(from the Weird Herd Weekly to the TBC family, by Pastor Doug Dean)
This summer Kim and I celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary with a once-in-a-lifetime 2-week, 3-river cruise in Europe. At one of our stops along the way — somewhere in southern Germany, I believe — as we walked along a narrow cobblestone street, our guide pointed out that not a single one of the centuries-old buildings on that historic strasse was perfectly aligned with its neighbors. Each had its own unique leaning and bulging and twisted curvature. Built primarily of sandstone, the foundations of these grand old houses had slowly eroded over hundreds of years, accelerated especially by the frequent flooding of the Danube (which is NOT "blue", incidentally). In order for these historic buildings to continue to serve their purpose as homes or shops or art studios or museums, it became necessary to revisit those foundations on a regular basis and to shore them up where, out of view and unattended, they had begun to weaken.
So it is with our life in Christ. The steady passing of the years and the unrelenting currents of life can quietly eat away at our foundation if we're not paying attention. The elders have been talking about this over the past couple of months, and we're convinced that all of us at Trinity could benefit from a little foundation work. This will take several forms throughout the next 10 or 12 months, but one important piece of it in the short term is our upcoming Cross Training session that begins September 8.
We'll be running only one class this fall for adults and high school teens, called Growing Strong in God's Family. It's definitely a "back-to-basics" course, but it's going to be very practical:
- What exactly does it mean to have a relationship with God?
- How does prayer fit into that, and what does that look like on a practical level?
- We know we're supposed to read the Bible, but how exactly does one go about that?
- What does it look like to grow spiritually, and what does it take to make that both a priority and a reality?
- How do we make a difference in the lives of friends and family who don't know Christ?
There's a workbook ($10), and we'll ask you to do about an hour of preparation during the week for each session. For 11 Sundays at 9:30 we'll break into smaller groups to work through this material together, led by the elders and a few others.
All of this is a bigger "ask" than we usually make, but the elders consider it so important that we've decided to suspend our customary multiple-electives format in Cross Training until the late-November session, so that as many people as possible can join us for this strategic return to "boot camp". For some of you, perhaps this will be your first exposure to training like this, and it will be revolutionary. For others who have walked with Christ for many years, we believe you'll find this refreshing and that it will strengthen your effectiveness as both a disciple and a disciple-maker, which is vital to our fundamental purpose as a church. This is why we're urging all of you to sign on for these 11 weeks, starting two weeks from this Sunday. (Sunday School classes start again that same day for children and middle school students.)
The workbooks are essential for the course, and we need to make sure we'll have enough on hand before Week 1, so please commit yourself as soon as possible to participating, and sign up anytime on the website (here's the link) or on Sunday in the foyer.