Christians are followers of Jesus. Following Jesus means that we actively take steps as Jesus leads us. The Apostle Paul, mindful of this reality, compared following Jesus to running a race:
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
- Philippians 3
Therefore, I pray that every member of our community considers what their next steps in their race might be in 2015-2016. To help you I have listed general next steps for a follower of Jesus. This list together with our membership covenant will help you see what your next step in following Jesus may be. Please email with any questions.
- Learn about Jesus and consider His claims.
- Recommended Resource: Read the New Testament book of Mark and answer the question, “Who is Jesus?”
- Commit to following Jesus, identify with His death and resurrection through public baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Recommended Resource: Talk with an Elder or MC Leader
- Join a group of followers of Jesus (a Missional Community), and live out your new Gospel Identities of family, servant, and missionaries.
- Recommended Resource: Connect table, www.somaissaquah.org
- Actively follow Jesus through submitting to the Father by the power of the Spirit. In other words, practice the spiritual disciplines of: Daily reading of scripture, daily prayer, and daily confession of sin and commitment to a holy life, regular giving.
- Recommended Resource: www.biblegateway.com, Timothy Keller’s Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
- Actively fulfill your role in your household. In other words:
- Husbands: love your wife, sacrificially like Jesus loves the church. In other words, pray for her often, serve her well in your leadership role, protect and care for her, help her to trust her heavenly Father, follow Jesus closely, and draw strength and encouragement from the Holy Spirit. Recommended Resource: Emerson Eggerichs’ Love and Respect
- Wives: respect your husbands and follow them as they follow Jesus. In other words: maintain hope that they will spiritually lead the family, follow when they encourage you to follow Jesus, pray for them often and if they do not believe yet win them over with your inner beauty that comes from a sincere faith in Jesus. Recommended Resource: Emerson Eggerichs’ Love and Respect
- Parents: God has given you a great responsibility. Therefore train up your children in the faith. Recommended Resource: Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart.
- Children: Since God is ultimately in control, and has delegated authority to your parents, obey your parents. This means not only doing what they ask you, but honoring them and respecting them even if you disagree with them. Recommended Resource: Old Testament book of Proverbs – www.biblegateway.com
- Actively fulfill your role in the church. In other words:
- Identify your spiritual gifts
- Exercise your spiritual gifts on Sunday morning, in your MC, workplace, neighborhood, home, or affinity groups
- Work for unity in the church
- Support the mission by giving
- Recommended Resource: Ask your MC Leader or an Elder for help in identifying your spiritual gift and using it to bless the community
- Actively fulfill your role in the community.
- Become an MC leader apprentice.
- Become an MC leader.
- Become a Deacon/Deaconess
- Join the Monday afternoon leadership training cadre.
- Pursue becoming an Elder
- Pursue becoming part of a church planting team.
- Recommended Resource: Talk with one of the Elders about any of the above.
Taking these next steps should be done in obedience to the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus. We believe growth and change go hand and had. Wherever we are in our lives, each of us has a next step to take as we grow.