The theme of the September 2021 Oak Leaf was “Growing in Christ”, one of East White Oak’s Vital Signs. Our Vital Signs are three important indicators of spiritual health. Growing in Christ is a category of qualities which will be evident in the life of a maturing disciple. Simply put, it’s becoming more like Jesus.
There were 35 of you who completed last month’s survey. The survey results are not presented as a standard by which to measure your own spiritual vitality, but rather a simple snapshot summarizing some of what’s true about the discipleship journeys of your brothers and sisters in Christ. The results from this last survey reveal the unique ways which we are Growing in Christ. Be encouraged that this survey is helping our church leaders consider ways that we might better fulfill our focus of being a community of people who are seeking to be worshipers, maturing in Christ! If you are interested in the complete survey summary, scroll down to the “Survey Results” section.
Those Growing in Christ have a relationship with Christ
Here are three highlighted results from the survey which focus on one’s relationship with Christ:
22 out of 35 people said “When making choices, I FREQUENTLY seek Christ’s guidance first.” – When faced with a decision it’s a wonderful thing for God’s people to pause and pray. The Spirit of Christ is good to guide us into truth (John 16:13).
23 out of 35 people said “I ALWAYS remain confident of God’s love and provision during difficult times.” – Jesus knew that his betrayal and death were at hand, yet he had no doubt of his Father’s love for him (John 17:26). God demonstrated his love for us in the crucifixion of Jesus (Rom. 5:8).
34 out of 35 people said “I ALWAYS believe the Bible is God’s Word and provides His instructions for life.” – Jesus referred to the Scriptures as authoritative and true when responding to a variety of circumstances. Paul said that the scriptures, “equip us for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:17)
Those Growing in Christ are submitted to Christ.
Here are three highlighted results from the survey which focus on one’s submission to Christ:
11 out of 35 people said “My actions OCCASIONALLY demonstrate a desire to build God’s kingdom rather than my own.” – Jesus spent his life building God’s kingdom (John 5:19) and his promise to those who follow him is that they will do greater kingdom building works than he (John 14:12).
10 out of 35 people said “Peace, contentment, and joy only OCCASIONALLY characterize my life rather than worry and anxiety.” – It’s understandable that the disciples were frightened by Jesus’ words about leaving them. Their encouragement can be ours. Jesus told them that their hearts need not be troubled he was giving them his peace. (John 14:27)
26 out of 35 people said “I FREQUENTLY replace impure or inappropriate thoughts with God’s truth.” – Our obedience to Christ begins in our minds. It was Paul who encouraged the Corinthians to take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)
Those Growing in Christ are involved in service to Christ.
Here are three highlighted results from the survey which focus on one’s service to Christ:
8 out of 35 people said “I understand my spiritual gifts and, I ALWAYS use those gifts to serve others.” – Jesus did not come to be served but to serve (Matt. 20:28). As followers of Christ, we have the great privilege of having received a gift to be used in serving others (1 Peter 4:10).
5 out of 35 people said “I ALWAYS act as if other’s needs are as important as my own.” – Paul said that the sinless Son of God our Savior made himself nothing (Phil. 2:7). May we have the mind of Christ and consider others as more significant than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).
16 out of 35 people said “I ALWAYS expect God to use me every day in His kingdom work.” – You may not think of yourself as a wonderful work of art, but you are. For what purpose? We have been created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10).
One way that you might pray for our church is that we would all be Growing in Christ.
SECTION ONE: ABIDING IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO: LIVING IN THE WORD
SECTION THREE: PRAYING IN FAITH
SECTION FOUR: FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS
SECTION FIVE: WITNESS TO THE WORLD
SECTION SIX: MINISTER TO OTHERS
November OakLeaf Articles:
The State of the World by Scott Boerckel
Three Priorities to Shape Evangelism by Jim Boerckel
Genuine Curiosity in Gospel Conversations by Matt Kent
A Life Worth Living by Robert J. Morgan
The Message the World Needs to Hear by RD
Nurturing a Love for the Lost by Larry Van Gundy
The Gospel Is Life Itself by Jim Simmons
Participating in the Disciple Making Process by Ron Miller