Happy New Year! I hope you were able to enjoy the last few weeks and create lasting memories with your family and friends. As we look forward to what this year holds and as your small groups and classes kick off again, I wanted share part of an article I wrote for our newsletter. Please check this out and think about how this might fit in your group/class setting.
The New Year provides an opportunity to reset practices and habits in our lives that aren’t the way we want them to be, or know they should be. It’s an opportunity to re-take control of our calendar, our diet, our spending, our relationships, and the list goes on. So, what’s on your list? What would you like to be different in 2017?
As we recommit to eating better, exercising more, and spending less, this time of year is also a great time to reconsider the time we spend reading the Bible. Reading the Bible is not only something we should do in order to grow, it is a way we can intimately connect with God and understand his desires for our lives. Personally, my favorite Bible reading resource is YouVersion, which can be found on the web at www.bible.com. Creating an account is simple, and once you’ve created an account, you have access to dozens of versions of the Bible as well as personalized reading plans, all for free.
As you think about your goals for 2017, I would encourage you to begin a YouVersion reading plan today. If you’re interested in reading the whole Bible, there are a number of plans that will help you read straight through the Bible or read it in the order it was written. Or, if you’d like to start smaller, there are reading plans accompanied by devotionals on a variety of topics including: marriage, prayer, doubt, anxiety, men’s topics, women’s topics, etc. There are also apps available so you can read on your phone, tablet, or computer.
As you think about your group or class, how could you engage in a reading plan together over the next couple weeks, month, or year? If you decide to go this route, I would love to hear how it works for your group.
As you know, a couple times a year we like to sync up what is happening on the weekends with our small groups and classes. We believe this is a great way to help build on and apply what is being discussed each weekend. Last fall we worked through the Finding Your Way Back to God curriculum. This Winter and Spring we will be spending 25 weeks or more studying the book of Matthew. This will begin the weekend of Feb 11/12 and carry us through the school year into the summer.
It is my hope to add people to groups, and launch new small groups for the beginning of this study. If you are looking to add a few people to your group, please let me know.
As a result, I will also be creating study guides for groups and classes that go along with these weeks of the series. I would love it if your group would spend a few weeks in the beginning of this series journeying with us. More to come on that.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE IN A GROUP?
As a part of the Devoted Together series, Pastor Wayne has asked me to preach the last weekend of January with a focus on Grow Together and Serve Together groups. I am both excited and terrified about this experience and would appreciate your prayers. As I prepare for this sermon, I would love to hear from you about why being in a group/class has mattered to your life and spiritual journey. If you would be willing to share with me, please click here and email me your answer.
WATCH YOUR MOUTH?
If your group is looking for a new study to get you going until the Matthew study begins in February, I would like to suggest the “Watch Your Mouth” series. You can check it out here.