Grow Deep - Summer DiscipleSHIP Edition

Summer DiscipleSHIP Edition

“He (Jesus) got into one of the boats …
and then He sat down and taught the people
from the boat.” Luke 5:3

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer for many Americans. Pentecost, just a couple of weeks ago, marks the beginning of a "summer" season in Christian tradition. It is the time in liturgical settings that moves from "the time of Christ" to "the time of the Church." We move from following the stories of Jesus' birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension, to a season of teaching what it means for us to get into the boat and set sail with Jesus as His disciples. For many Missourians, summer is that time to get the boat ready and head to the lake. We love the water, the sun, the fish and the memories we shape during summer days on the water.

Even our Vacation Bible School will take children out on the lake. "Shipwrecked" is their adventure theme and the inspiration for this issue of Grow Deep. The message the children will learn each day is that in all circumstances, "Jesus Rescues Us!" And since we have been rescued by Jesus, we have the opportunity to be bold and navigate beyond the wrecks of time where sins have grounded our ships. So don't let summer be a time to be idle. Don't let temptations lead you to abandon ship or wreck your ship. Get into the boat with Jesus, play in the water of your baptism and learn to set sail as His disciples on three "ships" that make for a great summer: WorSHIP, FriendSHIP and LeaderSHIP.

As we set sail on this summer Grow Deep adventure, we will begin with WorSHIP. WorSHIP is commanded and deserved by God, but it's so much more. It's listening to God's love language and learning to return it with the offering of ourselves. This week we will look at just a few of the many Scriptures that call us to worship. Perhaps the church language for this second week of Grow Deep would be "FellowSHIP," but we chose FriendSHIP to expand our horizons. This week over 300 children will be at Webster Gardens. They need our FriendSHIP. Some will test our FriendSHIP; some will embrace it. Others will not be quite ready to trust it. Disciples who follow Jesus are perpetually open to the friendships He places in our midst. The weekday readings this week are from Scriptures used in VBS.

In the final week of this edition which begins on Fathers' Day, we set sail in the waters of LeaderSHIP. Ironically the ministry of Jesus was less about developing leaders than developing good followers. That's what a disciple is: "someone who follows Jesus' lead." When you are following Jesus, take a glance back and you will almost certainly find that God has placed someone behind you who is following you. That's why Paul says, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." Wise and effective leaders in the Kingdom of God have their ears tuned into Jesus' teaching; their hearts are reshaped by repentance; they trust not in their own understanding but in the Lord. We will close out this edition with a verse we used a few weeks ago but in a more concise context. We learn from that Scripture that Christian communities are nurseries for leaders; they bless and support leaders today and for the future.

Let this three-week tour in the Word of God be a time to follow Jesus into deeper waters of faith, love and character. We call that discipleSHIP!

Set Sail with Jesus!
The Adult Ministry Team
June 2018

We thank the following who shared their insights with us in this edition: Week 1, Jenny Morrison; Week 2, Pastor Brian King; Week 3, Joe Bordeaux. We also thank Pastor Bill Geis, Edie Grieshaber and the office staff for their insights and work in the production of Grow Deep.