A Year with Jesus
The 2022 theme for the Discipleship Ministries at Harvest is "A year with Jesus." The purpose of the theme is to intentionally focus on the words, prayers, and life of Jesus. We will be making a concerted effort to create more space for our members to be transformed by the words of Jesus this year. We will be offering more resources like small groups, devotionals, guided prayers, and opportunities to engage in mission. All the resources that we will offer in 2022 will be derived and influenced by the words of Jesus.
In the upcoming year, we will be working towards long-term small groups instead of the seasonal groups that we have utilized in the past (i.e., Lenten groups/ advent groups). Although seasonal groups have had some success, long-term groups will allow us to focus more on community and transformation growth. The hope for our long-term groups is that people will engage in connections that will enable them to take care of each other and grow in their faith. The move to longer-term groups will signify a shift in approaching studies and discipleship in general. In addition to this new approach to small groups, we will start different small groups designed to connect families to each other and the church.
Three ways to walk with Jesus:
- Learning from Jesus
- Praying with Jesus
- Living like Jesus
Learning from Jesus will be carried out primarily through our small groups, devotionals in multiple forms on all our mediums (social media, email, etc.), and weekly practices. Learning from Jesus is essentially our study component for 2022. We will have several prescribed small group studies throughout the year. In addition, we will also have a list of recommended resources (books, articles, scripture readings) for our congregation to utilize throughout the year for personal and communal use.
The component of Praying with Jesus will be an invitation to pray individually and communally. At the beginning of the year, we will focus our attention on the Our Father/Lord's Prayer. We will invite our members to use the prayer as an entry point to a concentrated prayer time. As the year progresses, we will introduce other forms of prayer and specific times to pray together in communal settings.
Living like Jesus is the missional aspect of the year's theme. Working in conjunction with the Director of Justice & Care Ministries, we will offer opportunities for our church members to live like Jesus through mission to our community. Our focus this year will be childhood education. Inspired by Jesus' words in Matthew 19 and our existing church/school partnership, we will be encouraging the people of Harvest to invest their time, talents, and finances in the education of children in Manatee County.