Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

I hope that you are refreshed and renewed by this deep dive into discipleship as I am! I appreciate that each week of following Jesus’s journey in Mark takes us a bit deeper into the heart of discipleship. I made four points last Sunday in worship that I want to review because I hope that we will build upon them in the weeks to come. On Sunday I said that what we have learned so far from John 1:43-51 and Mark 1:14-20 is that disciples: 

1. Respond to the call of Jesus. At the most basic level, disciples are those who responded to Jesus’s call to discipleship. 

2. Move and participate according to the call of Jesus. Discipleship is more than agreeing with what Jesus says. Discipleship is participating in the world according to what we know about Jesus’ desires for the world. 

3. Become Jesus’ companions. Prayer, study, worship, and “holy conversations” are crucial to the life of discipleship because they are the primary ways that we allow Jesus to form us and transform us. Remember that Jesus says to the disciples, “I will make you...” These are the practices by which we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit so that we can be made into the likeness of Jesus. 

4. Expect greater things than we can imagine. This is the point to which I am holding fast as we begin a new year of being the church together. I enter this new year giving my heart fully to the promise that God has so much more for us to do as a congregation than we could ever imagine. Over the past year we have relied on the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, and we have learned that even in the middle of chaos we are never left to our own strength or creativity. We have learned what is fundamental to our life together, and we have learned what we can live without. And having been accompanied by God’s Spirit along the way, I believe we have learned that God is still calling us to give ourselves fully to God’s Kingdom. We would be foolish not to expect greater things. 

Please be in prayer for your Church Council and ministry team leaders as we work to discern the greater things to which Jesus is calling us in this year and pray for our church that we would become Jesus’s companions on the journey. 

With great anticipation, Mary Beth