions we felt needed answers for us to have clarity on God’s heart for His Church. We hope the sermons aimed to answer these questions will serve you in communicating God’s heart and intentions for His Beloved Bride – the Church:

  1. Week 1: What is the Church? Who are we, and what are God’s intentions for us?
  2. Week 2: What is the destination of the Church? Where is God taking us? Where is Home?
  3. Week 3: What is the mission of the Church? If this is not our Home, why are we still here?
  4. Week 4: What is the character of the Church? While we gather in our home away from Home, what values should be distinguishing marks of our “family”?
  5. Weeks 5 & 6: What should leadership in the Church look like? Who does God desire to be “head of the home” and what does that look like in practice?
  6. Weeks 7 & 8: What should membership in the Church look like? Who does God desire to be “family members in the home” and what are their responsibilities in our home?
  7. Weeks 9 & 10: Until we make it Home, how should we respond to sin inside and outside of the Church? As we are on mission together, how does God want us to handle the brokenness around us and within us until we make it home?
  8. Week 11: With all this in mind, how can we best express these values in our home away from Home?

Though no plan is perfect, it is our prayer this series will help unify us around a collective vision and a common goal. It is also our hope that the blog posts in the days ahead will help supplement the process of communication and interaction over our new polity. Thank you for your partnership in the process thus far! We’ve benefited greatly hearing input from you along the way. Your voice has contributed to helpful revisions to our plan and has granted greater insight to us as to how best to serve you along the way.

It is our prayer that the polity revisions, the sermon series, and the blog posts will be the means God uses to propel us forward with strength, unity, and partnership for the sake of the gospel. Stay tuned as we spend the next number of weeks together helping you see how God’s Word informs our plans and guides our steps along the way! We are planning to send you the revised polity soon, so be on the look out!

We look forward to the days ahead!

– Pastor Nate