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.
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Change Lives? Me? Taking Another Step

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

Last week, I wrote an article encouraging you to step onto the Change Lives part of the Pathway. This week, I want to encourage those of you that have already made that step to take another. You see, discipleship is a journey where we grow closer to and more like Jesus with each step that we take.

Right now, on the horizon at Grace is the community Easter egg hunt. This is an event that we host each year involving crafts and snacks and, of course, an Easter egg hunt for the kids in the neighborhoods around us. One of the stories that we tell at Levi’s Table (our Monday evening gathering) each time we meet is the story of Jesus calling Levi the tax collector to “follow me.” The first thing that Levi did was throw a party and invite all his friends to meet Jesus. This Easter egg hunt is our party and we’re inviting everyone to come meet Jesus!

This year, we have the added excitement of a second campus and a whole new neighborhood to reach! That said, this is truly an “all hands-on deck” event. You see, not only are the children the “future of the church,” but they and their parents are the “now” of the church and we want them to experience Jesus to the fullest. There are lots of ways that you can serve. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 25th, groups are gathering at each campus at 11am to walk the neighborhoods putting flyers on doors inviting people to come. You can help set up in the evening of April 7th or clean up after the event on the 8th. On the day of the event, you can host a craft or activity table, man the Easter egg hunt, or serve in the kitchen.

However you choose to serve, remember we’re called to reach the least, the lost, and the lonely, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and what better way to do that than to throw a party!

How is God calling you to serve?

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.

Change Lives? Me? I can’t do that!

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

Often during Lent, people are encouraged to give up something, typically something like pop or chocolate or their favorite TV program. Unfortunately, it seems to stop there, never drawing the person closer to God. Instead, in years past, I’ve asked the kids during a Children’s Moment on Sunday morning to “make a radical choice for Jesus.” In doing this, I know that they must give something up (free time, comfort, etc.) and replace it with this new choice that will help them to become more like Jesus. For kids, some choices included stepping out of their comfort zone and greeting people with a smile and a “Hello,” or to giving up some of their play time to read a devotional each night.

For those of you looking for a starting point on the Change Lives part of the Pathway, let me tell you about a radical choice I made along with a couple of ladies from Grace. We’ve chosen to support Mercy House Global, a global movement to empower women throughout the world through employment, not enablement. It started as a safe house for pregnant, teenage girls in Kenya. They were given a safe place to have their babies and learn to care for them, and given job training to support them. Since then, Mercy House has grown into “thousands of individuals in 24 countries, working with more than 42 faith-based non-profits.” About halfway down their home page, they list ways that you can Change Lives including prayer, shopping, and volunteering (road trip!).

Perhaps you could join me and the other ladies in making a radical choice for Jesus, giving up something (time, money, vacation days) to become a little more like Jesus?

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.

What? What did you say?

Pathway Points

Stepping Up for Jesus

If you’ve ever been in a meeting with either myself or one of the pastors, you know that we tend to start the meetings with a question. It’s the same question every time, “Where have you seen God at work?” It’s definitely not an easy question to answer for most people, but after being asked month after month, people start to stumble through an answer. If it’s such a challenging question to answer, and people tend to not answer at first, why do we keep asking? The answer…Gospel Fluency, the ability to express the gospel in an understandable way to anyone, inside or outside the church.

Jeff Vanderstelt, the visionary leader of the Soma Family of Churches, Saturate and the lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, WA, says it this way:

Even if they want to, many Christians find it hard to talk to others about Jesus. Is it possible this difficulty is because we’re trying to speak a language we haven’t actually spent time practicing? Is it possible we have neglected to understand for ourselves how the good news of Jesus impacts every facet of our own lives? To become fluent in a new language, you must immerse yourself in it and commit to practicing it, over and over again. You must use it everyday until you actually start to think about life through it. Becoming fluent in the gospel happens the same way—after believing it, we have to intentionally rehearse it (to ourselves and to others) and immerse ourselves in its truths.

He explains what he means in these videos, for all my visually inclined friends: Gospel Fluency and How to Be Fluent in the Gospel.

So, what are you doing to practice this new language that we’ve all committed to learn, and with whom?

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.