Weekly Update 1/16

Upcoming Events:

  • Our church will be helping with childcare during the next Hope Place graduation ceremony on Wednesday, January 23rd. Please sign up here: https://ugm.volunteerhub.com/event/index/5756479

  • Our next member meeting is Sunday, January 27th after service. Pastor Kyle and the Board will be reviewing our ministries, finances and operations for 2018. We will also be discussing some important changes coming up in 2018. If you’re a member of our church, please plan to attend!

  • The deadline to sign up for the Philippines trip is January 31st. For additional details, or to learn more about GCE Ministries, please contact Sharon Pastre at sharon.gce@gmail.com.

Announcements from Pastor Kyle:

CG Questions:

Matthew 4:12-25

Be With Jesus: The Call of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:12-17)

  • First and most fundamental to being a disciple is to be with Jesus. How do you spend time with Jesus? What sorts of results do you see in your life when you spend time with Jesus (Peace, direction, encouragement, insight, wisdom, etc) What ways have you learned to "practice the presence of God" and remain in "unceasing prayer" throughout your everyday activities? How can we better discipline ourselves to keep Jesus as the forefront of our thoughts and affections?   

  • How does John's arrest factor into God's sovereign plans? What are the similarities and differences between John the Baptist (Matt 3) and Jesus the Messiah ministries (Matt 4)? Matthew writes about a people living in darkness. What ways are ignorance, sin, and rebellion like spiritual darkness? What does it mean that Jesus is the light of the world? 

  • What is the connect between repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven? How should we practice repentance? The Kingdom of God is a mega-theme throughout the scriptures, what passages come to mind as you think about the Kingdom? How does the good news of the Kingdom of God fit into the reality of discipleship?  

 

Be Like Jesus: The Call of Discipleship (Matthew 4:18-22)

  • Every Christian is a disciple, a follower, an apprentice of the way of Jesus. Why does it matter that we not just believe in Jesus but become like him? How is being a disciple of Jesus different from simply attending a class, reciting a creed or praying a prayer? 

  • Discipleship Pathway at Rainier Valley Church - "On-Ramps" / "Highways" / "Off-Ramps" 

    • Evangelistic On-Ramps - Big Events (Christmas Eve, Easter) Outreach (Breakfast) Serving (HP Childcare) Community (CGs, Friendships, invites) What specific role can you play an inviting people into the discipleship process just like Jesus did?  

    • Discipleship Highways - Sunday mornings, Community Groups, life-on-life relationships, etc. Christianity isn’t an academic enterprise, It’s a lifestyle. Jesus doesn’t give us a book, but a community and a way of life. How can we be careful to apply what we're learning? What is the role of assessment, review, and correction in the Christian life? How can we better maximize the blessing of Christian community to help shape us and grow us as disciples of Jesus?  

    • Leadership Off-Ramps - Replicating Community Groups, multiplying leaders, reproducing disciples. How is ministry a pathway to maturity? 

  • Jesus comes to the disciples and calls them to follow him, what do we learn about the heart of God in this text? Who else has God called into his mission throughout the scriptures? Jesus calls the disciples to follow him which means leaving their old life. What sorts of things are mentioned within the text that the disciples left? 

Do What Jesus Did: The Call of Ministry (Matthew 4:23-25)

  • We’re called to join Jesus for the final purpose of doing what Jesus did. The scriptures say that when fully trained a student will be like his teacher, how are you becoming more like Jesus in doing what he did? What areas do you need grow in to do what Jesus did? (Preaching the Gospel, practicing hospitality, prayer, silence and solitude, Sabbath, simple living, overcoming the enemy, healing the sick, making other disciples, etc.) 

  • If the goal of the Christian life is to be a disciple who makes disciples, how are you doing at making Jesus final command your first mission?  How do I make Disciples? Look for people with F.A.I.T.H.

    • Faithfulness - Keep their commitments, they show up, etc.

    • Availability - I’m open, I’ll meet up, I’ll come over, I’ll open my schedule, etc.

    • Intentionality - Here are my questions, I want to read, I want to grow, pray, serve, etc.

    • Teachable - Humility demonstrated in repentance, growth, questions, willingness to be awkward, etc.

    • Hungry  - Passionately in love with Jesus, excited about the mission, desiring to honor God, hungry to grow.

  • If the potential of our church rest not in us, but in our ability to raise up other disciples, how are we doing at developing others? Who are your currently Discipling? How are you discipling them? What impact is your life having on theirs?

  • What are the different aspects of Jesus' public ministry from Matthew 4:23-25? Jesus didn't spend most of his time with the crowds but with his discipleship groups of 3, 12, 22, and 120. What are examples of teachings and events that only the disciple got to witness, hear, and understand?

Thanks, and have a great week!

CG Assessment Tool

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Training – (Discipleship - bible study, sermon discussion, book reading, accountability, etc. Creating a culture of learning)

  • What does training look like in your group?

  • How do you create a culture of learning in your group?

Caring – (Spiritual Family - Having fun, eating together, supporting one another, serving one another, caring for each other in times of difficulty or crisis, etc. Creating a culture of friendship)

  • What are some examples of caring for each other in your groups?

  • How do you create a culture of caring for one another?

Reaching – (Missional Living - Praying for your unbelieving friends and family, inviting skeptics and seekers into your group, serving your city, supporting and praying for missionary work locally and globally. Creating a culture of evangelism)

  • What are some examples of how your Community Group is reaching out to others?

  • How do you create a culture of evangelism?

Multiplying (Leadership Development – identifying leaders, creating a culture of mission, raising up CG Apprentices, replicating new groups. Creating a culture of mission)

  • What are some examples of leadership development in your group?

  • How can we create a culture of leadership development in our groups?

Sharing group dynamics, personalities and strengths   

  • Every Community group has its own collective personality. What would you say is the personality of your current group?

  • Which of the four pillars are strengthens in your group? In which are growth areas?

  • What are some of the biggest challenges you are currently facing in your group?

  • What are some of the most exciting things you see God doing in your group?

Discipleship

Weekly Update 1/7

Happy New Year, church! We’re off to a busy start!

Upcoming Events:

  • We need help putting away Christmas decorations this Thursday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. If you’re available, please stop by!

  • If you currently volunteer in Kids ministry (or are interested in volunteering) please plan to attend a training event this upcoming Sunday, January 13th at 11:30am (after service). This event is for people who are currently volunteering, or are interested in volunteering in Kids ministry. Pastor Brent Capatch will be visiting from Cross & Crown church – see his introductory video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlYy4xdWmn4&feature=youtu.be

  • The next Board meeting is Monday, January 14th. Please reach out to Sam Bretz (Samueljbretz@gmail.com) for details.

  • Our church will be helping with childcare during the next Hope Place graduation ceremony on Wednesday, January 23rd. Please sign up here: https://ugm.volunteerhub.com/event/index/5756479

  • Our next member meeting is Sunday, January 27th after service. If you’re interested in becoming a member of RVC, please contact Pastor Kyle at kyle@rainiervalleychurch.com.

  • The deadline to sign up for the Philippines trip is January 31st. For additional details, or to learn more about GCE Ministries, please contact Sharon Pastre at sharon.gce@gmail.com.

 

Announcements from Pastor Kyle:

  • The Rainier Valley Church family will be joining together on Wednesday, January 9th to fast and pray for one another and our upcoming year of ministry in South Seattle. Please read through Pastor Kyle’s blog post and join us in fasting this week: https://rainiervalleychurch.com/news/2019/1/6/fasting-together

  • Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits and then change or begin a Bible reading plan. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from on our blog: https://rainiervalleychurch.com/news/2019/1/2/happy-new-year

 

CG Questions:

Triumph over Temptations (Matt 4:1-11) 

Temptations from our Appetites  - Doubt God’s Word (Matt 4:1-3)

  • Did you think Jesus was stronger or weaker because he had been fasting?

  • Have you ever fasted before and if so what was the experience like?

  • Satan tries to tempt Jesus in his hunger, what ways does Satan come against you and tempt you?

  • What we feed grows and what we starve dies - What habits are you feeding?

Temptations from our Egos  - Twist God’s Word (Matt 4:4-7)

  • Satan tries to misuse the scriptures to get Jesus to obey him, what ways have you seen the scriptures being misused? The scriptures are a weapon that Satan can use against us if we don't wield them well, how can the Bible be dangerous?

  • What ways might you try to change the plain meaning of a scripture to make it say something you want it to say?

Temptations from our Pride - Forsake God’s Word (Matt 8-11)

  • Jesus could have the Kingdom without the cross but what would he lose if he took the Devil's offer?

  • What areas of pride do you see in your own heart and how does the Devil use these areas of pride to tempt you towards compromise? In 1 Cor 10:13 we are promised that there is always a way out of temptation. What are common temptations that you face and what does the way out of those temptations look like for you?

Let's pray for each other to resist temptation and to walk in the light of God's love.

Thanks, and have a great week!

Fasting Together

Fasting on Wednesday, January 9th to Pray and Prepare for 2019

The Rainier Valley Church family will be joining together on Wednesday, January 9th to fast and pray for one another and for this next year of ministry in South Seattle. Fasting is voluntarily going without food or some other necessity to intentionally set aside time for prayer, scriptural meditation, and worship. There are many biblical reasons for fasting that are outlined below.  

RVC will plan to fast from 6am-6pm or sunrise to sunset this coming Wednesday, January 9th. This would mean fasting from regular breakfast and lunch meals as well as any daytime snacks. We will break the fast at dinner on Wednesday night.  If you have health issues that prevent you from fasting from food, please considering fasting from Television, social media, or whatever good gifts of God take up margin in your life. Fasting is about self-denial, creating margin, opening up space and stretching our perspective beyond the temporary to the eternal.

Prayer Focuses While Fasting

  1. That we would thank God for each other (Rom 1:8-10; 1 Corinth 1:4; Eph 1:16; Phil 1:3-4)

  2. That our church family would live in peace and unity. (Rom 15:5-6; 2 Thess 3:16)

  3. That our love for each other would grow more and more. (Eph 3:17b; Phi 1:9a)

  4. That God would raise up more elders, board members, CG leaders, etc (Matt 9:37-39; Luke 10:2)

  5. That we would be strengthened with spiritual power. (Eph 1:18-19, 3:16; Col 1:11a)

  6. That by the Spirit we would abide in Jesus (John 15:4-6; Eph 3:17-19)

  7. That we would overflow with praise and thankfulness to God (Col 1:12; 2 Corinth 1:3, 9:12)

  8. That we would kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness. (Matt 6:9-13)

Biblical Reasons for Fasting (Spiritual Disciplines by Donald Whitney)

  • Strengthening Prayer (Ezra 8:23; Joel 2:13; Acts 13:3)

  • Seeking God’s Guidance (Judges 20:26; Acts 14:23)

  • Expressing Grief (1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 1:11–12)

  • Seeking Deliverance or Protection (2 Chronicles 20:3–4; Ezra 8:21–23)

  • Expressing Repentance and Returning to God (1 Samuel 7:6; Jonah 3:5–8)

  • Humbling Oneself before God (1 Kings 21:27–29; Psalm 35:13)

  • Expressing Concern for the Work of God (Nehemiah 1:3–4; Daniel 9:3)

  • Ministering to the Needs of Others (Isaiah 58:3–7)

  • Overcoming Temptation and Dedicating Yourself to God (Matthew 4:1–11)

  • Expressing Love and Worship to God (Luke 2:37)

Resources for Fasting (More resources available on TGC, Desiring God, and CRU)

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Happy New Year

Welcome to the year 2019! As we begin a new year together it’s important to consider what God has done in 2018 and to think about how we can grow in his grace in 2019. Below are a few different assessment questions and Bible reading plans to help you start 2019 strong.

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year by Donald S. Whitney

This article is part of the Questions to Ask series on the Crossway Blog

Consider the Direction of Your Life

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

  2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

  3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

  8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

  1. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

  2. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

  3. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

  4. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

  5. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

  6. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

  7. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

  8. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

  9. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

  10. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

  11. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

  12. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

  13. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

  14. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

  15. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

  16. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

  17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

  18. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

  19. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

  20. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

  21. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

Bible Reading Plans for 2019

This is a blog post from Ligionier Ministries by Nathan W. Bingham 

Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe in 2019 you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below:

5 Day Bible Reading Program

Read through the Bible in a year with readings five days a week.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: epistles, the law, history, Psalms, poetry, prophecy, and Gospels.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

5x5x5 New Testament Bible Reading Plan

Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday. Weekends are set aside for reflection and other reading. Especially beneficial if you’re new to a daily discipline of Bible reading.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

A Bible Reading Chart

Read through the Bible at your own pace. Use this minimalistic yet beautifully designed chart to track your reading throughout the year.

Duration: Flexible | Download: PDF

Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in the order the events occurred chronologically.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings beginning in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew and Acts.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings taken from four lists: Psalms and wisdom literature, Pentateuch and history of Israel, Chronicles and prophets, and Gospels and epistles.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Every Word in the Bible

Read through the Bible one chapter at a time. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testaments.

Duration: Three years | Download: PDF

Historical Bible Reading Plan

The Old Testament readings are similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament readings are an attempt to follow the order in which the books were authored.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

An In Depth Study of Matthew

A year-long study in the Gospel of Matthew from Tabletalk magazine and R.C. Sproul.

Duration: One year | App: Accessible on YouVersion. Download the app.

Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System

Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the Old Testament history and prophetic books about one and a half times.

Duration: Ongoing | Download: PDF

Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Read the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once.

Duration: One or two years | Download: Website

Straight Through the Bible Reading Plan

Read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Tabletalk Bible Reading Plan

Two readings each day, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

The Legacy Reading Plan

This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month and a set number of Proverbs and Psalms for each week. It aims to give you more flexibility while grounding you in specific books of the Bible.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF

Two-Year Bible Reading Plan

Read the Old and New Testaments once and Psalms and Proverbs four times.

Duration: Two years | Download: PDF

The Read Scripture App https://www.readscripture.org/ and the YOUVERSION Bible App are also great digital resources that feature videos, articles, plans, and notifications so that you stay up to date on our Bible Reading in 2019.

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