Jan 2014 Forum Recap

Monday, January 13th, 2014's Forum featured five sections: thanking God, defining Grow Deep, Outreach, Prayer and Serving.  We live tweeted some take-aways as the meeting happened, but we wanted to fill you in if you weren't able to attend.

Thanking God.
Here's a selection of the things we celebrated God doing in 2013:
  • Feeling like this campus is a place where I can fit in
  • Being able to invite neighbors because the location is closer to home
  • New/different opportunities to serve
  • Conversations with folks in and around the Levee, inviting them to church
  • Bonding through doing this startup together
  • Baptisms
  • Connect
  • Grace4U
  • Systems in place for doing theater church
What else are you thankful for God doing in and through Grace Fellowship Church Newport?  Hop on over to Facebook and let's celebrate it together!

Grow Deep.
We talked "Grow Deep" and how we're defining it.  Some of you said that Grow Deep means:
  • Picking core areas and developing those until we're good at them instead of trying to do everything
  • Jeremiah 17:8, Psalm 1
  • Bearing fruit, not sitting idle
  • Living life like God is who He says He is and means what He says
Making an effort to "Grow Deep" in 2014 means we'll look at what God has started among us over the past year, and prayerfully seek to deepen our roots in order to continue to establish healthy, long-lasting, fruitful ministry at GFC Newport.

We considered some of our outreach opportunities and considered how we might Grow Deep in making them more gospel-centered.  How can we use the opportunities we have to help kids read, or distribute Thanksgiving meals, or deliver Christmas gifts to connect the recipients to the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  We talked about how we might be more intentional about some of the opportunities that we have.

How often do you pray specifically for GFC Newport?  The Old Testament is full of people who had forgotten the Lord's great work among them, and it effected them greatly (Psa. 78:9ff).  Let's not forget God's faithfulness to us in providing for us a place to hold worship services when our church body prayed and fasted together.  Let's grow deeper in our prayer life as a church.  Let's cry out to God together in thanksgiving for what He's done among us, and asking Him to specifically bless us for His glory!  Look for one thing each month for us to focus our prayers towards as we pray for God to continue to build His church here in Newport.

In Romans 12:1-8, Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome to present their bodies as "living sacrifices" and says this is their reasonable, logical, worshipful response to the fact that they've received mercy from God.  The motivation to live the Christian life is rooted in the Gospel; the fact that we've received mercy (we're not getting what our sins deserve) and grace (we are and will continue to be treated as heirs to the Kingdom of God).

What if we really considered, really understood the picture God paints for us in His Word of being a body?  What would God do among us if we really understood what that meant?  Are you convinced that you're a necessary part of the body?  God says you are!  And without you, the body suffers.  If this strikes you, let's talk about it some more!  Drop me a note and I'd love to talk about what that might mean for personally.  No commitment yet - just reach out to peterlaruffa[at]graceky[dot]org, or call me at (859) 371-7880 and we'll talk or set up a time to meet.

The turnout at this Forum was our best yet.  Thanks so much for coming out to talk!  More to come.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter
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