THE WEEKLY: 8.20.19

CURRENT SERMON SERIES AND MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES

This past Sunday, we continued our sermon series Gospel Fluency by looking at what the story of God has to do with our everyday lives. If you haven’t done so yet, grab the book “Gospel Fluency”, and join one of our Missional Communities during the week. You can find all the info about MC’s HERE


NEXT FORUM NIGHT

Our next Forum Night is on the way in September, and this time we are going to be joined by Baltimore County Police to host a night on best practices for personal safety and crime prevention. The date for this Forum night will be finalized soon, so be on the lookout for that info here on our website, and our social media feeds.


I HAVE A QUESTION

This November, we are going to be taking 4 Sundays to answer the questions that you might have been wanting to ask about God, the Bible, Christianity, politics, culture…whatever….

You can ask your question now by clicking below:


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

For the month of August, we need the following:

  • Crayons

  • Colored Pencils

  • Flip Flops


UPCOMING EVENTS


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 8.13.19

NEW SERMON SERIES AND MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES

This past Sunday, we kicked off our new sermon series “Gospel Fluency”. This series is based around the ideas in this book, and so if you haven’t already grabbed one, make sure you do that this week so that you can fully engage in the ideas that we are going to be talking about over these 8 weeks.

Along with starting this new series, our Missional Communities officially start this week on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. If you haven’t been involved in an MC yet, this is the time to join in! Our MC’s meet each week to have dinner, and for these next 8 weeks, they will be diving deeper into the content from our sermon series Gospel Fluency. If you want more info about MC’s click HERE


I HAVE A QUESTION

This November, we are going to be taking 4 Sundays to answer the questions that you might have been wanting to ask about God, the Bible, Christianity, politics, culture…whatever….

You can ask your question now by clicking below:


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

For the month of August, we need the following:

  • Crayons

  • Colored Pencils

  • Flip Flops


UPCOMING EVENTS


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 8.06.19

NEW SERMON SERIES AND MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES

Our Missional Communities will be re-launching for the fall semester this Sunday, August 11. The Lansdowne MC will begin on Wednesday August 14th at 6:30pm at Jeff and Amy Simpson’s home, and the Catonsville MC will begin meeting on Thursday August 15th at Rod and Angie Haigis’ home.

In conjunction with the MC’s beginning, we will also be starting a new sermon series called “Gospel Fluency” based on the book by the same name. You can pick up your copy of the book on Sunday at church, or you can buy it online by clicking HERE.

What are Missional Communities? Check out this blog series for more info!


DAY OF FASTING AND NIGHT OF PRAYER

This Friday, August 9th, we will once again be engaging together in a day of fasting which will lead up to a night of prayer together. For all the details check out the event below, and plan to join in!


I HAVE A QUESTION

This November, we are going to be taking 4 Sundays to answer the questions that you might have been wanting to ask about God, the Bible, Christianity, politics, culture…whatever….

You can ask your question now by clicking below:


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

For the month of August, we need the following:

  • Crayons

  • Colored Pencils

  • Flip Flops


UPCOMING EVENTS


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 7.31.19

MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES LAUNCHING SOON

Our Missional Communities will be re-launching for the fall semester on Sunday, August 11. What are Missional Communities? Check out this blog series for more info!


DAY OF FASTING AND NIGHT OF PRAYER

On Friday, August 9th, we will once again be engaging together in a day of fasting which will lead up to a night of prayer together. For all the details check out the event below, and plan to join in!


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

For the month of August, we need the following:

  • Crayons

  • Colored Pencils

  • Flip Flops


UPCOMING EVENTS


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 7.23.19


SUMMER SCHOOL

This Wednesday Night at 7 pm our Summer School classes will conclude for the year. As always, go check out the info and resources for each class!


MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES LAUNCHING SOON

Our Missional Communities will be re-launching for the fall semester on Sunday, August 11. What are Missional Communities? Check out this blog series for more info!


STUDENTS FOR LIFE FORUM NIGHT

We are so excited to announce that we are hosting our first Forum Night. On Friday night July 26th, Students For Life Of America will be joining us for an evening of dialogue around the issue of abortion. Help get the word out by sharing the Facebook Event Page on your own Facebook profile!


UPCOMING EVENTS


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 7.16.19

STUDENTS FOR LIFE FORUM NIGHT

We are so excited to announce that we are hosting our first Forum Night. On Friday night July 26th, Students For Life Of America will be joining us for an evening of dialogue around the issue of abortion. Help get the word out by sharing the Facebook Event Page on your own Facebook profile!


SUMMER SCHOOL

This Wednesday Night at 7 pm our Summer School classes will be back! As always, go check out the info and resources for each class!


INTERNATIONAL MISSIONAL COMMUNITY

Missional Communities Re-launch the week of Sunday, August 11th. If you’d like more info on Missional Communities, check out the blog series from Pastor Jeff


UPCOMING EVENTS

Hopefully you were able to join us for our Family Feast this last Sunday. It was a great time of fellowship and food together! Below are our next few church wide events focused on “Community”. Mark your calendars now, and be sure to join in!


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

I Have A Question...

This November, we are going to be taking 4 Sundays to answer the questions that you might have been wanting to ask about God, the Bible, Christianity, politics, culture…whatever….

Below you will find an anonymous form that you can fill out to ask your question. This form will be online until October 5th, 2019, so please take this opportunity to ask the questions you have always wanted to ask!



THE WEEKLY: 7.9.19

SUMMER IS HERE!

It is officially the middle of summer, and for us as a church that means that we are planning and thinking thru the fall. Here are a few of the highlights of things coming up this fall.

On Sunday, August 11th we will be launching our fall round of Missional communities, and along with that we will be starting a new sermon series based on the book “Gospel Fluency”. I am so excited about this, and over the next few weeks you are going to be hearing stories of what Missional Communities have meant to several of us over the last year or so.

In October we are planning to talk thru what it means to be generous with the resources that God has given us, and specifically we are going to talk about our money and how it is a tool for us to be on mission with God in the world.

Then, in November we want to take a month and talk thru the things you might have questions about. We are calling this series “I Have A Question”. Between now and the first week of October, you can ask any question about the Bible, Christianity, God…whatever…that you’d like to see us answer on a Sunday during our gathering.


SUMMER SCHOOL

This Wednesday Night at 7 pm our Summer School classes will be back! As always, go check out the info and resources for each class!


STUDENTS FOR LIFE FORUM NIGHT

We are so excited to announce that we are hosting our first Forum Night. On Friday night July 26th, Students For Life Of America will be joining us for an evening of dialogue around the issue of abortion. Help get the word out by sharing the Facebook Event Page on your own Facebook profile!


INTERNATIONAL MISSIONAL COMMUNITY

Our International Missional Community will be gathering to have lunch together, to pray together and to continue to share their stories with each other this Sunday, July 14th right after our morning service at the parsonage.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Hopefully you were able to join us for our Family Feast this last Sunday. It was a great time of fellowship and food together! Below are our next few church wide events focused on “Community”. Mark your calendars now, and be sure to join in!


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 7.2.19


STUDENTS FOR LIFE FORUM NIGHT

We are so excited to announce that we are hosting our first Forum Night. On Friday night July 26th, Students For Life Of America will be joining us for an evening of dialogue around the issue of abortion. Check out all the details on the Facebook Event Page


UPCOMING EVENTS

Hopefully you were able to join us for our Family Feast this last Sunday. It was a great time of fellowship and food together! Below are our next few church wide events focused on “Community”. Mark your calendars now, and be sure to join in!


SUMMER SCHOOL TAKING A BREAK THIS WEEK

Due to the Independence Day holiday this week, our classes will be taking a break for July 3rd. Classes will be back to their regular time next week(July 10). In the mean time, go check out the info and resources for each class!


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

FORUM NIGHTS

The culture we live in is always changing and shifting, and this means that the questions people are asking are always changing and shifting as well. Forum Nights are a way for us to have an opportunity to have conversations around the cultural issues that shape our day to day lives. These Forum Nights are also an opportunity for us as a church to bring in and hear from those in our community who are experts and practitioners in areas of cultural concern. Below you will find a list of the next Forum Nights. We hope you will join in on the conversation!

THE WEEKLY: 6.25.19


PRAYER NIGHT

This Friday, June 28th, we will be taking a day to fast and pray together as we seek the Holy Spirit’s power to accomplish our mission together as a church. Check out pastor Jeff’s blog post on this event and, join in on this important work together.


FAMILY FEAST

Don’t forget to bring your TWO DISHES this Sunday for our Family Feast! Also, dont forget, that we will have an abbreviated service, and we will begin the Family Feast at around 11:30 on Sunday morning. Click below to go to our calendar page and add it to your calendar!


SUMMER SCHOOL CONTINUES THIS WEEK

We had a great class last week, and this week looks to be just as good! Go check out the info and resources for each class. Hope to see you on Wednesday at 7 pm!


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

THE WEEKLY: 6.20.19


PRAYER NIGHT

On Friday, June 28th, we will be taking a day to fast and pray together as we seek the Holy Spirit’s power to accomplish our mission together as a church. Check out pastor Jeff’s blog post on this event and, join in on this important work together.


FAMILY FEAST

Don’t forget to sign up this week for the Family Feast coming up on Sunday June 30! Click below to go to our calendar page and add it to your calendar!


SUMMER SCHOOL CONTINUES THIS WEEK

We had a great class last week, and this week looks to be just as good! Go check out the info and resources for each class. Hope to see you on Wednesday at 7 pm!


FROM THE ALLIANCE

Click the link below to visit the website of our denomination: The Christian and Missionary Alliance


CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

Why a day of fasting and prayer?

I will admit it…I have never been much into fasting. I am a Pastor, and so maybe you think that I would be some kind of spiritual “guru” and that I spend a lot of time in the spiritual practices. The reality tho, is that I am just like most folks in our day and age. I am busy…way too busy. Sure, I can mask my busyness as “spiritual” because after all, I am paid to be spiritual right?

As I was at Council 2019, I realized that the break in my normal rhythm was something that I really needed. Being away from the weekly rut of the busy life we all live did something for me, and I felt the Lord tugging on my heart to invite all of us into something like the experience I was having. I also felt an overwhelming sense of the reality that we as a church will be powerless to grow in the way that God wants us to grow if we aren’t hearing from Him together. We must be a people of prayer. Of course, this must be taking place for each of us as individuals, but there is something special and unique about praying together in the same room that makes a difference. So this is why we are going to gather and pray on Friday night, June 28th.

But…what’s the deal with the fasting? Listen to this excerpt from an article found on the Alliance website:

While Jesus never commanded His followers to fast, it’s clear He expected them to do it. He said, “‘But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you’” (Matt. 6:17–18, emphasis added).

The reason for fasting is simple: it breaks us out of our routine, and is a very very poignant reminder of the reality that we are so needy apart from God. So, this is the invitation to all of us: On Friday, June 28th, let’s fast from after breakfast that morning until after we gather to pray. At your normal lunch time, take your normal lunch break, but instead of eating a meal, spend that time in prayer preparing your heart to come that evening at 7 pm to pray with those of us who can gather together.

If you cant fast, but still want to come pray, please do!

I hope to see you that evening, and I hope you’ll take the invitation to fast for the day as we seek the Lord together.

- Pastor Jeff

Article Quoted: CLICK HERE

From the Mission Field: Lasma's Story

From Trish Barrett:

Lasma is Entrust’s first national staff member in Latvia. What a privilege I have had to be one of the Women-to-Women Ministry team who helped train her!  Read her story below and thank God for women like her in Europe. 


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Usually year starts in 1. January with new thoughts, hopes and plans! But now is moment when I am already one year in full time ministry! This is good moment to evaluate, plan and DREAM. And I realize that often I am not dreaming, because I am afraid of disappointment, if my dreams would not come true! But to DREAM with God is very safe, because when we trust our dreams to Him, they will have perfect flight or necessary fall! 

How about my dreams?
Getting started full time ministry, I did not realize those ways how God will let me participate in His work. I knew only that I am coordinator of discipleship programm "Woman to woman". At very beginning I did not have big dreams, only many little things, what I faithfully tried to do and suddenly those little things became as basic of my dreams. 


1. Big dream - discipleship programm "Woman to woman" training in October. 
We trained 18 women in three different courses: Facilitator training, Develop a discerning heart and Discovery Bible study. Training purpose - that women grow in maturity and are willing to pass it on, what they receive in training - to local churches, where they belong. And I am so thankful that God used this training to bring changes in women lives: minds, charachters and hearts. 

2. Come alongside to women, who are trained in our programm! 
It is blessing to be in a quite small country and to have opportunity to meet in a larger community, beside of training. The first time - retreat before training to encourage and support each other to finish course! Second time in April, when we went on a excursion to Limbazi, where lives one of our trained woman Liene. There we enjoyed time together, conversations, testamonies and beautiful nature. And of course, I am happy to enjoy every moment when I can meet the women personally in a face to face meeting!

3. Team!
I am honored to work in a such a wonderful team, where every of us can use their spiritual gifts and strenghts and discover our weaknesses (that is so significant). This helps to find our place in a team and together search the best solutions for Latvia! 

4. Support different churches in Latvia and share my story!
Lately I had opportunity to visit many churches in Latvia! In November I was in Grobinas church, where I facilitated Bible study to support women from this local church to start small groups. In February I was in a Priekules church to share how works and what provides programm "Woman to woman". In March I visited Jelgavas church where I said the message about Inharitance. Together with Latvian baptist Women ministry leadership team I was in a Valmieras church, where I said message about Jesus and women. And in April I was in Brocenu church, where I shared my story and how works and what provides programm "Woman to woman". Year ago I could not imagine, that God could open the doors for this dream!  

5. To serve in my local church!

I am so thankful to God for my Bible study group, what is gift for me and where we can grow together in Christ and see how Holy Spirit changing our minds, hearts and decisions. This year we studied letter of James and the letter of Paul to the Ephesians.
Special thoughts from women:

  • I found Bible as whole!

  • So great to discuss those topics with husband.

  • I found Bible so alive!

  • Those letters is so practical - how to live and change in the likeness of Christ.


I am thankful for time what I can spend with women and teenagers from my local church in individual meetings - where we talking about life and how to follow Jesus!

These where my dreams, what I experienced together with God in those last 12 months. This was really active time and at the same time - peaceful.

In the beginning of May I have wonderful opportunity to participate in conference of "Entrust".

And there came new thoughts, ideas and DREAMS!

  1. Vision that in all region of Latvia we would have trained, discerned and loving women, who wants to pass what they receive, disciple other women and in this way - strengthen local churches. 

  2. Discover ways how to reach women from Latgales region.

  3. In a period of three years provide training all courses in latvian.

  4. Create supportive environment, that trained women would be able more and more effective serve in local churches. 

  5. Come alongside with support and practical help to start Entrust training in countries of Europe!

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With warm greetings,

Lasma













2019 Community Lenten Services

Each year, our local community churches do our best to work together, and one way we do this each year is by sharing in Lenten services with one another. Below you will find the schedule for Lenten Services:

  • Wednesday March 6 - Ash Wednesday Service 7:00 pm @ LUMC

  • Wednesday, March 13: 6pm Potluck*, 7pm Worship @ Christ UMC in Baltimore Highlands

  • Wednesday, March 20: 6pm Potluck*, 7pm worship @ LUMC

  • Wednesday, March 27: 6pm Potluck*, 7pm worship @ Lansdowne Christian Church

  • Wednesday, April 3: 6pm Potluck*, 7pm worship @ LUMC

  • Wednesday, April 10: 6pm Potluck*, 7pm worship @ Lansdowne Alliance Church

  • Holy week information forthcoming-WE WILL UPDATE THIS POST WITH INFO WHEN AVAILABLE

*Bring a dish to share

Everyday Church-Week 5

On Sunday (Sept 23) we talked about "Everyday Evangelism". In that chapter of the book "Everyday Church," we read about the "Four Points Of Intersection" that revolve around the four movements of the Story Of God. This is something we covered in a previous sermon series, and what we see is that every person is telling a story, and being able to understand and speak the four movements of God's Story into their story gives us the ability to intersect with their story in a way that can engage them in gospel conversations. Peter says in 1 Peter 3 that we should engage in evangelism "with gentleness and respect" and this is a good reminder for us as we think about evangelism. We must be winsome, but also bold. We must love and care for those that God has placed us in the midst of. The first step in evangelism is prayer. Without prayer, our evangelism will wear us out, and fall flat. But with prayer, we can begin to grow in our love for people and from there we can begin to practice some of the ideas in "Everyday Church". In particular, take some time this week to think thru the idea of "Generative Themes" as described on page 125. This requires learning the cares, hopes, and dreams of those that God has called you to, but this is an important part of the work of evangelism.

Lastly, we must remember that the results of our evangelism are not up to us. We don't bear the weight of the salvation of anyone. Jesus bears that weight, and all we need to continually learn to do is trust in Him.

Jesus promised to be with us as we go and make disciples.

We can trust that His words are true.

He is with us.

Living As Missional Communities-Will we go any deeper?

This is the fourth post in a series of posts about what our upcoming Missional Community gatherings will look like.

As we prepare to launch our two initial MC’s some have wondered if the MC’s will go any deeper than a group meeting in terms of personal spiritual formation and discipleship. While living on mission in the everyday stuff of life is one of the most effective ways for not only mission to happen, but also for us to grow, there is also a need to develop deep relationships and the group setting of an MC is not always conducive to the vulnerability and transparency required to cultivate the kind of accountability and growth that we hope for. To this end, each MC will also contain within it smaller groups of people called DNA groups. DNA groups will usually consist of three people (men with men and women with women) who will decide together on some other regular meeting time and place where they can go deeper together into their life together. The “DNA” in DNA groups is an acronym for “Discover, Nurture, Act”. These three actions are what the DNA group actually practices when they meet.

"Discover” - The group will share what they are currently reading and learning from the Bible with one another, and specifically how the gospel is coming to bear on their life thru what they are learning thru the Bible. The DNA group is also able to encourage one another to be regularly "looking up" as they pursue knowing Jesus more and more thru HIs word.

"Nurture" - After spending time talking about what they have been discovering in the Bible, the group will nurture in one another's hearts the truths that you have just talked thru. This nurturing conversation is a great way for us to care for one another(Look In) and for us to also grow in our own ability to speak the good news of Jesus into the everyday stuff of one another's lives.

"Act" - As the group concludes their meeting time, they will take action together towards repentance and belief. This would most often look like a time of prayer where we repent of the areas of unbelief in our hearts and pray with and for one another to grow in our obedience to the teachings of Jesus. The group also shares how they will intentionally practice this obedience as they are once again sent out into the world.

These groups will be formed over the first couple of months of the MC's beginning to meet. The MC will need time to discover the relationship that may be present in the MC, and then the DNA groups can begin to form as it becomes clear who the DNA groups should be made up of.

Check out the other posts in this series of posts on living as missional communities.

Living As Missional Communities-How often will MC's meet together?

This is the third post in a series of posts about what our upcoming Missional Community gatherings will look like.

One questions several folks here at Lansdowne Alliance have asked is how often MC’s will meet. This is a great question especially when we consider that most of us at LAC have not participated in an MC in our church experience yet. This question also raises another question which is: “How long will the MC’s continue to meet?” Let’s look at each question.

How often will MC’s meet?

The short answer is that typically MC’s meet together during the week one time. As was stated in the second post in this series, this generally is a meeting to eat a meal together and then do some kind of discussion or prayer time together. Having said that, it is not uncommon or “wrong” for an MC to realize that once a week just doesn't work for them, and so they may choose to meet every other week or in some other format. One of the things that makes MC’s unique is that unlike a small group bible study, the main driving force of the MC is the mission that the MC has decided together to pursue. So, for example, lets say the MC decides(by spending time in prayer together and seeking the Lord) that they are called to reach the youth soccer league that some of their kids participate in. This will mean that their MC is going to have times during the year when there will be more active than other times. During those busy times, the MC may decide that meeting weekly is too much. Then in times when their mission is in a season of less activity, they may decide to meet more often together to simply build community with one another. Each MC must be hearing from God about what He would have them doing to reach those close to them, and so each MC has flexibility in this regard.

How long will MC’s continue to meet?

The answer to this is similar to the previous question. Much of the MC’s meeting times will be dependent on the mission they feel God is calling them to. There is no expectation or “rule” that MC’s must meet all year long. In fact, it is important that we have a good theology of rest built into our MC life. We do not want the MC meeting to become a burden! It should be a place that we engage in community in as a way to be equipped and sent out from. This means that there will be at least two times a year when there will be built in breaks from the weekly MC meetings. Once during the winter “holiday” season, and once during the summer, MC’s will take an 8-week break during which there is no expectation that the MC has its regular meeting. Of course, if the people in the MC want to get together, that is great, but there will be a built-in break from the normal rhythm of the MC. This break is built in for a few reasons: First, this gives set start and end dates for people to step into and out of the MC. Sometimes we can feel the weight of the meeting that will never have a break and we can become discouraged. Building in breaks gives a chance for us to take a break and rest from the rhythm of the MC. Second, these set breaks make great times to allow new people to join an MC or to launch a new MC. These breaks will almost function like semesters in an academic environment, and give clear times for new folks to join MC’s. Third, these breaks give us a chance to offer what we will be calling “Courses” during those 8-week breaks. “Courses” will be classes that are more formal in nature and are better suited for a lecture format. These “Courses” will include things like Membership Class, Marriage classes, parenting classes, etc. “Courses” will begin in the summer of 2019, and will hopefully include two courses in that first run.

Check out the other posts in this series of posts on living as missional communities.

Everyday Church-Week 4

Last Sunday(Sept 16, 2018) we talked in 9our service about the “8 ways to be missional” listed on page 91-92 in “Everyday Church”. Here is a blog post where you can read that list as well: 8 ways to be missional.

These 8 ways are great, but on page 90 of “Everyday Church” there is another very helpful list as we think about being on mission in everyday life. Here is what it says:

Here is an exercise to help identify opportunities for everyday mission. Think of all the activities, however mundane, in that make up your life: (1) daily routine (traveling to work, eating meals, doing chores, walking the dog, playing with children); (2) weekly routine (grocery shopping, watching favorite television programs, exercising); and (3) monthly routine (gardening, getting a haircut, going to the movies). You should have a long list of activities. For each one, ask whether you could add: (1) a community component by involving another member of your Christian community; (2) a missional component by involving an unbeliever; (3) a gospel component by identifying opportunities to talk about Jesus.

This is a great exercise and it is strongly encouraged that you take some time this week, sit down with a paper and pencil and work thru the exercise listed in that section of the book “Everyday Church”. As you work thru this exercise, don't be discouraged if you don't see the results you want, but instead see it as an opportunity to experience more of God's grace as you more deeply pursue being in mission with Him in this world!