Coach/Pastor Doug starts us off this week discussing the importance of alignment, assignment, and technique. All three are important during any given football play. In the world, however, assignment and technique are often highlighted and alignment is forgotten. We need to make sure not only that we do the right thing in the world and in the right way, but we also need to make sure that our alignment is with the Father.
This week, Pastor Doug teaches on the form and function of the church. We tend to think of the church’s identity and mission as the same idea. However, Doug shows that it is important to distinguish them in order to bring others to Christ.
This week, Pastor Doug shows us that the church in Thessalonica had modeled themselves after Paul, as Paul was modeling himself after Christ. In so doing, the church had gone through persecution, but had become known throughout the known world for turning away from idolatry and toward the one true God. What idols do we have in our own lives that take our focus away from the Lord? If we change what is in our hearts, the true fruits of the Spirit will show through.
This week, Pastor Doug takes us through the idea of prayer. There really is no special formula to speak with God. Prayer is to come from a relationship. We pray privately to grow that relationship with God. We pray with each other to grow in relationship with the rest of the body.
The word "worship" is often used in our culture differently than it is in the Bible. This week, Pastor Ben teaches us that the Bible's definition is much more broad. Worship is to be a response to God's love for us, it is to encompass the entirety of our lives, and it is to change how we value the things we do.
Matthew 5:4 is often used to comfort somebody who has lost a loved one. This week, Pastor Ben teaches that the context for this verse should make us look at our own sin and realize the suffering it has caused. This should make us mourn for ourselves and those we've hurt with our sin. Jesus teaches that we are to take time to allow for healing. This true healing can only come through repentance and seeking Christ. We are blessed in this mourning because it causes humility and turns us toward a relationship with God.
This week, Pastor Ben discusses how we are to enjoy the blessing that God has given to us in the form of food. This is not something to be abused, but something to be enjoyed, shared, and used to build relationships with others.
This week, Pastor Doug shows us that we can have all of the strength of will that we can have, but that the flesh is weak. We need God's strength in our lives every day in order to live His will as He would have us live.
Being unmarried can often lead to feelings of loneliness. This week, Pastor Doug discusses the importance of remaining patient in God's will during either a season or even a lifetime of being unmarried.
This week, Pastor Ben shows us that peace can be achieved through the hope we have in Christ. This peace was promised to Israel, to the shepherds in Bethlehem, and to the entire world. We, in turn, get to show this peace to bring people to Jesus.