Welcome to fall and to a new year of Women’s Ministry at Faith Community Church. I love that God has given us days, seasons, and years. t is so helpful to look back and see where we have been, to look at where we are, and to look forward to where we are going. These perspectives help us to see the work that God has already done and to see new areas of potential growth. In looking forward we always seek to pursue God’s plans for us though His word and this year we studied the instructions given to Timothy to give us direction.
Timothy was a young man who was left in Ephesus to lead the church there. Paul wrote to Timothy and gave him instruction on how to lead well those who had been entrusted to his care. According to 1 Tim 4 Paul indicated that caring well for the body hinged around Timothy's personal “understanding of” – and – “application of” the Gospel (the good news of Jesus). He told Timothy:
1Timothy 4:6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed...
1Timothy 4:15-16 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Our goal, as women entrusted with the care of other women, is to follow these guidelines ourselves and to help you do the same. To be trained in the words of faith. To practice them. To progress in them. And to Persist in them. This is keeping with the direction of the overall body of believers at FCC. FCC has identified the cycle of Discipleship as one that is characterized by “Knowing, Doing, and Becoming." It seems that these words to Timothy describe exactly the first two components of that cycle which should be demonstrated in observable change.
We realize that to accomplish this as individuals and a ministry we will need to be intentional in several ways. First, we must be trained in the words of the faith (which is a Christ centered life known as the Gospel) and to keep a watch on the teaching. Second, we must practice what we have learned. Third, we must see visible progress. And Fourth, we must be encouraged to persist.
Women's Ministry at FCC has several approaches to help women accomplish these goals and we are intentionally seeking to carry out these very instructions of Paul’s. This year we are using a helpful tool from Navigators to help us visualize the necessary elements of living a thriving, growing, Christ centered life. Each one of these spokes is something that is described in the Word in such a way that we can “Know” it and “Do” it.
We want to provide a means for women to be trained to center their lives around Christ in such a way that they move forward naturally in prayer, the study of God's word, fellowship with the body, and personal witness. We want to provide a means for women to practice these things, to progress in them (and see the progress), and to be trained to persist in them. It because of this that LATTE has made this the theme for this year.
Each speaker will help women learn how to train themselves in one of the four elements of Christ centered obedience.Christian living is centering one's life around the good news of Jesus Christ in everyday life. In doing so there are two vertical components and two horizontal components. Vertically, I want to offer my praise and prayers upward toward my creator God - and - I want to know Him and receive direction from Him through His word. Therefore, the two vertical components I want to practice are Prayer and the Study of God's word. Horizontally, I want to relate to this world in a Christ centered, God honoring way. Outwardly I am to fellowship with the body of Christ which is God's gift to me - and - I want to live in the world as a witness to the goodness and sufficiency of Christ. LATTE has designed their sessions around these elements. One session will be on how to Practice, Progress, and Persist in Prayer. The next one will be how to Practice, Progress, and Persist in the study of God's word. Practice, Progress, and Persist in Fellowship. And Practice, Progress, and Persist in Witness. If we can learn to train ourselves for godliness (as Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Tim 4:7) by applying ourselves to be trained in these disciplines then we will be moving places both individually and as a body. That is an exciting prospect!
Each of the ministries will give opportunity to become disciplined in one or more of these elements. We pray for you this year that you will join us, that we will find ourselves growing and going places spiritually with the Lord that we had not anticipated were possible. That as a body we will be Disciples who are truly Knowing, Doing, and Becoming all to the Glory of God.
Please pray for us! We are praying for you!