21
Jul
08

The CrossPoint Connect Process

While Pastor Ryan is on vacation this summer, he has turned his blog over to four CrossPointers. This week, Chris Howell takes over.  Chris and his wife, Carrie, have been married for 19 years.  They have two wonderful sons, Daniel and Jordan, who are both very active in CrossPoint’s student ministry.   Chris serves on CrossPoint’s staff as Minister of Adults.

Beginning Sunday, September 7, all of CrossPoint’s Sunday morning Bible study groups will begin a 13-week study called The CrossPoint Connect Process.  This series will be an in-depth exploration of what it means to be a spiritually maturing follower of Jesus and how this is facilitated by CrossPoint’s process for making disciples.  Work began on this study in June, 2007, and 13 months later, it is finally completed.  All 13 lessons were written by CrossPointers (Jen Carr, Roxie Elliot, Jeff Shelley, Tim Tidwell, Catherine Walden, Ryan Whitley, and me), and I served as the general editor for the project as a whole.

The potential impact of this study in the lives of CrossPointers is what excites me most.  Jesus has called us to follow him and commanded us as his followers to make disciples.  But how many of us really understand what this means?  Many people wonder, “Why is discipleship important?”  Others think, “How do I grow as a follower of Christ?”  Still more are concerned, “I don’t know enough about CrossPoint’s discipleship process to lead someone else through it.”  These questions and concerns, plus many others, will be effectively addressed during The CrossPoint Connect Process series.

So, why is discipleship so important that CrossPoint Bible study groups will spend 13 weeks exploring it and applying to their lives this fall?  Because it was important enough for Jesus to leave his throne in heaven, come to earth in the form of a human, spend three years intensely training his initial group of followers, die a horrifically brutal death on a cross, be placed in a grave for three days, rise from the dead, and return to his place of authority and glory in heaven.  Jesus did each of these things intentionally so we could be rescued from our sin and enjoy an ever-growing relationship with God.  In the following two passages, Jesus tells us of the importance of discipleship.

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:36-40

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Based on what Jesus said in these two passages, CrossPoint with all its ministries and Bible study groups exists to make disciples who love the Lord with all their being.  Everything we do as a church family and everything you do personally should be an expression of love for God and  love for other people.  Jesus has called and authorized us to make disciples.  This includes sharing Jesus with people who don’t him.  It includes helping believers grow in their faith and in their commitment to other believers.  It includes challenging believers to serve others through ministry and missions.

Remember, CrossPoint exists to honor God by reaching JUST ONE MORE to become a fully devoted follower of Christ to connect with God, God’s people, and God’s plan.  This fall we will spend 13 weeks digging into what God’s word says about this and how it impacts each of us.  I am very much looking forward to how God will work through this study to draw us closer to him so he can work through each of us to benefit others.

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