We often get asked: What exactly does it mean to be a Lutheran Christian in this day and age?
We didn’t have a ready answer to this question. The pastors and the council have thought about what it could look like to be Disciples of Christ. After many discussions we have developed discipleship goals. We intend to put these goals in our lives and use them as guiding principles as we strive to live Christian lives. We invite you to join us in this journey.
The Discipleship Goals
We have based these goals on the promises we make during confirmation;
to live among God’s faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper,
to proclaim the good news of Christ through word and deed,
to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace.”
These promises are the dry bones we will use to hold up our discipleship goals and with the help of the Holy Spirit we will put meat on these promises and fill them with life.
Saved by Grace
We are saved by God’s grace alone. Lutherans believe that no one can earn salvation, because as humans we are sinners and saints at the same time. Humans are capable of great feats of compassion and love, but at the same time they cannot escape their fallen nature to be selfish egomaniacs. The human life is a struggle that takes place in the tension between those poles, holiness and sinfulness. Lutherans embrace the duality of good and evil the human condition and the idiosyncrasies it produces.
Discipleship goals do not change human nature, but they are a spiritual tool that give us guidance in our call to proclaim and live out the gospel of God’s love grace and love to all those who need to hear that God loves them.
Below you find a preaching series on the discipleship goals and how they might play out in real life. We invite you review the descriptions and to watch the video sermons. Let yourself be inspired by these ideas and messages. Imagine how these discipleship goals can inform your spiritual life.
The early Christian church was called followers of the way. Your faith journey will lead you on a path of discovery that one day will lead into union in the loving arms of God. These discipleship goals will help you navigate the idiosyncrasies of modern life and help you to grow into disciples of Christ.
We promise to live among God’s faithful people.
It is impossible to live your faith alone, by yourself. Faith comes to life in engagement with other people and with the teachings of your tradition. Truth is revealed in community.
Build relationships with your pastor and your fellow church members by actively joining ministries of the church. Be part of ministries, small groups, educational events, and fellowship time.
We promise to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper.
We are gathered by the Holy Spirit to encounter God’s grace in Jesus Christ. We experience this grace through word and sacrament.
We ask you to worship and participate in Holy Communion every Sunday.
We promise to proclaim the good news of Christ through word and deed.
God’s gift of faith liberates us from the burden of having to do good works to save our souls from going to hell. Instead, we are free to do good works for the sake of those in need.
Invite people to church whenever you have the opportunity.
Give generously from your time, talents, and treasure to the church and to those in need. The Hebrew bible suggests tithing as best practice.
We promise to serve all people, following the example of Jesus.
We are liberated by God’s grace from the fear that God might reject us. Lutherans respond to this experience of love by doing good works. We serve those in need, not to gain favour with God, but because those in need need our help. That necessarily shines a light on those aspects of our communities that are less perfect than others. This light of truth makes our community engagement a political activity. The Lutheran church is one of the groups in the public sphere that seek to influence the future of our country and that advocate for change.
We ask you to serve your local communities and give special attention to those who are different than you.
We promise to strive for justice and peace.
Only when justice is achieved for all, when people are treated as the precious children of God they are, only then can true peace prevail.
We serve the global community and advocate for those without voice.