July 2022 – A Letter from Pastor Lori

I write this as I return from the Great Plains Annual Conference in LaVista, Nebraska.  So many thoughts and ideas are swirling in my head.  So first I will tell you, this will be a very different newsletter.  There is a lot of information that you as a member of the church need to be made aware of.  But before all that I really want to pass on the dynamic Annual conference wisdom, ideas and thoughts. 

One speaker was talking about the power of the Holy Spirit.  As churches we are called to develop discipleship pathways.  We are to think of this as a dandelion seed head, when you blow this the seeds go wherever they will.  In our Christian journeys the Holy Spirit blows the seeds and we have no idea where these seeds may fly, however we have to believe in the Power of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and protect us in this chaotic world. 

The guest speakers presented on the 5 practices to refresh your discipleship.  They started with, what I thought was a profound statement, we are not called to be converts, but we are called to be disciples.  According to the text in Matthew, a disciple is an apprentice, learner and apprentice of Jesus.  The guest speaker asked if we have ever played Simon Says…of course most have played this game.  After a few examples of this game he said, “What if we played the Game God says?”  There was a hush over the 1300 plus people in the auditorium.  Are we hearing God?  Are we obeying God?  Matthew 18 Vs 2 tells us “Go and Make Disciples.” Knowledge with obedience Ž makes discipleship.

The 5 practices include:

  1. Prayer
    1. Luke 4:18-19 Jesus’ power came from Prayer.
    2. This was the key to Jesus’ ministry.
  2. Parties
    1. Matthew 9:9-13
    2. Relationship w/God
    3. Relationship w/others
      1. Giving people your time and space
    4. Parties are a sacrament—It is where God’s grace can be found.
  3. Person of peace
  4. Profound conversation
      1. 1 Peter 3:15 – 6 gears of conversation
        • Casual
        • Meaningful
        • Spiritual
        • Salvation
        • Maturity
        • Leadership

They presented this as like a stick shift; you start at one and go through 6.  You cannot start in 5 or 6 on the gear shift, nor can you in conversations.  Like a car, if you skip gears your conversation will stall out.

  1. Presence of God
    1. Luke 9:1-2

We are called to make disciples from the Great Commission.  Sometimes we have to be reminded of all the ways in which we bring others to Christ.  We are not really called to do more things or to be more.  We are called to BE the Church and to rely on the Power of the Holy Spirit. 

In Christ’s service

Pastor Lori Stevens