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         Despite the fact that the global population of the world is growing, the world is increasingly becoming a lonely place.  Statistics show us that loneliness is at an all-time high.  The scary thing is that many people don’t even realize their need for community because of the false reality that social media has created for us; giving us the idea we’re very connected to others.  In the church we see this play out as people will attend worship regularly, sit in a room with hundreds of people, potentially shake some hands.  They may make superficial conversation with some people before or during the service and then once it’s over, they’re gone.  Honestly, one of the saddest things is when I hear about is someone who talks about how they just don’t feel connected in our church.  Then, I find out the only thing they do is attend worship.  As important as the worship gathering is, if that’s your main connection point to the church, then you’re going to find yourself lonely and disconnected as well.

        This is exactly why plugging into a Bible Study group is so important.  We call our groups Sunday School and many of them meet on Sunday morning.  As we’ve already talked about, connection or community is an important aspect of Sunday School, but why else would you take another hour of your week to be a part of such a group?  Sunday School is the main strategy our church uses to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandments.  Here’s how:

  1. One of the goals of Sunday School is helping people CONNECT to Christ and to others. Sunday School is intentionally evangelistic.  It is designed to unify groups of people in working together to reach people like that.  That makes it the perfect next step for people who live in our community or who learn about our church through participation in another ministry.  Sunday School groups usually hit a target demographic or life stage.  In doing so, each group is best equipped to reach those similar to them.  That’s why it’s so important that we have Sunday School groups for all ages.
  2. Sunday School groups are built to help people GROW in knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word. We use a curriculum that is simple enough for the new believer to take their first steps and also effective in setting up the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the long time believer.  Part of growth in our Christian walk takes place in the context of community where, “iron sharpens iron”.  Where we can help each other with the speck in another’s eye, all while dealing with the log in our own eye.  Spiritual growth is more about what you learn to do and how you serve God as a result of the teaching than it is a new nugget of truth you’ve never heard.  That’s why Sunday School is a launch pad for new leaders both in the Sunday School ministry and in other ministries throughout the church.
  3. The natural overflow of someone becoming a disciple by helping people Connect to Christ and Grow in the teaching of the Word is to begin to SERVE. Sunday School provides opportunities to serve both in terms of leadership and roles to help the group exist.  Probably equally important are the countless opportunities that exist to serve one another.  When you’re part of a group, you get to know people, you learn about their needs, you begin to pray for them and ultimately you minister to their needs.  It’s in the context of a Sunday School group where the vast majority of the needs of people in our church are cared for.   Through the fellowship of believers who grow in relationship with one another, a love for one another develops and beautiful ministry begins to take place among the people involved.

        If you’ve never considered joining a Sunday School group or maybe you just haven’t quite found the right one for you; now is a great time to Plug Into Sunday School!  Over the next few weeks you’ll notice a number of our Sunday School groups in the foyer ready to share with you about their group.  If you need help finding a group, you’re always welcome to stop by our Welcome Center and they can direct you towards a group that fits where you’re at in life.  Another great way to find a group is by heading over the our website where you can check out a listing of all our Bible study group opportunities:

Posted by Jeremy Shirley with
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Mission Zone 2019

This year we started off with our North American Mission’s study.  The study took us to Puerto Rico. One of the locals gave us a recipe to try from Puerto Rico.  When we were done with class, we let them try the food and they approved.  The rule for food in Mission Zone is you have to try it, but you don’t have to like it.  For the most part, the kids like the different foods.  Then we played games, filled out an activity book and learned about the culture of the people.

Each week we start with a game as the children arrive and then we divide up into three groups.  The first room is the culture room.  In this room they find the country on the map.  Then they color their flag for their passport.  Belinda and Laura Jo then have them try the food and learn about the area.  The second room is where we have our mission’s video.  After the five minute video, we review what we have seen and sometimes play a review game.  The third and final room is the game room.  Here the children play games that other kids from our country of study would play on the playground.  This might include a relay race with items on their head because the kids in the village need to walk miles to get drinking water.  The favorite game was whiffle cricket from India. 

The idea behind Mission Zone is to make missions as real as possible.  New languages, new customs, new foods and new games are all introduced.  We learn that there are people all around the world that need to hear about Jesus and what He did for us. 

This year in Mission Zone we had the opportunity to earn patches for Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors as well.  (This is our school year program for missions.)  The North American Mission patch and the Line glider patch were awarded to many of the children.  As Mission Zone closes the Missions ministry switches to Sunday nights at 5:00 p.m.  This program has boys in Royal Ambassadors and the girls in Girls in Action.  The preschoolers are in Mission Friends.  We earn patches and continue on the Mission Zone experience through the year.  If you have a child 3 years old to 6th grade, you should have them try this group out.  Hope to see you Sunday!

Summer patches 2019

Posted by Jason Hoke with

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