We love hearing stories about what Jesus is doing in the lives of people in our church! Last week, we received an email from some members and we just had to share it, as they are beginning to put action to our core value, "Live On Mission Intentionally."
It has literally taken my husband and I years to finally grasp the concept of a gospel-centered life on mission with Jesus. We both came to know Jesus as teenagers, and began attending anything and everything the church offered us. We had some good intentions, but we were wrapped up more in a culture than wrapped up in Jesus.
At the start of The District Church, we watched Pastor Boyd become a part of his neighborhood, Riverside, and truly jump in to the community. Any time we would go to Bold Bean, he was there talking to someone. That's when we knew we had a lot to learn about the gospel and living on mission. We heard him and Pastor Jeth preach over and over about what it looks like to be intentional. We put it on a metaphorical list of "Things We Want To Do." We gave the excuses that we didn't know scripture well enough, we didn't have enough time, or we served at church so that was enough. We helped start TDC, but we feel we've done almost nothing for the gospel.
After 3 years, we finally get it. It finally clicked.
Brittany invited me to start attending a weekly Bible Study that helps cultivate an appreciation and longing for God's Word, and it has been huge for our family. I'm actually studying the Bible and hungering for God's Word. I'm telling Andy everything I learn, and he has started wanting to dig in to the Bible as well. This has become something we WANT to do, not something we do to check off of a list to avoid guilt. We see God transforming our hearts and sanctifying us more and more.
We are actually getting to know our neighbors and serving them. This was something we "wanted" to do before, but made excuses about. We took a lonely, elderly neighbor a meal on Easter. I'm walking the neighborhood and meeting people. We are getting to know and serving people in our third spaces, mostly Vagabond. We took a meal to and visited a girl who works there who was seriously injured in a car accident. We are praying for people in our lives who don't know Jesus. Before our prayers were self-centered and repetitive. We are actually having people over to share a meal and developing intentional relationships. Andy is finally comfortable leading our community group and talking about Jesus and how He is at work in Him.
I tell you all of this not to brag on our family, but to brag on the work that Jesus is doing in us. We know we have a lot to learn and we're never perfect, but we are relying on Jesus to grow us and help us make disciples where we are. I also tell you this to thank you for being obedient to preaching His Word. You needed to know that it is not in vain. I hope this is an encouragement to you. We want to be disciples who make disciples, and we are so thankful for your leadership as we do that.
Peggy & Andy Starling