Most of us remember a day when you didn’t need a guide to better discipleship and participation. Attending worship services and Sunday School were a given. Our social calendars used to revolve around church services and classes. No one was competing for Sunday Morning or Wednesday Night.
Those days are behind us for a variety of reasons. We’re just so busy. We travel much more than we did in the closing decades of the twentieth century. As a result, we have some classes meet weekly, some that meet every other week, and others that are only together once a month.
What does that mean for the church? What does that mean for Grace? It means that people who are looking for Jesus can sometimes have a harder time finding the community of faith where Christ may be most easily found.
In short, we need you.
We began the year with Kevin Schwab’s challenge: “If you are in town and you are healthy, we’re challenging you to worship at Grace.” Now, we are adding a more specific guide for discipleship at Grace — and a few pointers for you that will help you find your way into a deeper sense of participation.
Our congregation agreed on a simple way of doing discipleship together. We reach our communities for Jesus Christ. We connect with our friends and neighbors at Grace. We teach and learn about Scripture and the traditions of the Church. We serve our neighbors locally and around the world. We worship together. And we challenge each other to lead our congregation in following Christ.
Get in the Game
If you are having a hard time making headway in any of these areas, here are a few ideas for how you can get ahead. Pick an area of concern and make some commitments!
How are you reaching out to the community to tell them about God’s love?
- Bring a friend. Watch for our fellowship activities and plan to attend. It’s as simple as inviting a friend.
- Offer some hospitality. Invite your friends to a cookout at your home. Make sure a few church friends are there as well.
- Keep up with the schedule. Subscribe to the Grace UMC calendar on Google Calendars, and make sure you’re hitting the events and inviting your neighbors and friends.
- Reaching can be receiving. Invite folks to worship with you. Introduce them to your friends, and make sure they meet the pastor.
Are you connecting in fellowship with friends and neighbors weekly?
- Make plans to attend our mid-week fellowship meal and classes. It’s affectionately known as Wednesdays at Grace (WAG). We’d love to see you at the meal, classes, and choir rehearsal — but don’t skip it all if you can’t make one or two. The meal is great and we always have fun!
- Join a Sunday School class. Of course, that is going to come up in the next section, but let’s not forget that Sunday School classes are also social groups. If you’re not in a small group on Sundays, maybe one that meets on a weeknight would be better for you. Call the church office at 731 664-9118 to get into a class today.
- Ask a few folks to join you for lunch after worship. There are several ‘unofficial’ groups that eat lunch together every week.
- Roadtrip or even take a vacation together. The fastest way to get to know someone is to spend a few hours trapped in a car with them. 😉
Are you being formed and forming others in a small group?
- Pick a topic and join a class. We have small group activities and large group activities every week. Find a place that will challenge your knowledge and add to it with every class. There are several classes on Sunday, a few on Wednesday, and at least one on Tuesdays. Deepen your understanding of God and find new ways to follow Christ!
- Find a place to belong, not just learn. It’s not just about classes and lectures. Join the choir. Volunteer with the kids. Get involved in a small group mission, short or long-term. There’s a place to belong for everyone.
- Sundays aren’t the only day. We have several groups to choose from and several times of day and days of the week. There’s one that will fit your schedule.
Are you serving Christ in your neighborhood, community, state, and beyond?
- Start local. Our Serve Team has created a menu of opportunities that are available for you to start on immediately. We have local partners who are always in need of volunteers, resources, and donations.
- Think about a road trip. There are regional opportunities as well. West Tennessee is home to one of the poorest counties in the state. In less than an hour’s drive, you can be hard at work at Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
- Get back to nature — now, with WiFi! If camping is more in line with your skills, we send counselors and adult volunteers to Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly on a regular basis.
- Go global. As a connectional church, we are hooked into one of the largest networks of missionaries in the world. We can put you in touch with United Methodist missionaries around the world and close to home.
- Work with friends around the world! We are directly partnered with Project 541 in Honduras in South America. Your donations are always welcomed.
Are you connecting with God and neighbors weekly in worship?
- Sacrifice the hour. It’s not about entertainment, though Grace provides a weekly worship opportunity led by some of the most talented folks in the area. Give God your best for at least an hour.
- Offer yourself and receive Christ. There will always be room for you at the Communion Table. We need your voice to round out our worshiping congregation.
- Get to know us! Find out more about our worship services here.
Are you serving Christ as a servant-leader in your church?
- Take on a task. Providing direction isn’t something you want to begin with, but we are always looking for people to help make our regular events go smoothly. Your task can be as simple as lighting a candle, serving food on Wednesday, or helping to fold bulletins.
- Step up to the challenge. If you have particular skills or interests, you can let us know by completing a Ministry Opportunities Check Sheet.
Ask them here! Connect on Facebook and ask there. Drop by the church during office hours. Contact the pastor. The only stupid question is the one you thought of but did not ask.