Dear Fellow Disciples,
A new month is upon us and the year is speeding by. We have all endured a year of challenge like no other in our life time. Between the global pandemic, social unrest, and the political chaos that we have experienced, we are all pressed to keep our sense of peace knowing that God is in control despite how it looks or feels. We have a lot in front of us as well. The Presidential election campaigns will fill the air waves with mud and venom like we have never seen, the pandemic will continue to dominate the news until a vaccine is approved, and we may continue to see stories of violent protests from across the nation. But, God is surely in control!
Our faith is the key to remaining at peace when the world seems to be completely out of control. The Lord has called us to His grace and mercy to be His confident representatives in a very unstable world. This month I will be focusing on Disciple-Making. When Cindy and I came here two-and-a-half years ago, we came with a vision of Disciple-Making. Disciple-Making as found in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) begins with evangelism and continues to and through Christian obedience and maturity. Jesus modeled for us the process that we should follow.
For the first four Sundays of August my messages will focus on various aspects of biblical disciple-making. We will be looking at Jesus, as well as the Apostles and how they lead the church in the New Testament, and the patterns that we are to establish in our life as followers of Jesus Christ. The Christian Life is more than going to church on Sunday and experiencing the personal peace gained by God’s forgiveness of our sins. There is a journey and an adventure to be had in living our life as God’s ambassadors to a lost and dying world. Being conformed into the image of God’s Son is a life-long challenge fraught with spiritual peril. Yet, He calls us to the narrow path that leads to righteousness and God’s glory in our lives, and He promises His empowering presence through His Holy-Spirit living in our hearts.
On Saturday, August 22, we will have our annual Disciple-Making Forum. The forum will answer questions you may have about joining a Discipleship-Group (D-Group). Over the past two years we have grown from 4 to 20 participants in D-Groups. During the messages this month you will hear testimonies from a number of fellow Christ Followers here at Restoration who have participated in a D-Group. I hope that their stories will encourage you to be in a D-Group starting in September. Please make plans now to attend the Forum on the 22nd, and begin to pray now about participating in a D-Group this year.
Please pray for our church as we continue to minister to you our members as well as trying to reach out to our community. Pray for Leslie and the Youth Ministry, Jamie and the Children’s Ministry, as well as David and the Young Adult Ministry. Also pray for our Elders, Deacons and other leaders in ministry. These are challenging times for all of us to remain connected and grow in the Lord. It is my prayer for you that you will continue to seek the fellowship of the body of believers as well as study the Word diligently, and pray consistently for God’s will to be done in your life and in the ministry of Restoration Church. I look forward to seeing you soon, and pray for your physical and spiritual health and safety.
In the Bond of Peace,
Michael C. Smith