Growing in new life with Jesus!

First UMC's mission is to lead people in new life with Jesus, but what does "new life with Jesus" look like?


The most simple answer is inviting God into our life. There are no 'right or wrong' words, but some prayer like:

"God, I need you. I'm not perfect, I don't live like you want. I need your help. Change my heart. Help me to live and love more like Jesus. Come into my life."


Asking God into your life isn't a destination, it is a beginning point to a life of faith. At First UMC we believe there are 5 Practices (or 5 habits) that help us grow in new life with Jesus: Worship, Grow, Serve, Give & Invite.


Below you will find First Steps, Next Steps & Deep Steps for people wanting to grow more in new life with Jesus.

WORSHIP is an old English word meaning 'to give worth'. And our worship is a way we give God value through making God #1 in our life. Sometimes we do this as a group (Sunday Worship) and other times we do this in a private or personal way (Private Worship). Here are some ways you can grow in worship:


FIRST STEPS:

  • Attend Worship every weekend you are not sick or out of town.
  • Make Sunday Worship a priority over other activities.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Apply one thing from Sunday to your life during the week.
  • Help with some part of worship on Sundays (Connections, Children, Media, or Setup/Cleanup).
  • View worship as less about 'getting something' and more about being in God's presence.

DEEP STEPS:

  • Have a personal worship service outside of church.
  • Think about the phrase 'worship is a lifestyle'. How would that change your perspective of life?
  • Make worship less about 'me' and more about God.

GROWING in our faith includes habits like prayer, studying the Bible and meeting with other Christians in smaller groups. Being a Christian isn't only about loving God, but also about loving others; and we believe Growth Groups are an important part of growing in new life with Jesus.


FIRST STEPS:

NEXT STEPS:

  • Regularly have personal devotional time (30+ minutes in personal Bible study and prayer).
  • Find a spiritual mentor (someone who has been a Christian a few years longer than you).
  • Practice different types of prayer or pray in a small group (at home before meals, in a Growth Group, etc.).
  • Learn about your Spiritual Gifts (talk with one of the Pastor's to learn more).

DEEP STEPS:

  • Find an accountability group where you can share your struggles and be vulnerable.
  • Host/Lead a Growth Group.
  • Develop a lifestyle of prayer.
  • Memorize verses from the Bible.

SERVING outside the walls through mission activities or at First UMC through ministry teams is a great way to step outside of our comfort zone and see God work through us.


FIRST STEPS:

  • Participate in one of our large mission events (Radical Christmas, Feed My Starving Children Food Packing, School Fest, Change the World Day...).
  • Try serving on a First UMC Ministry Team (Connections, Kids, Youth, Setup/Cleanup, Congregational Care...).

NEXT STEPS:

  • Serve frequently (weekly or monthly) on a team.
  • Help with First UMC partnership with SpreadHopeNow.org mission projects throughout the year.
  • Serve on a Mission Team (Mozambique, Dominican, or others...).

DEEP STEPS:

  • Lead a Mission Team.
  • Make service/missions a lifestyle, where you are always looking for new ways to step outside of your comfort zone to serve.
  • Evaluate how much you are willing to risk/sacrifice/give to help others?
  • Join in advocacy/justice ministries (Prison Ministries, Racial Reconciliation, Hunger, Poverty...).

GIVING our money is something the Bible talks about frequently. Jesus says, "Where our treasure is our heart is also." Which means how we spend our money reflects our priorities, and our generosity and giving is a reflection of our faith.


FIRST STEPS:

  • Give some amount of money regularly (every week or every paycheck).
  • Think about how much you give as a percentage of your income.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Increase the percentage you give toward a tithe (10%).
  • Setup regular electronic offering, so that it is one of the things that you aren't tempted to spend or view as optional.
  • Give extra donations to worthwhile causes above your regular offering to the church.

DEEP STEPS:

  • Give generously above 10% of your income.
  • In your estate planning, include the church and other organizations in your will.
  • Consider sacrificing something (saying 'no' to something you want) to be able to give more to help people in need.
  • Think of your time, your skills, and everything else as gifts from God. How do you give these things?

INVITING others is something that comes naturally when we are excited. We invite others because we have found something that we want our friends, family members or co-workers to experience. Inviting them to First UMC can be a gift to them, if it is done in a friendly and exciting way.


FIRST STEPS:

  • Share TheFunChurch events and services on Facebook.
  • Give Invitation Cards to your friends, family or co-workers that aren't actively attending a church.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Personally invite someone who doesn't go to church to come with you. Be specific about what Sunday, time, place and even offer to pick them up or go to lunch after church.
  • Tell someone who doesn't go to a church, something great about your church.

DEEPER STEPS:

  • Share your faith story with another person. How has God changed your life? Why do you go to church?
  • Ask someone if they want to become a Christian and ask God into their life.
  • Host an event (block party, dinner party, sports activity) with the goal of meeting people who don't go to church and getting a chance to invite them.
  • Make intentional relationships with people who don't attend church. Learn people's names who help you (servers, checkers, stylists, etc.).