To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

GIVING HOPE AT CHRISTMAS

Posted on Dec 19, 2017 by Max and Leanna Garrett, Walk Ministry Leaders

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     Shopping, wrapping presents, decorating, parties, fruit cakes and Santa--from Halloween to New Year’s, television commercials and discount stores do their best to get us in the Christmas spirit. If you came from another planet, you would think that every family on earth had matching pajamas and woke on Christmas morning to open dozens of presents under a beautiful Christmas tree. However, the reality is that forty percent of the population feels isolated and depressed during the Christmas season. (Look around at your family get together--almost half of the people wish they were somewhere else!)  We get so busy during this time of year trying to find just the right gifts that we forget the true meaning of Christmas. Yet we all have access to the greatest gift--sharing the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Discipleship is simply sharing the HOPE of Jesus Christ with those around you. Yet sharing our ‘story,’ what God has done for us, seems so complicated.

     As lay leaders for Walk Ministries, Max and I have a burden for developing disciples and encouraging believers at Heritage. In October, I attended the Wesleyan Covenant Association Global Conference via web simulcast in Fayetteville. I heard many great speakers throughout the day. One in particular spoke about making disciples. Rob Renfroe, Discipleship Pastor at The Woodlands Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas, gave an anointed message on three ways to make disciples, sharing the love of Christ with others, and sharing HOPE with this world. This message stirred a fire within me--and I want to share this FIRE with you! (Check out the link below!) Here’s my adaptation of Pastor Renfroe’s message:

     To share HOPE and make disciples, first, we must speak TRUTH. Teaching and living the TRUTH every day. Our loved ones and friends need to see the TRUTH of the gospel lived out. Proclaim the truth to them IN LOVE and give them the opportunity to respond. Simply share what God has done for you. Yes, sharing with some of our relatives/friends is difficult. But, would you rather be on the wrong side of a relationship or on the right side of eternity?

     Second, we must spend TIME. We must spend time with the Lord. Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai with God before he came down from the mount with the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 34:30, “When Aaron and the children of Israel saw Moses, the skin of his face shone while he talked.” Have you spent so much time with the Lord that His countenance has rubbed off on you? Does your face SHINE with the love of Christ when you talk about Him? Being a Christian isn’t just in name, Jesus has to live THROUGH us. By spending time with Jesus, we are compelled to spend time with others discussing the Word, sharing the Word, offering HOPE to others. Whom we spend time with matters! Others will know when we spend time with the Lord!

     Lastly, we must TRANSMIT our faith in Christ OUTSIDE the church walls! When you grow, you have to expand your surroundings. Get outside your comfort zone! We must share Christ outside the four walls of Heritage! Get outside the churchy-world and minister to those who need HOPE! Find a ministry opportunity. Join a life group that reaches out to the community. Can’t find one? Speak with Max or me to find open groups, OR start a new life group yourself! We are ALL called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

     During this Christmas season, take TIME to share the TRUTH of what Jesus has done for you by TRANSMITTING your story to those around you! None of us will take anything from this world. BUT, if you share the gift of HOPE with those around you, you give them the possibility of eternal life in heaven with YOU! Isn’t that the greatest gift of all?

     May the love of Christ permeate your home and touch your family! Don’t forget to share Christmas Eve with your Heritage Family! Services are at 3, 5 and 7 pm this Sunday with meals served from 4 - 7 pm. Hope to see you there!

Merry Christmas!

Max and Leanna Garrett

---link to Pastor Renfroe’s dynamic message on Making Disciples:  https://wesleyancovenant.org/rob-renfroe-houston-video/

 



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