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5 Ways City Church Can Maximize This Summer

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By: Dustin Walker

Summer often brings some changes or transitions to schedules, work hours, class schedules, and children’s activities. But with these changes in rhythm, we have new opportunities as well.

I hope what I share here is in line with how we as a church are called to give careful attention to our ways. The bible is replete with examples such as:

Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.

Proverbs 4:26

Now the Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways.”

Haggai 1:7

What this verse in Proverbs states as an encouragement, Haggai reminds as a rebuke. We should heed both. We ought to consider the blessings of following God’s ways and remember the consequences of neglecting for failing to do so.

Considering the normal rhythms of our church body during the summer months, particularly June and July, I want to encourage us to find ways to continue growing in our relationship with the Lord and with another.

So how might we maximize our time when our normal rhythms are a little off? Here are five opportunities for City Church this summer:

Connect with a Group

Following Christ in community is essential to our faith. And while summer brings a different rhythm and frequency to many Community Groups, it can be a great time to be part of a group or even start connecting with one.

We also have several Drill Groups to check out as well. These groups will meet over the months of June and July for 4 to 6 weeks to dive into topics like Racial Reconciliation, Marriage, Social Justice, and Parenting.

You’ll be challenged and encouraged through having some targeting reading and discussion in these areas.

Serve

Summer is also a great time to jump into serving in the church. Perhaps you should check out serving with the Welcome Team or CityKids on Sunday mornings. Or maybe you’d like to serve at Journey Home or with our Community VBS.

City Project Equipping Days

This will be the fourth summer of City Project where college students stick around Murfreesboro to receive equipping and discipleship.

Each year we are honored to have experts from various fields who come in to lead sessions. Some of these sessions are available church-wide through Equipping Days. Find a topic that works for you and learn together.

Mission Trips

While lots of details for short-term trips are already pretty firm for June and July, there are still ways you can participate. Two immediate ways are to pray for teams while they are preparing and gone.

The other is to give to support someone who is going. A third opportunity is for you to jump onto a team going either to Portland, OR in early August or Lima, Peru in mid-September.

Practice Hospitality

Practicing hospitality can begin as simply as inviting people to your home to grill hamburgers, sit by your apartment complex’s pool, or shoot baskets in your driveway.

These can be great ways to get to know your neighbors as well as others in our church body. You’re probably doing all these things anyway. Why not ask other people to join you?

To be sure there are probably many other ways to get the most out of the next few months. But let’s commit together to consider our paths through this summer so that we can be established together in following Christ and loving one another.

3 Reasons You Should Find a Mentor

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By: Chris Martin

One of the best decisions I have ever made is to have a “mentor” of sorts in my life at all times. Now, notice I call this person a “mentor,” and not a “pastor,” “discipler,” or some other Christian version of the word “mentor.”

This wording is intentional and important.

I always have a “mentor” because the person who mentors me isn’t necessarily discipling me. The guidance provided by my mentor is sometimes spiritual, sometimes work-related, occasionally marriage-related, etc.

I hope that my mentor is always pushing me to be more like Christ, but this often takes form in a variety of ways.

I have had a mentor since at least high school that I meet with regularly. I had one in high school, a different one in college, and a different one now in my role at LifeWay and in life in general.

I have always treasured my relationship with these guys, and I would not be any sort of respectable person today without them.

You need a mentor if you don’t have one. Here are three reasons why I think you need to find a mentor TODAY if you don’t have one yet:

Mentors keep you humble

One of the most significant ways my mentors have impacted me is by keeping me humble. This usually happens in two ways:

1) my mentor explicitly says something like, “Get off your high horse,” and/or

2) my mentor exceeds me in whatever area in which he is mentoring me.

This active and passive humbling has had a significant effect on me. I, like many, have prideful tendencies, and it is crucial that I have people in my life to humble me.

My wife does this regularly, and I’m thankful for that. Mentors do this well, too. If you need to be humbled, you should look to a mentor.

Mentors keep you accountable

“Accountability” comes in a variety of forms, doesn’t it? You can be held accountable for sin, for spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, for work activity, for marital issues, and more.

Over the years, as I’ve changed mentors when I’ve moved, all of my mentors have held me accountable in one area or the other.

In high school, my mentor held me accountable for my sin and my spiritual disciplines. In college, my mentor held my mind accountable, meaning he pushed me academically (he was one of my professors). He also held my attitude accountable, calling me out when I was a jerk.

Finally, he acted as an incredibly helpful sounding board for a whole host of topics—everything from personal finance to marriage preparation.

Mentors keep you honest. Mentors keep you in check. This may make you uncomfortable, but it is vitally important.

Mentors keep you motivated

I detest running, but I exercise regularly, lifting weights, walking, running, and all of that. A few Thanksgivings ago, when I did one of those Turkey Trot races, my brother pushed me to run faster than I usually do. He motivated me to improve.

Mentors can be great partners in all areas of work and life. The primary focus of the mentoring relationship I'm in right now is writing. My mentor is lightyears better at writing than I am, and he pushes me constantly to be a better thinker and a better writer.

This keeps me motivated.

Do you have a mentor? Why not? You should. Find one today. You can’t afford not to have one.

Find one that can speak to all areas of your life if possible, keeping you accountable spiritually and in all other areas.

At the very least, find someone who can keep you humble and help you better follow Christ.

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