Why Women’s Mentoring is Just the Beginning

Why Women’s Mentoring is Just the Beginning

Last Sunday we launched its first semester of Emmaus Women’s Mentoring. Emmaus Women’s Mentoring is a semester based ministry where multiple groups of 3 women meet together throughout the week to study the Bible in order to know God and apply the truth to their lives. In our first semester we have seen over 30 women sign up to take this journey with us!

At its kickoff on Sunday, Tish Hedger shared the vision for Emmaus Women’s Mentoring.

“The primary goal of our mentoring groups is to grow in our love for God through the study of his word. My dream is that our church would become a church teeming with women who feel confident in their ability to read and understand the word of God.

The desire of our pastors is that the women of Emmaus might be equipped to embrace their giftings and flourish in their callings. In order to do that we must be Women of the Word.

My hope is that this semester would be the beginning of a work in our church among the women. That women would feel empowered and emboldened to minister. Some of you have ideas and dreams right now that our church body needs. And all of you have gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you to use on behalf of the church. Some of you are gifted to teach and you don’t know it yet or you are terrified because you’ve have felt a beckoning towards teaching. We need each of you. We need each other.”

This is truly the hope and desire of our pastors; that we would see an army of women rise up in our church. We desire to see an army of women who love the scriptures and love the Jesus of the scriptures. We desire to see an army of women equipped to be missional mothers, community missionaries, leaders in our city and in our church, missionaries to other nations, disciple-makers of other women, and teachers of the scriptures.

Emmaus Women’s Mentoring is just the beginning because this is not just a programmatic women’s ministry idea; this is a missional movement aimed at seeing God glorified and churches multiplied by declaring and displaying the gospel.

A recap of our membership meeting

A recap of our membership meeting

This was written yesterday shortly after our members meeting. 

Dear Emmaus,

As I write this, I am sitting in my living room, with the window opened ever so slightly, so as not to let out the cold air, but to let in the sound of rain and thunder. As I sit here, drinking my coffee (yes, it’s full-caf b/c I’m a freak of nature and caffeine does nothing to me), writing emails to visitors who joined us today, and listening to the rain, I am asking God to allow us to see the gospel saturate the northland with an overwhelming response to Jesus. I want to see lost people saved! Thank you for being a church that wants to see lives changed by the gospel of Jesus.

Today was a wonderful day of worship, word, and fellowship. I am always blessed to see you stand around and engage each other in conversations long after the services are finished. Your genuine love for each other is breathtaking.

Thank you for your time this afternoon to stay at Emmaus for members meeting. I hope that the churches gift of buying you lunch shows our gratitude to you for staying around and also provided you time to continue to fellowship with each other. Thank you as well for allowing us to have our children join us today. I do believe the highlight of the entire day for me, was sitting on the edge of the stage with a bag of candy, passing it out to the kids following the service. As each of your children came forward, I prayed that Jesus would draw them and overwhelm them with his grace and that their lives would be spent on bringing him glory.

I wanted to shoot you a note this week as a follow-up to our meeting to make sure that we all heard the information being shared and are on the same page moving forward.

God is growing Emmaus

Over the last 3 weeks, we have averaged 171 in worship attendance and we have over 100 adults signed up for community groups. This is up from 135 average and 80 adults in community groups in the spring. This growth is exciting and it is good. We want to be a church that God uses to reach the northland with the gospel.

As a result of this growth, we want to ask you to sit forward and “in” in the worship times. This will help us make more room for visitors and late-comers.

 

Emmaus Kids is growing!
Last week Emmaus Kids had 52 children on Sunday morning! That is a lot of kids for a church our size. Our kids are also growing. We are hearing great stories about how our kids are really grasping the gospel! Thank you to Victor and Hannah Irving and to Tabitha Rainwater for your leadership in our kids area!

Here are 3 big announcements regarding Emmaus Kids:

1. If you are indifferent to where you serve at Emmaus, we’d ask that you sign up for kids! If you have no idea how you can be of use in our kids ministry, then email tabitha@emmausk.com to find out! As our kids ministry grows, we need leaders and volunteers to help us declare and display the gospel to our children.

2. In the coming weeks, we will be making a change in our kids ministry on Sundays: 3rd – 5th graders will no longer go back to Emmaus Kids, but will stay in the service. We believe that our kids in this age range can engage and learn from our worship and preaching. We believe that in the end, it will be better for them to see and experience their parents and the adults in our church love Jesus on Sunday mornings in corporate worship.

3. Will we replace this time of investment with something else? Yes! Beginning in September, Emmaus Kids and Emmaus Students will begin to have monthly events that will help us to build community and declare the gospel to our kids. Please pay attention to the Emmaus blog and social media for more information coming very soon from the Emmaus Kids team!

 

Emmaus Counseling has launched!
We believed that there was a great need in the northland for biblically based and clinically trained counseling, offering holistic approaches to healing for people in our community. Emmaus Counseling announced it’s launch 2 weeks ago and our two counselors already combine for 29 clients! Both Emmaus members, and people from our community are seeking help and we are there to help! If you would like to talk with one of our counselors, you can find more information on here or here.

If you know someone who could benefit from counseling, then refer them to us! We’d love to serve them.

 

Community Groups – belonging, discipleship, and commission
Emmaus Community Groups exist to see the people of Emmaus experience gospel-centered belonging, discipleship, and commission with one another for the glory of God. If you are not part of a community group, then email brandon@emmauskc.com today to get signed up!

In a healthy community group, you will feel safe, known, accepted, loved, and served. We strive for our groups to all be healthy and help you experience these characteristics.

New groups are forming and old ones are starting fresh this month.

If you are a leader, would like to be a leader, or are considering possibly being a leader, we’d invite you to join us on September 25th for a leaders training. At this meeting, you will learn what it requires to lead, what’s expected of our leaders, how you can practically lead well. Email brandon@emmauskc.com for more information.

 

Italy Update
Emmaus has agreed to partner with Freshwater Church in Bolivar, Mo in Padova Italy in order to see God glorified and churches multiplied by declaring and displaying the gospel in Italy. We will be getting more details of upcoming trips and how to pray to you soon.

 

The Emmaus Worship team needs musicians

If you are a musician and you are interested in leading the church in worship alongside our worship team, then email sam@emmauskc.com

 

Pastoral Residency Applications are due
If you are interested in our two-year residency for training as pastors, then apply online here:

Interviews will be the week of October 17.

 

The Next Membership Process
If you know someone who is visiting Emmaus and should take the next step into covenant membership, let them know that we begin the process in October. Sign up for that will be available soon.

 

Pastor Kevin’s Announcement
Today, Pastor Kevin announced that God is leading his family to move back to Springfield, MO. This move has been known by and fully supported by the elders of Emmaus since March. God has overwhelmed the Strattons with his faithfulness to provide for his calling. We hate to see them leave, and our hearts grieve the loss of a friend and pastor, but we celebrate God’s calling and the Stratton’s obedience. We will have a party in November to send the Stratton’s away in love and on mission.

Pastor Kevin and Carey will be leaving Emmaus officially Thanksgiving week.

Emmaus, we love you and we are praying for you this week! Live your life to see God glorified and churches multiplied, by declaring and displaying the gospel to all peoples.

Announcements from August 21, 2016

Announcements from August 21, 2016

Members Meeting: August 28, 12-2:30pm
On August 28th we have the opportunity to gather together, as those who are covenanted to each other, to celebrate all that God is doing among us!
From Pastor Joshua:
“One of the greatest joys I have is to pastor a group of people who are covenanted together to declare and display the gospel to and with each other.
I would ask that every covenant member make it a priority to be at this meeting. We will be announcing a few things that are major moves for our church in various ways. We want to share these things with you, our covenant members, in person. “
Lunch will be served and childcare will be provided. We look forward to celebrating and praying together on August 28th!
Emmaus community groups Community Groups are Back! 
Over the course of the month of August, each of your community groups will be kicking back into full swing. In addition, we will be seeing 4 new groups started! Don’t miss the opportunity to engage in gospel community this way! This is one of the best ways that we as the church can declare and display the gospel to each other. Our groups are designed to build relationships, to confess sin, to encourage with the gospel, and to care for one another. If you have not signed up for a group, do so right now by emailing brandon@emmauskc.com
Announcements from August 14, 2016

Announcements from August 14, 2016

Members Meeting: August 28, 12-2:30pm
On August 28th we have the opportunity to gather together, as those who are covenanted to each other, to celebrate all that God is doing among us!
From Pastor Joshua:
“One of the greatest joys I have is to pastor a group of people who are covenanted together to declare and display the gospel to and with each other.
I would ask that every covenant member make it a priority to be at this meeting. We will be announcing a few things that are major moves for our church in various ways. We want to share these things with you, our covenant members, in person. “
Lunch will be served and childcare will be provided. We look forward to celebrating and praying together on August 28th!
Emmaus community groups Community Groups are Back! 
Over the course of the month of August, each of your community groups will be kicking back into full swing. In addition, we will be seeing 4 new groups started! Don’t miss the opportunity to engage in gospel community this way! This is one of the best ways that we as the church can declare and display the gospel to each other. Our groups are designed to build relationships, to confess sin, to encourage with the gospel, and to care for one another. If you have not signed up for a group, do so right now by emailing brandon@emmauskc.com
Why you should be in a Community Group

Why you should be in a Community Group

At Emmaus, you will often hear us talk about Community Groups (CG’s). In fact, we value CG’s so much, that active participation in one is a requirement for covenant membership. Why? What is so valuable about CG’s and what will you gain from being part of one?

Community Groups helps us to know and be known by others
Many people crave relationships. Many people are eager to share everything about themselves and to learn everything about someone else. It seems that no matter how many opportunities you offer them for community, it’s never enough. Others would be completely content never diving deep into conversations, never knowing the details of someone else’s life, and never sharing about themselves. Most of us would fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Regardless of where you land in this spectrum, we believe that everyone in our church needs to know and to be known by others.

Why? Paul tells us in Romans 15 that we are to live in harmony with one another, that we would glorify God with one voice, and that we would welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us. Further, Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one. Unity in the gospel is vitally important and is clearly commanded. We do not believe that you can truly be unified or that you can truly welcome each other as Christ welcomed us, if we do not know each other in all of our sins, brokenness, hopes, and dreams. One of the reasons our Emmaus walks in such intense unity, is that we know each other.

CG’s begin with a season of stories. This is a time where every person in the group must share 10 minutes about their story. Some people dive into the depths of their hearts in this season, revealing their hurts, joys, and struggles. Others try to stay as surface level as they can, afraid to share, worried of rejection, and embarrassed to talk. But we have seen time and time again, people who seldom talk or engage in deep conversation, begin to share their story in fear only to go on and on in detail, as if the floodgates of relief have opened up and they are finally able to tell their story to someone who listens intently and has committed to love them no matter what. Our hearts need to be known. We need to escape the cage of our thoughts. We need to break free from the perceived protection of anonymity.

As our church continues to grow, there is no way that you will be able to know everyone or be known by everyone, but you can know and be known by someone, and that person knows someone else.

When we know someone’s story; the way they have been rejected and abused, the way they have been manipulated and used, the fears they’ve had, the worries they carry, the successes they’ve lived, and the hopes they embrace, then we suddenly feel connected to them, we have compassion for them, and we give grace when we would have been frustrated. Knowing others causes us to love when we would have rejected. Their story connects us to them. We need to know them.

Community Groups help us to practice confession and find healing
We believe that the scriptures call us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed. There is healing that comes in confession, repentance, and accountability. There is healing that comes from not hiding in the shame of our sin, but revealing it. There is healing that comes in not walking alone, but having support and accountability in the midst of the war for our holiness.

We believe that this is so important that we practice it in our worship gatherings. Every week we sing about God’s greatness and our sin, followed by corporately and privately confessing our sin. In that corporate setting, we do this by all reading a prayer of confession together, admitting our rebellion. Then we take a few moments to privately pray, asking God to reveal our sins and repenting of them.

We desire to carry this out in a more personal way in CG’s. Our group discussions are sermon based and gospel-centered. We ask the group questions that give us all the opportunity to search our hearts and confess and repent of our sins. In the group environment, this looks more personal. Each person can share about their sins. We have a “do not rescue” rule, where others in the group can’t help them justify their sin, feel better about their struggles, or not deal wit it fully. Instead, we graciously and kindly ask questions, diving deeper and deeper into the heart to reveal what needs to be confessed and repented of. Then we extend the grace of the gospel through biblical truths of hope for freedom and forgiveness, pointing everyone back to Jesus for our right standing with God.

Community Groups help us to serve each other
Ephesians tells us that the saints (followers of Jesus) should be equipped to do the work of the ministry (serve each other). We believe that this is done by followers of Jesus using their gifts to build each other up, encouraging each other, and help each other grow in maturity as followers of Jesus so that we will not be led astray by false doctrine, human cunning, and deceitful schemes. Paul wants the church to be equipped to serve each other and help each other grow in the truth of God’s word.

CG’s have leaders, but these leaders are not teachers, rather they are people who lead out in caring for their groups and facilitating the discussions. Everyone in the group is encouraged and able to speak into each other’s lives with the truth of the gospel. When someone confesses sin, the other members in the group speak into it by encouraging them with the gospel, reminding them that they are not saved by their own merit but by the finished work of Jesus, and by extending grace and forgiveness to each other. Then we exhort each other to pursue healing, killing of our sin, and rest in Christ’s love of us.

In addition to these 3 reasons, CG’s simply offer an incredible opportunity for you to eat meals together, build friendships with others, connect your children with other kids in the church, and serve the community with each other. For these reasons, and so many more, we encourage you to get plugged into a Community Group this week!

Contact Brandon Smart if you are interested in joining one of our community groups. 

josh hedgerJoshua Hedger is the Pastor of Preaching & Vision at Emmaus Church. He is married to Tish and they have an adopted teen daughter and a biological toddler son. Joshua has served in several other ministry roles including Director of Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, planting another church, a youth pastor, and as a missionary in West Africa. 

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