Love God–Starting Point

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

In last week’s GraceNotes, I started us out on a journey through Grace Church’s Discipleship Pathway. The basis for everything that we do at Grace is God’s love, so it makes sense that “Love God” is the foundation for our Pathway. The leadership at Grace also recognizes that everyone is at a different point on their faith journey, so each of the three parts of the Pathway are divided down into “Starting Points, Next Steps, and Going Deeper.” While the descriptions are not meant to be exhaustive (nor are they meant to be judgmental), they are intended for self-evaluation, and, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, as a set of suggestions to help you better understand what each step on the Pathway looks like in the life of a believer.

For example, in the Love God part, a believer that is just starting out on their faith journey would probably attend worship at least once per month. In terms of self-evaluation, look at the frequency that you attend worship at Grace. If you’re pretty new to your faith and all you can manage is one per month, don’t beat yourself up too much. Remember, this is a faith journey and new habits are not easy to cultivate. On the other hand, if you’ve been a Christian for a while and you’re still only managing once or twice per month, perhaps it’s time to challenge yourself to take the next step on the pathway.

For discussions on the importance of attending worship in the first place, check out these articles:

Why Attending Church is So Important
Three Reasons to Attend Corporate Worship

Stepping up with you in His strength!

Monica Lebsack

Creative Ministries Director

At Grace, one of my responsibilities is to publish a weekly article in our e-newsletter, GraceNotes, about discipleship. Specifically, about the various components of our Discipleship Pathway and how a person could journey along it. This is my most recent article.
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Walkin’ With Jesus

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

We’ve had quite a few new members recently, so I thought we all could use a quick refresher on Grace Church’s Discipleship Pathway. At Grace, we believe that every believer should be striving to mature in their faith, growing more like Jesus. Our Discipleship team (working at the same time as our Vision team) wound up creating a definition of a disciple very similar to our vision statement. Fortunately for us, that means we only need to remember one statement instead of two.

A disciple of Jesus loves God, serves all, and changes lives.

Over the next couple of weeks, I want to take the time to look at each piece of the statement and give you some examples of different ways you could be growing your faith. Every person’s faith walk is different and everyone is at a different point on the pathway, but all of us should be moving and supporting one another along the way.

Stepping up with you in His strength!

Monica Lebsack

Creative Ministries Director

At Grace, one of my responsibilities is to publish a weekly article in our e-newsletter, GraceNotes, about discipleship. Specifically, about the various components of our Discipleship Pathway and how a person could journey along it. This is my most recent article.

Summer, Kids, and God…It Can Work

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

On Grace’s Discipleship Pathway, the Change Lives portion is often associated with going outside the walls of Grace as the hands and feet of Jesus. Today, I want to challenge you to narrow that focus from the community at large to your own home. You see, Changing Lives in its most basic sense is offering the hope of Jesus to someone, and as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. we are the primary discipler of the children in our lives. With Memorial Day gatherings this weekend, and summer vacation right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add discipleship to your time with the kids in your life, after all, Jesus loved a party! To help you out, here are 20 Bible Truths to Tell Kids That Will Change Their Life Forever. A couple of ideas: you can use them on place cards at your holiday gatherings, lunch notes as they go off to daycare/camp, or topics for bedtime prayers. How ever you decide to use them, make sure that you have a conversation with your kids. Don’t worry, the Spirit will guide the conversation, you just have to take that first step.

Stepping up with you in His strength!

Monica Lebsack

Creative Ministries Director

At Grace, one of my responsibilities is to publish a weekly article in our e-newsletter, GraceNotes, about discipleship. Specifically, about the various components of our Discipleship Pathway and how a person could journey along it. This is my most recent article.

And, How Exactly Am I Supposed To Do All of That?

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

Last week, I defined the terms “Means of Grace” and “Spiritual Disciplines” for you. If you missed the article you can find it here. Today, I want to encourage those of you that were a bit overwhelmed with the prospects of incorporating them into your daily habits. First of all, I want to remind you that grace is a gift, not something to be earned. So, while spiritual disciplines are an important part of your journey as a follower of Christ, practicing them cannot earn you grace nor does failing to practice them deny you grace. The means of grace are the activities that we do, or the means, through which God can poor out his grace on us, helping us to become the persons that he wants us to be. That said, as you begin to incorporate these activities into your life, the article Quarters offers an encouraging perspective for you.

Stepping up with you in His strength!

Monica Lebsack

Creative Ministries Director

At Grace, one of my responsibilities is to publish a weekly article in our e-newsletter, GraceNotes, about discipleship. Specifically, about the various components of our Discipleship Pathway and how a person could journey along it. This is my most recent article.

Jargon Translated…I Promise

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

As Methodists, there are a couple of phrases that are used (in the Pizza with the Pastor class, for instance) that may or may not make sense to the average person in the pew, or chair as it may be. Our founder, John Wesley, used the phrase “Means of Grace” when talking about “Spiritual Disciplines.” The easier of the two, and slightly more universal, is “Spiritual Disciplines.” These are the things that we do as Christians to learn more about God and to deepen our relationship with him, as well as sharing him with the world around us. These include reading the Bible, praying, going to church (specifically, worshiping), and participating in mission projects.

Wesley categorized these activities as “Means of Grace.” Just to make things perfectly clear, grace is getting what we do not deserve. So, the means of grace are the activities that we do, or the means, through which God can poor out his grace on us, helping us to become the persons that he wants us to be, not activities that we do to earn grace. God can and does give us his grace anyway he wants, these are just some of the activities through which Christians find it easiest to recognize and respond to that grace.

As we look at the means of grace today, they can be divided into works of piety and works of mercy.

Works of Piety
Individual Practices – reading, meditating and studying the scriptures, prayer, fasting, regularly attending worship, healthy living, and sharing our faith with others
Communal Practices – regularly share in the sacraments (baptism and communion), Christian conferencing (accountability to one another), and Bible study

Works of Mercy
Individual Practices – doing good works, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, and giving generously to the needs of others
Communal Practices – seeking justice, ending oppression and discrimination (for instance Wesley challenged Methodists to end slavery), and addressing the needs of the poor

Stepping up with you in His strength!

Monica Lebsack

Creative Ministries Director

At Grace, one of my responsibilities is to publish a weekly article in our e-newsletter, GraceNotes, about discipleship. Specifically, about the various components of our Discipleship Pathway and how a person could journey along it. This is my most recent article.