The calendar says that it’s August 5th—almost the exact middle of the summer—but we here in Cherokee County, GA are undergoing a seasonal change of sorts. That’s right, it’s back to school time for parents and grandparents and students and teachers all over Georgia.
So no matter what the sun or the calendar or the Almighty God says, summer is over. School is back in session.
Back to school time is a good time to get back to basics. At school, we know what the basics are. It's the three R’s if you’re old enough: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, right? Our children and teenagers will tell us that the three R's are "reduce, reuse and recycle," a quick reminder about the increasing importance of creation care...
But what are the basics for church? And how do we stay focused on them? One of the ways to make sure we’re still focused on the basics is to go back and ask, “Are we still aiming to do the things we initially set out to do?”
At HERITAGE the basics are worship, discipleship and service. Over the next several weeks our Sundays will be focused on those three things.
We’ll talk about developing holy habits in worship. We’ll develop ideas about our need for connection with holy things in an increasingly secular and profane world. We were created to live in fellowship with our creator. Worship fosters a connection with the holy that is essential to a well-lived life.
We’ll also talk about the basic idea and process of discipleship. We’ll figure out together that discipleship can’t be done—at least it can’t be done biblically—in isolation. Healthy Christian relationships are key components of biblical discipleship. Christian relationships rooted in the foundation of the local church are one of the best ways to make sure that we maintain mental and spiritual and emotional health and balance. Christian relationships also help support our physical health, particularly when our physical health is challenged.
Finally, over the next few weeks we’ll talk about the basic idea of Christian service and evangelistic mission. We are surrounded in this world by broken people. Many in our churches walk into worship on Sunday with shattered lives barely held together in their hands. We have a tremendous opportunity and God-given responsibility as servants of Christ to bring wholeness to broken lives. And we’ll learn over the next few weeks that we can’t live whole Christian lives ourselves unless our focus turns increasingly outward toward service to others.
Those are the basics at HERITAGE: worship, discipleship and Christian service and witness that lead to individuals, families and communities that are becoming holy, healthy and whole.
Back in January I wrote down five things I thought we at HERITAGE should aim for this year. You can revisit that list HERE. The first two things on our list were clarifying our identity and honing our purpose. As we get back to basics over the next several weeks, I hope you’ll see that we’ve made some great progress in those areas.
And as you look at the complete list, I hope you’ll recognize that we are still aiming to do the things we initially set out to do in 2015. We have five more months to continue our work. We’ve got nearly half a year left! And I’m excited to share the next season of our work with you. I hope you’ll commit yourselves to sharing it with me.
See you Sunday.