Tag Archives: Discipleship

(February 16, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Growing Spiritually”

from Luke 10:38-42 and Acts 2:42-47

Perhaps the greatest step we can take in this discipleship journey is the one that places us at the feet of Jesus…and yet in a world of busyness and seemingly endless demands on our time, this is the thing that tends to fall off of our list of priorities first.

What if, starting now, you made time at the feet of Jesus a priority instead of an afterthought? Imagine how it might help you to reorder your day as you begin to grow in your love for God and His Kingdom.

w/ Vern Collins

(February 9, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Serving”

from Isaiah 58:1-12

When you think of worship or the practice of religion, what comes to mind? More importantly, what do you believe the purpose of our worship or the practice of religion is FOR?

Are we simply checking boxes, or are we placing ourselves humbly before God in hopes that we might be transformed…in hopes that we might moved beyond our self-focus in order to focus on those around us?

What if this week, you took a step toward serving someone around you? Recognizing where they might have need, and being willing to come alongside them…just as God, in Christ, has come alongside you.

w/ Vern Collins

(February 2, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Connecting”

from Luke 8:4-15

Wherever you are on your journey with Christ, there is a thread that binds all who are on that journey (or even considering that journey) together. That is that not a single one of us is called to walk this journey alone.

Using Jesus’ parable of the sower, we consider the value of connecting with others in this journey of growing in Christ.

w/ Vern Collins

(January 26, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Transformed Disciple”

from Ephesians 4:1-3, 14-32

Too often we have a tendency to think of life as a Christ follower as meaning little more than behavior modification. What if we lived into the truth that Jesus did not give His life merely to modify our behavior, but He gave His life and offers us life in order to transform our nature?

Wherever you are on the journey, God longs to meet you and to draw you into deeper relationship with Him…and offers you grace in all of the ups and downs as you seek to follow.

w/ Vern Collins

(January 19, 2020) “Your Next Steps: Discipleship Journey”

from Matthew 3:13-17

A life of following Jesus if full of challenges. There are many times that we wonder if it is all worth it. We might have doubt, we might have fear of what is ahead, we might wrestle with guilt over feeling like we’re not doing this well.

Unlike trips we might take in life: vacations, road trips to see a friend or some exciting place…what if in life with Christ the thing that sustains us is not the destination, but what is spoken over us at the beginning?

Imagine how your perspective of following Jesus might change if you allowed it to be sustained and rooted in the truth and good news of the beginning…that you are the beloved of God, and that God has called you into life…a life He promises to walk through with you.

w/ Vern Collins

(October 13, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Personal Holiness”

from Ephesians 4:22-24 and 2 Peter 1:1-11

For so many, life as a Christian tends to be boiled down to how well one is “following the rules.” While God has certainly given us boundary lines, when we boil Christianity down to right and wrong, it lacks the sense of freedom and “full life,” that Jesus promises.

If you have felt the frustration of feeling caught in the cycle of victory when things seem to being going well and guilt when you feel like you’re falling short…then perhaps there is something from Peter’s life and journey with Jesus that can be an encouragement to you.

Beginning with the precious faith that you have…no matter how small it may seem, there is the amazing opportunity to experience more in your walk with Jesus.

w/ Vern Collins

(September 1, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Discipleship”

from Colossians 3:16-17, Acts 2:42-47

While the word “disciple” appears over 260 times in the New Testament, the word “discipleship” does not appear once.

Is discipleship meant to describe the process of your own journey in following Jesus or is it meant to describe the work of making disciples? Well, simply put-the answer is-YES.

Throughout the New Testament…even throughout all of Scripture we learn that the act of following God’s leading in our lives is not a straight line…today we would say that it is not a “program” that one follows…but we can say that it is a PROCESS.

Where is Jesus calling you to take YOUR next step in the journey of following Him? Is it in your own relationship with Him? Is it in the work of inviting others into life with Jesus? Ask Him…

w/ Vern Collins


Our Ambitious Prayer for the church (adapted from Jonathan Leeman’s “18 Things to Pray for Your Church”)

Heavenly Father, as we seek to be a church that reflects the hope of Your Son, Jesus in this world, our prayer for this church is…
That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
That a hunger for studying the Gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
That adult members work to disciple children and teenagers and not just leave the journey of discipleship to programming.

It is with the help of the Holy Spirit and in the Name of Jesus we ask these things, Amen.

“Encountering Jesus: On the Beach (in the Ordinary)” (May 19, 2019)

from John 21:1-17

Have you ever stopped to consider how our entertainment, experience, pursuit-of-satisfaction driven culture affects our expectations of what encountering the Lord ought to look like…ought to feel like?

While there are certainly times when an encounter with God evokes a physical and emotional response…while there are times when those encounters are fantastical…what about those times seeks to encounter us in the ordinary…in the familiar?

What if you began to look for God in the familiar? In the every day? Imagine how things might begin to be different…how different following Jesus might begin to look.

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Choosing to Follow” (November 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:18-22

What kind of follower are you?  In an age of social media, we “follow” any number of people and organizations.  Are you simply an observer, are you one who engages hoping to prove your self right, or are you one who follows until you don’t like what you hear or see at which point you are quick to “unfollow.”

Have you ever considered how who and what and the manner in which you are following in culture is impacting how you understand what it means to follow Jesus?

We can know everything we need to about stewardship and what that means for discipleship, but until we are willing to follow, until we are willing to take our first step or our next step we cannot experience the fullness of what God has for us and wants to do through us.

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Most Important” (November 4, 2018)

from Mark 12:28-34

What does stewardship mean to you?  Often times we cringe at those words in church…here comes the ask, right?  More money.  More time.  More serving.

What if stewardship weren’t about what you GIVE, but about Who you understand God to be, and how you lived your life in response to that?

As we start this series inviting you to consider a new way of thinking about stewardship, what if you thought about the journey of stewardship as a journey?  When starting a journey, what is most important to have…in order to sustain a journey…what is most important to have?

w/ Vern Collins

“Healing Connections: Humility” (October 7, 2018)

from Philippians 2:1-8

Not only were we created for relationship with God, but we were actually created for relationship with one another as well.  We know that Jesus makes possible through His death and resurrection, relationship with God.  But Jesus also makes life-giving relationship with one another possible through that same death and resurrection.

The problem is, something that is meant to be such a gift and such a reflection of Who God is in the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…relationship with one another…is the cause of some of our greatest frustration and hurt in this world.

So how do we love one another well.  How do we operate in ways that are healthy and foster relationships that reflect Who Jesus is to the world around us?

We begin with humility.

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Christ at the Center” (September 23, 2018)

from Luke 10:38-42

We are conditioned, many of us, to compartmentalize our lives as a means of surviving the pace at which we tend to operate.  We can call it self-preservation, and while it might help us feel like we are keeping our heads above water, when that mentality creeps into our spiritual life it becomes dangerous.

Without realizing it, it means that define what is at the center of our lives by determining what Christ can touch and what He must leave alone.  We set aside time to connect with Him, and often in doing so, try to decide the parts of us that He gets to connect with.

What if everything we do is meant to be an act of worship, and act of placing and keeping Christ at the center of who we are?

w/ Vern Collins

“Summer Reading-John: Jesus Did Many Other Things” (August 19, 2018)

from John 21:15-25

John ends his Gospel with this curious last sentence: “Jesus did many other things as well.  If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

What is it that makes, “many other things,” possible?  Work harder?  Delegate more?  Accomplish more?  Sleepless nights?  Saying, “yes,” anytime you are asked to do something?  Sure, these are all possible elements to accomplishing many other things, but what if it begins by saying, “yes,” to a meal?  What if it begins by saying, “yes,” to relationship with Jesus?

And what if we allow Jesus to take us deeper?  What if we allow Jesus to ask more, rather than to work so hard to become what the world is suggesting we ought to be?

w/ Vern Collins and Jeff McClain

“Life Together: The Day With Others” (April 22, 2018)

from Hebrews 10:23-25

Mission Celebration Sunday!  How is God calling you to deeper discipleship?  Deeper trust in His call?  Deeper dependence on His leading and His provision as He draws you deeper into the full life that Jesus promises in John 10?

w/ testimony from some of our very own Crossroads family and a word from Pastor Laura Byrch

“You Asked For It: How Do I Interact With the World?” (September 11, 2016)

from Matthew 5:13-16

ou’ve likely heard that Christians should be, “in the world, but not of the world.”  This saying comes from something Jesus says in the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel as he is praying to His Heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples.  While this saying is not incorrect, too often we have a tendency to view it as the finish line when in reality, Jesus meant for it to be the starting point.

What if you began to think of being set apart as having purpose, rather than thinking about it as simply being sequestered from the rest of the world?  Imagine what your life, leveraged in every situation for the sake of the Gospel, might begin to look like!

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Generosity” (March 13, 2016)

from 1 John 3:16-18

Ad campaigns that promise more with the purchase of a product only to leave us wanting more, political campaigns that promise something new is coming only to see things remain the same.

In a world full of empty promises talk has become cheap.

Has the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and the hope of new life found in Him suffered the same fate?  Has the claim lost its power?  Has the promise been diluted to simply another option for a different kind of life?

You have something to say about it.  The church has something to say about it.  A life lived poured out on behalf of the world around it points to something worth living for and invites the world to encounter Jesus…the hope of something new.

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Connect” (November 8, 2015)

from John 15:1-17

How is it that we’ve boiled Christianity, that is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus, down to NOT doing the things we shouldn’t do, and being sure to do the things we should?

The invitation of Jesus is to life…a full life to be more specific.  Yet, we have somehow bought in to this idea that life with Christ is little more than behavior modification.

In this week’s foundation of Connecting, we consider that what we DO for God is simply not as important as how we are WITH God through our connection in our relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps the fruit, or what we “do” comes as a byproduct of abiding in Christ as He calls us to do in John 15.  Not only in relationship with Jesus, but in relationship with one another do we find that God is able to bear fruit in and through our lives that is beautiful in His sight.

Rather than focusing on, “doing and achieving,” what if your focus became, “abiding, and being?”

w/ Vern Collins