Happy New Year!
Hello church family. We are officially headlong into 2020 and I wanted to write a quick update about what’s been going on and where we are headed this spring. 2020 will be a pivotal year for our church family.
If you remember from back in 2015, we put together a strategic leadership team and sought the Lord’s leadership for our 2020 Vision. Out of that process came four pillars. We envisioned God using us to
- Multiply Disciples
“…create a disciple-making culture of multiplication with at least 100 trained personal discipleship coaches…”
- Bless our City
“…bless our city through acts of generosity and the mobilization of 80% of our small groups in local missions projects…”
- Plant/Revitalize Churches
“…strategically plant our revitalize five churches in North America…”
- Send Missionaries
“…sacrificially send four long-term missionaries from our congregation to the uttermost parts of the earth…”
While the purpose of this email is not to give an update on where we are in that vision statement, I do want to encourage you to keep believing God for great things as we cross the finish line at the end of this year.
The end of this year will close a chapter in the history of Broadview. As a result, we will again be put in the exciting position of seeking God for “what’s next.” I want to ask you to be praying for that process. Pray that God’s will is manifested clearly and that our church will be ready and able to respond in faith.
That brings me to the purpose of this email.
Resolved: Radical Commitment & Christian Joy
Because of the unique nature of this year I sensed the Lord leading me to lead our congregation through a special season of prayer and fasting. This season will be framed around a new sermon series entitled “Resolved: Radical Commitment & Christian Joy.” We kicked off the first sermon in the series yesterday. (you can watch it online or in the app)
In this season, I want us to examine four key resolutions that come out of Romans 12. Each resolution revolves around a key relationship in the life of a follower of Jesus. The first message dealt with our relationship with God. It’s a resolution to be totally surrendered. Surrender is the channel through which God’s greatest blessings flow.
The idea for these four resolutions originally came from a book study I did years ago (when I was a member of Pastor David’s young adult small group in his home). The book was called R12 at the time. Now it’s entitled “True Spirituality: Becoming An R12 Christian.” I would encourage you to pick up a copy if you want to take this study further than just Sunday morning.
21-Day Reading Plan
Along with these Sunday morning messages I also challenged our church to engage in a 21-Day reading plan through the book of Romans. You can find this reading plan using the Bible App or follow along on our website. We built a special page just for the reading plan that you can bookmark it on your home screen. It has the verses and musical devotionals already linked for ease of access.
You’ll find the same thing below.
WEEK ONE (January 5-11)
WEEK TWO (January 12-18)
Day 14 – (Catch Up) Romans 1-8
WEEK THREE (January 19-25)
If you prefer the old school method of a paper bookmark and physical Bible then we passed those out this Sunday and have more available up at the church. (you can also print your own at home using this file).
I personally like holding a physical Bible when doing my daily devotionals so you can use any of these tools as you see fit. The point is that you read the Scripture and engage the Lord through His Word.
I picked this particular reading plan for the following reasons.
- The series is in Romans 12.
This plan will give us the necessary context for the Sunday morning messages.
- This reading plan is short.
It will only take you a couple of minutes to get through the reading each day. Most people don’t have a daily devotional time with the Lord because they feel like they don’t have time to do it right. Hear me. You don’t have to spend an hour each day to benefit from a quiet time. If you’re not doing anything right now then this is the best way to get started. Give the Lord the first five minutes of your day. You won’t regret it.
- It has a musical devotional attached to each reading.
I love music. It engages the heart as well as the mind. Psallos, a team of musicians out of Union University, have really created a special tool for engaging God’s Word through song. It combines the head with the heart and will help you experience God in the Scripture. It’s also something you can listen to throughout the day to internalize the message of Romans. By the way, it’s really good music (not that cheesy cheap stuff you sometimes get from projects like this)
- It’s the book of Romans!
Some people quit early on daily Bible reading because they picked a Bible reading plan that “got boring” or became “overwhelming.” If you’re new to this discipline then you need to start with a book that is interesting and immediately relevant. The book of Romans is one of the most powerful and practical books of the New Testament. It’s full of rich doctrine and convicting passages. The Lord has used this book several times in my own life to bring about a personal renewal. I trust he will do the same in yours.
In addition to the 21-Day reading plan I also challenged our church to participate in a 21-Day fast. Many of you weren’t able to attend church this morning so I don’t want you to feel like you’re missing out. You can either start your 21-Day fast today (as many of us will do) or you can start your reading plan and fast next Sunday.
The series is four weeks long and so it can work either way. If you have a good idea of what the Lord would have you fast from, then just start today. We will be sending out encouragement along the way.
There’s a lot I could say about the discipline of fasting but now is not the time. I do want to make one thing clear, though. The purpose of the fast is not to fast FROM something. It’s a fast FOR something. You’re fasting from one thing FOR a better thing: God himself.
So pick something that you’re going to miss when it’s gone. When the hunger for that thing strikes and begins to grow in intensity, let it be a reminder and an invitation to satisfy your soul on a better thing: communion with God. As Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
Some of you may choose to do a traditional fast from ALL food. My plan is to fast from sugar 100% of the 21 days and choose certain days where I fast from food all together. You can customize it however you want.
The goal is to create physical hunger pains that prompt you to hunger and thirst for the spiritual food that only God himself can provide.
I really think the Lord is going to use this time in our church to deepen our dependency on him and our awareness of his will for what’s next.
I am personally very excited about it (and really nervous about giving up sugar!) I hope you’ll join me in participating. It’ll be neat to have so many people from our church family pursuing the same goal in the same way at the same time.
Like I said earlier, if you didn’t catch the message yesterday then you can catch up online or in the app. You can do the reading plan using the You Version Bible App or follow along using the page we built. Bookmarks are available here or you could just print it off from this email.
I’m praying for you and all of us during this special season of seeking after God together. I hope you’ll also commit yourself to this process with sincerity of heart and spiritual resolve.
There’s a direct link between spiritual discipline and Christian joy. May God increase your joy in Him as you increase your commitment to love him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.
With sincere love and great anticipation,