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A new course for all members of LIFEhouse Church and their friends and neighbors begins next month. We will be studying the topic of “God The Holy Spirit.” This eight week series comes out of the Blackberry Bush Course. The teaching format is 50% presentation/ 50% discussion. Every session has eating dinner together, presentation (mainly video), and discussion, all in table groups hosted by a table leader.

This course is designed for seasoned Christians to grow in their faith and for others to explore the invitation by God to be connected to his community, both Christian and non-Christian. The emphasis is on:

  • Authentic Relationships
  • Meaningful Conversations
  • Changed Lives

Here is what the evening looks like:

6-6:30 Dinner

6:30-8 Teaching and Discussion

The teaching and discussion revolve around three 10 minute presentation.

This course is free.

There is a freewill offering for the meal.

Free childcare is also available.

“God The Holy Spirit” will start up on Thursday, September 11, 6-8 PM. We meet for seven Thursday Evenings. There is also a Holy Spirit Retreat on Saturday, October 25th@LIFEhouse.

To register online or for more information, just e-mail Pastor Dana@ dana@lifehouse.la. We will also be taking signups on Sunday mornings, beginning August 17.

Important Note:

This course is like a circular bus route with lots of stops. As a student, you can get on the bus at any time, ride as long as you like, and get off the bus at any time. Each session is “stand alone” and requires no previous experience.

 

 

IMG_2910On June 3rd, we had a great time at the end of the year BBQ hosted@ LIFEhouse for the Magnolia Science Academy 1 High School Championship BB team. The team includes 8 seniors who will be attending either CSUN, UCLA, or College of the Canyons. Way to go Warriors!

 


Jesus says, “Bear much fruit.”

What does it mean to be fruitful?

John 15:8 speaks of “bearing much fruit.”

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

People can see we are following Jesus because they see the results of what we are doing. But, what is it that we are doing? What is “fruit?”

“Fruit” is:

  1. Bringing joy
  2. Helping out
  3. Connecting

Bringing joy to people where they are at, helping out people who are having problems, and connecting people, who are receptive, to Jesus and his followers.
Your fruit then, is measured by the joy you start in others lives, the help you give, and the invitations you make for someone else to connect with and follow Jesus, too.

We bear fruit best when it is within the context of living life with the people who are already part of our extended family. Who do you “do life” with? This could be called your,

“Who?”

We bear fruit best when we have a shared mission together. Your mission could be called your,

“What?”

So, the way Jesus designed it, within any congregation, you have smaller communities of people (The “Who’s”) sharing life together and bringing joy and help in specific settings where they live and spend their time.

Your setting will be the neighborhood you live in and/ or the networks of people you connect with. The network can be a workplace, school, your kid’s little league, etc.

Examples:

Neighborhood
In Capernaum, Jesus joined the extended family (“oikos,” in Greek) of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They even lived in the same family compound.

Network
When Matthew met Jesus in Capernaum and chose to follow him, he immediately had Jesus and the other disciples meet his fellow tax collectors at his home.

So, Christians grow best at bearing fruit when they are living life within an extended family, and intentionally sharing a mission together.

If you want to grow best as a follower of Jesus this starts with two questions:

1. Whose your “Who?”
2. What’s your “What?”

Now, how does a typical church function?

Not like this.

The typical church functions in another way. There are four stages in increasing opportunities for fruitfulness, and we will see that most congregations stop after stage two.

Stage One
Someone else does mission and ministry and members support it with prayers and donations. They are not directly involved.

Example: Supporting missionaries

At this stage we start thinking beyond ourselves.

Stage Two
Church leaders (and sometimes in cooperation with other churches) plan projects of ministry and mission and invite members to get involved in the projects.

Example: spiritual retreat movements like Cursillo

At this stage we think beyond ourselves and personally get involved, on occasion. This is good stuff, but almost all churches stop their fruit-bearing opportunities here.

Other congregations will begin to form into communities of people on mission together locally moving into,

Stage Three
Church leaders invite members and others to join them in doing mission and ministry outside the congregation on a regular basis. The congregations provides support.

Example: Group from church that works at a local public school providing tutoring and mentoring.

At this stage we are personally involved in an ongoing opportunity to bear fruit and grow in our faith right where we live. For this to become a way of life we move to,

Stage Four
Members themselves who have been trained in leadership, join together in their neighborhoods and/or networks to do mission and ministry, working out of their own resources.

They have a “who” and they have a “what.” This is the primary model of Jesus and the early church.

Example: House Church type group with a mission to reach out to neighborhood teens.

So you see, all four stages are going on all the time in fruitful congregations. In order for Christians to grow in their fruitfulness, stage one is a start, stage two is learning to get “hands-on” experience, stage three is experiencing this “missional” lifestyle under the congregation’s leadership and support, and stage four is the tipping point, exponentially expanding the reach of the Lord in people coming to faith and in the needs of the city being met.

Stage four is the church Jesus envisioned. He knew you don’t just start there, and so he trained his disciples to move through these stages and eventually lead the movement into neighborhoods and networks. His training followed a similar pattern to the four stages of mission and ministry.

Stage One: I Do/ You Watch
Jesus brought healing, cast out demons, and proclaimed the Kingdom of God while living with his disciples and they watched what he was doing.

Stage Two: I Do/ You Help

Jesus would have the disciples watch what he was doing and invite them to participate behind the scenes like when he had them figure out how to get food to feed the crowds.

Stage Three: You Do/ I Help

The disciples are sent out to bring healing, cast out demons, and proclaim the Kingdom. Jesus gives them evaluation and insight when they return.

Stage Four: You Do

Jesus ascends to heaven, the Holy Spirit fills the disciples, and they begin recruiting others to invest in and disciple, doing the same things as Jesus did with them. The influence of the church grows exponentially.

This is the system Jesus designed to transform the world. If it’s good enough for Jesus…

 

Confirmation Sunday

October 27

10 a.m.

These young people will publicly affirm their faith in Jesus at worship this Sunday:

Connor Aguirre

Katelyn Bauer

Jenna Brown

Erik Godin

Samantha Kidd

Steven Michaelsen

Ashleigh Risdall

Abbey Rogers

Kalei Sorensen

Kennedi Sorensen

This is a key milestone in the lives of Lutheran Christians. Plan on attending, and invite your friends to this special commemoration of the growth in faith of young people in your faith family.

Image 9-16-13 at 3.14 PMOur 6th-8th grade age ministry, IMPACT! begins again on Wednesday, September 18, at 6 pm.

 

IMPACT! is a learning community that meets the first and third Wednesday of the month, with other scheduled community building events and service events.

 

(Per our Lutheran tradition, Students who attend IMPACT! may affirm their Baptism at a Confirmation Service in the fall of their 9th grade year. Students do not have to be confirmed to participate in IMPACT! They make that choice at the end of their 8th grade year.)

A typical IMPACT! learning event looks like this:

Dinner

Live Worship with Rob Reed and /or our middle school/ high school music team. 

Bible teaching, Video clip, testimony style learning.

Small group discussion facilitated by adult and high school guides.

Prayer ministry time.

We are beginning with a four week series entitled, “Namesake,” where we explore who we are as sons and daughters of the King!

For more information and to sign up today, contact Mike Jusko@ mike.j@lifehouse.la.

 

STARTS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH, AT 6 PM!

STARTS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH, AT 6 PM!

First Semester of the “Blackberry Bush Course” Bible Study Begins in September…
“I liked the  intimacy of the group; an opportunity to bond with others; thought provoking, camaraderie; and good fellowship times.  Learning in a casual environment and building  a faith community of believers. An excellent way to be part of a small group.”  
-Abigail Brown

Like a blackberry bush, nature’s “barbed wire,” we are surrounded by expectations and demands on our lives that can choke out the freedom and joy God has in store for us. In the Blackberry Bush Course, we will learn how God frees us through Jesus, and how the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to receive what God has in store for us in our purpose in His plan.

 

The course is divided into three semesters.  One on God the Father, one on God the Son, and one on God the Holy Spirit. The first semester, “God the Father,” runs Thursday Nights at LIFEhouse,  6-8:30 PM,  September 19 through November 7. Please note you can join the course at any time, as all sessions are self-contained.
Topics for the first semester include:
“Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”
“How do I Pray?”
“Creation and My Place in It”
There is no cost for taking the course. There is a freewill offering for the meals. Childcare is available free of charge, as well. We will begin signups in September.
Reserve your Thursday nights today!

 

Everyone is welcome!

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