Discipleship begins by being CONNECTED to Jesus Christ through His Church.
There is no decision in life more important than realizing that God is real and that His Son Jesus Christ came to give us eternal life. Until we are able to establish a personal relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ, our lives have no lasting significance. A life of purpose begins with surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ, accepting His gift of redemption and a establishing a personal relationship with Him. That personal commitment of our lives to Jesus Christ is lived out in membership in His Church. Jesus created His church to enable us to live out our love for Him. The church is how we stay connected. As believers, we worship, witness, support, and sustain His church to live out His Great Commandment and fulfill His Great Commission. By our membership, we witness to the world that we are committed to His cause. Here at First United, it is our goal that every believer will stay connected to Christ through worship and fellowship with other believers. In a world so fractured and broken, staying connected is vital. We strive to find effective ways to connect others to Jesus and to help every member stay connected to Him and to one another.
The second key in our discipleship process is GROWING in our relationship with Jesus Christ by being a part of a Small Group.
We believe that conversion and membership in the body of Christ is the “jumping off” point when it comes to living a life of faith. Every believer is called to grow in his/her faith and in his/her understanding and knowledge of God’s plan and purpose. Peter, the “Rock” upon which Jesus built His Church said, May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. (2nd Peter 1:2.) For us, being a member of a Small Group is essential in deepening our knowledge of and building our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our goal here at First United is to continue to grow our Small Group Network to enable every believer to deepen his/her knowledge of God’s word and it’s application to his/her life. Therefore we expect every member to be a part of one of our Small Groups. Small Groups enable us: to stay connected with fellow believers, to know Christ more intimately, to grow in our knowledge of God’s word and His life principles, to be accountable to one another, to guide and encourage one another as we “do life” together.
The third key in our discipleship process is SERVING the Master in ministry/service to others by being a member of a Ministry Team.
We believe that each member of the body of Christ has been given spiritual gifts, abilities, a unique personality style, life experiences and heartfelt passion which are essential for the life and ministry of the church. It is through our service that we contribute to the future of God’s kingdom by meeting the needs of those around us in the name of Jesus Christ. Once he or she is connected and growing, we encourage every member to find a place of service and ministry. For some, their place for service may be with their small group. A small group may have similar interests and gifts. Others may find that their area of service is different than the other members of their small group and therefore choose another Ministry Team when it comes to serving. Service allows the Holy Spirit to use us for the glory of God and to make a difference in our church, in our community and in our world. In the years ahead, we hope to develop a whole list of various Ministry Teams that will enable our church to use every Spiritual gift, personality style, natural ability and life experience for God’s glory.
The fourth key in discipleship is EQUIPPING ourselves to REACH other for Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ equips every member of His church to reach out to others who need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To this end, we are committed to seeking out effective ways to train every member to share the means of God’s grace with all those we encounter. Reaching others with the good news and inviting them into a relationship with Jesus Christ is the heart of Jesus’ Great Commission. Jesus is clear. We are to go into all the earth to seek out those who would become His disciples through our witness. We seek to reach out with God’s invitation here in the Bradford community and intentionally invite other families and friends to experience God’s love with us. We know that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives and it is His desire for us to share the Good News. Sometimes others simply need a friend who will show them the way that leads to a life of purpose and meaning. As you grow in your relationship with Jesus, he will empower you with His Holy Spirit to share the amazing gift of God’s unfailing love and grace.
Ultimately, everything we do as disciples of Jesus Christ is intended to GLORIFY God in all things.
The end of our discipleship process is simple.... “that we might GLORIFY God in all things.” Of course, Worship is at the heart of the community of faith. Worship is where most of us first made our connection with Jesus and His amazing plan and purpose for our life. No matter what area of service a Christian feels drawn to, we all are called to worship and glorify the Lord. BUT We believe that everything we do at First United should bring glory to Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. We believe that worship is the primary means of glorifying God. Our worship, as well as everything else here at First United, is all about God. This key to our discipleship process flows from the Great Commandment. We strive to cultivate a lifestyle of praise and worship that draws us and others to God. In all we do, we strive to live out the Great Commandment and fulfill the Great Commission....to Know Christ and To Make Him Known.