What would it be like if Jesus lived your life right now? The late Dallas Willard once asked that question in a conference I attended many years ago. Instead of thinking about what Jesus would do, he asked us to imagine how he would transform the lives we have right now. If he lived in your house, with your family, here in Tallahassee, how would he proclaim the gospel? That’s precisely what he’s called us to do. When he said “Come, follow me,” we did not move to Tiberias on the shores of the sea of Galilee, purchase a net and a boat, and invest in the local fishing industry. We followed him right here, where he met us. We repented, believed, and began a journey with Jesus. We became disciples.
From September 13 to November 8, our church will learn again to be disciples of Jesus. We’re starting over, practicing together what it means to Think, Act, and Be like Jesus. We will study 10 core doctrines of the Christian life and apply those in 10 critical ways to our daily living. We will discuss the virtuous fruit that comes out of a life fully surrendered to Jesus’ life. Each person will have the opportunity to come to Sunday Morning Bible Study (SMBS) and receive a copy of Randy Frazee’s book on this topic. Randy is the senior minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and based much of this work on his research while he was teaching pastor at Willow Creek.
We could not ask for a better time to work together through this material. Every day, we have opportunity to ask and answer questions about our faith. Our children press us for knowledge, and our friends ask us for information. Our hearts burn to know more about our faith to reassure us through life’s daily challenges. We know that doctrine is more than principles on a page. They are practices for daily living. As James said, we are to be doers of the word, and not just hearers only. This series is designed to help us see our how our beliefs inform our daily living and vice versa. Our series will also allow us to invite friends who have questions about Christian beliefs. For inquirers, beginners, skeptics, and strugglers, everyone can learn as a disciple of Jesus.
On Sundays in worship, I’ll be teaching these core beliefs, practices, and fruit. On Wednesday nights at 6:00 p.m. beginning September 2, I’ll focus on why we believe what we believe and obey. Why are our views on salvation, the trinity, the church, marriage, eternity, and much more so important to life today? In addition, Zach and Josh will lead “Theology and Culture” for College Students and Young Adults on the first Wednesday of each month in Fellowship Hall at 7:30 p.m. Both Sundays and Wednesdays will give us reassurance, confidence, and guidance as we live the Christian life.
Every age and stage will be studying this material in SMBS—from children, to youth, to adults. We should have some great Sunday lunch conversations in our house! We’ll be publishing a “Verse of the day” that households can use in individual or family Bible study and prayer, and Rhonda Smith will be enlisting folks to lead a few small groups in the week to build community in our church and supplement the teaching on Sundays and Wednesdays. There is truly “something for everyone” in this series.
Pick up a copy of the book beginning this Sunday in your SMBS classes. If you’re not already in a class, now is a great time to start. Like children being brought to Jesus, we’re all beginners in our faith. Let’s grow together.