Upcoming Discipleship Opportunities
As we all know, our church programs and ministries may look different this school year. Everyone, everywhere is facing the challenges of doing life differently, not least churches. But I want to assure you that at ECC, we are still pressing on with helping each other follow Jesus, even if it looks a little different from years past.
For the time being, we will not have traditional Sunday School, especially while we focus on having two services, with one during our traditional Sunday School hour.
Yet there are plenty of discipleship opportunitites to grab onto. Here's a brief look at some opportunities you will have this year:
Parenting with Patience
Coming in September and October, we will be offering a five week in-person small group study for dads and moms. Using Chap Bettis's curriculum Parenting with Patience, we will invite parents to watch a video lesson at home, and then come to the church picnic grounds for a once a week discussion about the teaching. The dads will be meeting with Elder Mark Verhagen, while moms will be meeting with Tina Miller. Contact Tina if you are interested in the study.
Speaking of small groups, are you in a Community Group? This is a great way to regularly stay in touch with a group of ECCers. Yes, our groups will look different this year as they have to remain flexible with how they meet...but the regular rhythym of talking with a group of friends from ECC will encourage you and help you remain persevering in your Christian walk. Our Community Groups meet to fellowship and discuss the scripture text that was used for the sermon on Sunday morning. Take a look at what groups are currently available and sign up today! If you have any questions, just ask me.
Men's & Women's Bible Studies
The Men's Bible study continues to meet once a month on a Saturday, studying the book of Acts. Email Dave Matre for more details. The Tuesday Women's Bible Study will start up again this fall, studying the Sermon on the Mount. Email Colleen Grogan for more details. Both of these groups are a great way to dive deeper into the Bible and learn from one another along the way.
Podcast & Video Series
In light of no traditional Sunday School, we are offering other venues to help encourage all of us in growing and knowing Jesus. Be on the look out this year for several podcast and video series that we will upload weekly. First off this fall will be a weekly episode of elder devotions from the Psalms. Later we will host a weekly episode of interviews with different members in the Church, who will share their testimonies and stories of following Jesus. Other series will be planned as well!
One-to-One Bible Reading
Perhaps the greatest, and easiest opportunity you have right now is to pursue Bible reading with someone else. Let me encourage you to pick up the phone and call someone in the congregation, and then ask them if they would read a book of the Bible with you. This is a great way to deepen your relationships and get in to the Word together. Though there are many ways to do this, let me give you a brief example:
Agree to read one chapter a week by every day both of you rereading that chapter on your own. Then on your agreed upon day, get together in person or call each other on the phone and read the passage aloud together. Then just chat some about what God taught you that week while meditating on the chapter.
Book Studies and Discussion Groups
This year we will also be offering different small group book studies and discussion groups. For example, I encouraged last week that ECCers go listen to Jonathan Leeman's talks on Politics in the Life of the Church. (If you haven't watched them, they are fantastic.) For those who had expressed interest, I am facilitating an hour discussion on Zoom about the seminar. We will do similar with other books or media this year - sometimes these will be available in person outside, other times on Zoom.
And this is not all. We hope that other avenues of discipleship will open up throughout the year. Be looking for opportunities to grow, learn, and serve when those come up.