Cliff Temple's 2018 theme is Take The Journey. It’s a way of describing the pathway to becoming an everyday missionary. We’ve got a great mission and vision for our church - Building Everyday People Into Everyday Missionaries for Jesus Christ - but we’ve realized the need for specific strategies to help people live the everyday missionary life. We want everyone to get in on the adventure of following Christ in places where people live, work and play. To help our congregation, we've identified five steps along the journey which model the pathway that Jesus used in the making of disciples.
1. Lean in. Wherever Jesus went, he invited people to step into the kingdom. People leaned in to hearing His message, then began to devote more and more of their lives to Him. We believe that two practices especially help people to lean in: regular worship and regular service with the Cliff Temple family. If you aren't engaged in a consistent way (walking out the disciple life with the family of faith), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make disciples of others. In 2018, start by leaning in. Get connected. Start building deeper relationships.
2. Find your family. Cliff Temple has numerous “extended families” who share life together, learn together, support one another and have a common goal. You’re invited to find your family if you don’t have one, and we can help you to do that. Some of our extended families on mission meet during the week, while most meet on Sunday morning. We’re always looking for new families to begin if you find that none of them fit your life's pattern.
3. Follow Jesus. This is a balanced rhythm of loving God, loving the people in the Body of Christ and loving the people around you who need to know about Jesus. We follow in His footsteps, living the same life that Jesus lived. The practices here are daily devotion, consistent connection with your family group, and weekly focus on knowing your calling and tangible actions to reach others.
4. Seek leadership training. This is especially focused on the APEST fivefold gifts found in Ephesians 4: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers. These gifts were given “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God…” (Eph. 4:12-13) As a church, our strategy in 2018 is to equip along these giftings though Wednesday evening studies and special events, such as the recent Great Commission training.
5. Make disciples. Have you ever made a disciple of someone else? True disciples of Jesus make disciples. Our practice in 2018 will be to implement a mentoring/disciplemaking program to help connect believers in discipling one another. But this is only part of making disciples. We need gifted evangelists to be spreading the word, a spirit of invitation throughout our whole congregation and, most importantly, a reclaiming of our primary task of making disciples.
Where are you along the journey? It may be time to lean in. It may be time to become part of a spiritual family. This may be the year for you to really seek training as a leader and to become a disciplemaker.
I’m glad to be on the journey with you. May God bless us with vision and practical steps to continue to fulfill our mission: Building Everyday People Into Everyday Missionaries for Jesus Christ.