I recently spent some time with a group of fellow church planters. The subject of “founders” came up and one of the planters said, “I was warned that most of my launch team would not be with me after a few years but I never really believed it. With only a handful of our founding team left, I sure believe it now.” None of us laughed. We just looked at each other with pained expressions and nodded our heads in consent. I have heard the same thing from founders of institutions, as well as successful entrepreneurs- most of your launch team doesn’t make it to the finish line. In John 6:60-71, Jesus is experiencing his first wave of those who will abandon him. In the end, he will be alone on the cross. And, yet, after his resurrection 11 will return to him and launch the early Church. These people will become known as little Christs or Christ-ians. Join us as we explore the joys and challenges of being disciples of Christ.
The Anglican tradition has an old saying that goes something like this: Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials and charity in both. Whether you like root beer or sparkling water is a matter of liberty. Whether you believe that we are saved by grace is a matter of unity. Root Beer is a non-essential; grace is at the essence of what it means to be a Christian. Join us as we peer into the teaching of Jesus and his demand for unity in the essential doctrine of Grace in the life of the Christian believer.
John 6:25-365; 48-59
One of my personal heroes is the unconventional Cornish preacher and church planter, Billy Bray. A self proclaimed drunkard who was converted to Christianity in 1823, Bray was so convinced of his relationship to God that he earned the nickname, The King’s Son. Bray, like so many Christians over the past 2,000 years, had a deep and abiding sense that God not only died for him but also lived within him. And, that made him not just a man saved from sin but a man who lives as a son of God for eternity. Join us as we learn about what Jesus means when he says, “I am the bread of life” and how eating this bread can help us to live like sons and daughter of the King.
Before the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, was converted to Christianity, he worked as a missionary to Georgia. Without Christ, his mission ended in failure. Wesley returned to England deflated and confused. Crossing the Atlantic, the boat in which he traveled was caught in a storm. He and most of the passengers were terrified. However, there was a group of Moravian Christians on the boat that appeared unusually calm. They sang hymns, prayed, and looked the possibility of death in the eye without fear. The event changed John Wesley’s life, and was instrumental in bringing him to conversion. How do you handle life’s storms? Are you calm like the Moravians or terrified? Find out more about how to navigate life’s storms as we encounter, Jesus, the Lord of the storm in John chapter 6.
Can the Bible, an ancient book full of Scriptures that unfold supernatural events from the parting of the Red Sea to the resurrection of Jesus, be true? Can the Bible, a book written over thousands of years by multiple people from varied cultures and perspective be trusted? At Jonah’s Call, we think the Bible is both true and trustworthy. By taking a look at how Jesus reads the bible in John 5, we will explore a Christian perspective on the authority, unity and power of the Bible.
1 Corinthians 11:23-34
For centuries the church has upheld a three fold pattern of unity in the essentials, grace in the matters that are disputed and liberty in the things that do not matter. We will go to our death over the validity of the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Likewise, we will keep things like church furnishings and the use of a variety of instruments in worship as matters of liberty, refusing to make them matters of unity. But, in matters of dispute such as the nature of communion, baptism, women's ordination, and the order of the priesthood (deacon, priest, bishop), we need to exercise grace. However, this does not mean that communion is not important or that there are not perspectives that fall outside the lines of orthodoxy. This Sunday, will will take a look at the nature of communion and explain both why we do what we do and how it compares to other traditions. Join us. It matters.
Easter is the high point of our year as Christians. Without Easter Christianity makes no sense. And, because this day is so seminal to our life together as believers and the life we live for the world, we put forth every effort to make it as beautiful and as live-giving as possible. Please join us this year as we pour out our hearts in gratitude for the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord who brought us out of darkness and into the light.
In the famous parable called the cave, the ancient philosopher, Plato gives us glimpses into a central dilemma of the human heart- we are light bearers who have grown accustom to the dark. The films, The Matrix, The Truman Show and TV series like ABC’s Once Upon a Time are modern attempts to deal with this phenomenon- so is CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. We know there is something more out there but we have become accustom to the mundane aspect of human life. We want the ideal to break into the real- at least most of us do in some way. I recently peered in on a reality show about Home decorators. One judge said, if we could combine all of the contestants we would have the ideal designer. When we see Jesus, he is presenting not what is but what should be. He is a Kingly warrior capable of utterly destroying his enemy. But, he rides in on a donkey. As millions have discovered over the centuries, Jesus claims to be, and has been found to be, the ideal made real. The king we are looking for who can take us out of the darkness of our caves and bring us into the light of what we were designed for.
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