Metro Bible Church,
It was and is our great joy to labor for you and with you for the cause of Christ. He alone is worthy of all glory, honor and praise. Thank you. Our prayer for you in the 2016 year has been two-fold. These two items have colored our prayers in our elder meetings, guided our planning time, and have been written on sticky notes on our mirrors and closets as we pass them each morning. And in good Baptist fashion (J), they both start with the same letter…Intimacy and Invitational. We desire to carry this two-fold prayer into the 2017 year as we walk humbly together with our God.
I. Intimacy with God.
We are fervently praying for your intimacy with God. I’d like to spend some time defining intimacy and then share how we see this practically playing out in your life and in the life of the church. To have your relationship with God be described as “intimate” would mean that you know God personally. That is, you have faith in His Son Jesus Christ and you are pursuing a deeper knowledge of Him as you progress in this short life. Intimacy means that you love God and want to understand him more.
- In the word. We are praying that you would know the Lord deeply through deep time in the Scriptures. Since our God has made himself known through the Word, we long for you to know Him through it! It is living and active and able to discern the hearts of men (Heb 4). The word is true and is a shied to those who trust Him (Proverbs 30:5). The word is useful for all of life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:3-6). It is also able to make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15).
- In prayer. We pray that we would grow in our relationship with the Lord through Prayer. In a world of busyness, rush and smart phones that notify you of every movement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email, how can we value the importance of prayer? The Puritan Thomas Watson stated, “Prayer delights God’s ear. God cannot deny a praying soul.” Let’s delight God’s ear together and be a people that pray.
- In your suffering. We are fervently praying for your intimacy with God in your suffering. Christianity is not just “all roses”. Christ says, “in this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome” (John 16:33). Suffering and trouble in this life is a promise. God gives you suffering so that you will depend on him as your “refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble” (Ps 46:1). We are praying that you would look to God in your suffering and find your portion and satisfaction in Him alone.
II. Invitational with Others.
What does the word, “Invitational” mean? I’m sure you have received an invitation to something in your life. Perhaps it was a birthday party? Maybe you got an “e-vite” to a baby shower? You open it up, mark it on your calendar and plan to show up to this event. These events have a beginning time and an ending time. But being “invitational” in the Christian sense is entirely different. Here are three ways we are praying we would be invitational:
- Invitational to the Gospel. The Bible says, “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so (Proverbs 15:7). We are praying we would be a people with the gospel of God continually on our lips. This means that we don’t want to resort to inviting people to simply a service, but that we teach that the saving message of the gospel…that God saves sinners through Jesus.
- Invitational to Discipleship. We have said, “Discipleship always involves both imparting the Word and imparting our lives. It is never apart from instruction with the Word of God, but neither is it apart from a life on life relationship. At Metro, we are passionate about replicating ourselves as instructed in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20). It is not only bringing people to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but also helping them to become like Him; and it doesn’t stop there. Discipleship is about making disciple-making disciples. It is why we are here. For 2017, how will you take part in the great commission this year? Is there anyone that could disciple you? Is there anyone you would like to disciple?
- Invitational to Church. There are a number of events this year that provide a natural opportunity to invite your friends and family such as:
- Our annual 5k “Run for the Nations DFW” (runforthenationsdfw.org)
- Secret Church (5/2017)
- Antioch Summer Instistute (6/2017)
- Metro Bible Church Hoedown (11/2017)
- Anta Su Palabra Latino Conference in February-2018.
While these are wonderful events, Church is more than events. We want these events to be onramps to welcome people into Gospel-Centered living and the weekly gathering. In plain language, if we are not inviting people to the weekly gathering on Sundays, the events are just that…events. This is a high view of Church! Open up your homes and make disciples of all nations and allow Christ as the head of the body to shine brightly through His local church.
In all our striving to care for you, we understand and fully embrace that our shepherding falls ever so short of the immeasurable and incomparable sweetness of our Lord the Good and ultimate Shepherd. He cares for His own. His sheep know His voice and they follow Him (John 10). Our humble task is to point you to Him every step you take and around every corner of your pilgrim’s journey. We want to lead you home safely, tethered closely to Christ.
The Elders of Metro Bible Church