Unwrapping Gifts & Unbinding our Souls

It’s the Christmas season, which means that many of us are at work wrapping up gifts that will be opened by our loved ones in just a few weeks.

In the same way our church has been wrapping up the gift of our mission to share with our neighbors and friends in January. Our mission is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love each other and serve in the world.” This is easier said than done! But we have been working steadily for 2 years to learn how to pray and share with our neighbors.

And we are ready!

Just like those presents under the tree that are ready to be unwrapped, we are now ready to share our faith with our neighbors and friends using the next book in the Unbinding series: Unbinding Your Soul.

It’s going to be fun!

Once again, we will have opportunities for the whole congregation to participate in this church-wide study. My sermons will go along with the weekly devotions and many small groups – whether they be a home group or a Sunday School – will discuss the weekly chapter in your book.

But most important of all – this will be a wonderful study to do alongside a friend.

The purple book we did in 2017 was called Unbinding Your Heart. We had over 100% of our weekly worship attendance – from ages 2 to 92 – all reading the same scriptures and saying the prayers. Unbinding Your Heart communicated the most significant research about why we should share our faith in Christ.

But now we’re ready for the how. How do we share our faith in the context of relationships and conversation? How do we move from knowing to doing?

That’s what Unbinding Your Soul is for. This yellow book is designed to give you lots of opportunities to have interesting conversations about your faith and to listen to the stories and experiences of new guests.

Let me share a secret with you that I have learned over the years in sharing my faith with friends: December is the perfect time to invite someone to do a bible study with you in January.

January is very often a “slow time” in the lives of many people. It’s after the Christmas season, the weather is cold, people are getting into new routines for the start of a new year.

It’s the perfect time to invite a guest to give Covenant a “test drive.” For 21 days in January we are going to do a “short and sweet” study of Unbinding Your Soul. It’s a wonderful “no pressure” opportunity for a friend or neighbor to give Covenant a try – to experience the warmth and love that our community has to offer as we “love God, love one another and serve in the world.”

You don’t need to do any additional preparation or study ahead of time. Your friend doesn’t need to have ever been to church before. I myself have had a WONDERFUL time doing this study with friends who had never read the bible and never prayed before. No matter where you are or where your neighbors are, this will be a fun chance to talk about God.

This study is ready for you to experience side by side with a friend so that both of you feel the joy and fun of unwrapping the “gift” of your conversations together.

So what are the next steps?

Pray.

Pray each day of advent that God would give you an opportunity to invite someone to do Unbinding Your Soul with you in January. You may be surprised how God answers this prayer!

Invite.

When you feel a little “nudge” from the Holy Spirit, ask your friend if they’d like to do a 21-day book group with you. Tell them it’s the perfect way to “experiment” to see if they’d like to talk about God or would like to feel what it’s like to be a part of Covenant’s church family.

Welcome.

January will be kind of like an “open house” for our church. We can’t control who comes (God is in charge of that!) but we can control how we treat them.

 

God’s in charge and we’re going to have a blast with whomever he sends our way. I can’t wait to see what happens next!