The word disciple literally means student or learner. It says that we’re learning what it means to be like Jesus. We never stop learning what it means to be like Jesus. We never graduate from discipleship. Too often we see people who would refer to themselves as Christians but their lifestyle doesn’t represent the values of God. It may seem like their lives are no different now than before they were Christian.
The truth is that when Jesus saves us, our lives will look differently after we come to know Him. Our priorities should change, how we talk, think and act should all change in such a way that we long to glorify God with all we do and who we are. That radical life change is called conversion. It means that God is making us a new creation. Not making us better, but taking us from death to life! When that happens in our lives, people around us will see a transformation take place.
Ephesians 2:4-6 (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
2 Cor. 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
James 2:19 (ESV)
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Worship is more than music. Worship is more than a service you attend. Worship is what we offer to God. Our lives, our obedience, our dreams, our choices, our very identity should be found in Jesus so that all we do and all we are, is lived in surrender to God. The word worship is an old English word that was derived from Worth-ship. In other words, whatever we give worth to is what we worship. If we value our jobs as the most important thing in our lives, we’re worshiping it. If we place our children on such a pedestal that they are all important, we’ve begun to worship them. Anything other than God that takes our utmost devotion and commitment can become an idol.
If we will place Christ at the center of our lives and keep the Lord the focus of our hearts, everything else can fall into its rightful place. To be passionate about something means we believe in it with all our hearts, that our emotion and will is connected to that person or thing. To be a passionate worshipper means we long to live a life that honors God with all we do, to love Him with all we are, our heart, soul, mind and strength. When we love Him that way it will naturally spill out into how we love people, how we serve Him, how we worship Him, how we give, and how we offer our lives for His glory.
Romans 12:1 (ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Jonah 2:7-9 (ESV)
When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!
Matt. 22:37-38 (ESV)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
At South City Church, we value authenticity. We want real conversations and real relationships that go deeper than a quick “How are you?” on a Sunday morning. We want to live our lives with each other in such a way that we can be honest with our struggles and questions about faith and life. We want to be so committed to each other in our relationships and groups that we can have accountability and confession as a regular part of our culture.
We long for our people to know and communicate to those around us that at South City, its okay to NOT be okay, but it’s NOT okay to stay that way. Life is hard and we all face difficulties and disappointments on a daily basis. Why should we pretend that we have it all together, or that we’ve figured it all out when we haven’t? However, we know that God has. He is working on our behalf to use the brokenness of our lives to make us more like Jesus and to bring Himself glory, as He uses us in the lives of other people.
We also long to have a genuine relationship with Him. This is not a place to fake it. We want this to be a place where you can be you in the season or struggle you’re walking though, good or bad. We want to come alongside you and remind you this life and STORY is not about you, but that God loves you and is working all things together for your good! Part of an authentic relationship is having hard conversations and leading each other to truth, that’s what real love does.
Matt. 5:34-37 (MSG)
You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
James 5:16 (ESV)
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Often we as Christians can get what’s called “tunnel vision” and only focus on things that are right in front of us or only on the things that interest us and forget that Jesus has commissioned us to go into the world and make disciples. We can get all worked up over the color of a wall or song selection at times and forget our main mission to make Jesus known. When we do begin to think missionally, we often think it has to be done somewhere halfway around the world, but God is also calling us to go next door or across the street. Our vision statement ends with the phrase “for the good of the city”. We made that a part of our identity because we believe that God has strategically placed us right where we are for the work He is already doing here in this community. It’s imperative for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus here in Southwest Little Rock. He reminded us in Matthew that when we care for people’s needs it’s the same thing as caring for Jesus. Because we see over and over again in scripture that caring for people in need is of the highest priority to Jesus, it should be ours as well.
We also believe that people need to know you and trust you before they are willing to walk life with you or even allow you to tell them about Jesus. It’s called relational equity and our hope is to prove to our friends and neighbors in our community that we love them and that we long to be a blessing to them and their families. At some point we believe that relational equity will be earned and we’ll have an opportunity to give them Jesus and walk life with them as a part of our South City family. We believe God is making all things new because of the Gospel of Jesus and our audacious hope is that God would allow us to be a part of Him renewing this community for His glory. We long to see healthier people, whole families, higher grade point averages, better jobs, safe streets and dreams realized for our community, and we think it can all happen through the grace and mission of Jesus.
Jeremiah 29:5-7 (ESV)
Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.
Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV)
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Revelation 21:5 (ESV)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
It’s one thing for a church to preach the gospel of Jesus; it’s quite another for a family of believers to live it. At South City Church we long to live out our faith in our everyday lives. To say that we’re believers in Jesus and to obey and love Him means to take seriously His Great Commission that sends us across the street and around the world to make Him known.
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The mission of Jesus IS our WHY. It is why we exist as a church – to make Him known! As we walk out our own authentic faith as Christ followers we want to be aware of every possible opportunity to tell those we encounter about the love and grace of Jesus. Everyone in our families, every person we’re in relationship with and even those we’re not. We long to build relational equity with people we run into, blessing them with the love and hospitality of Christ and when we have the appropriate moment, share with them our hope and faith in Jesus. Inside and outside of each of our homes awaits a mission field where people desperately need to hear the beautiful Biblical narrative of a loving God who has given us His only son that we may be forgiven, discipled to Him and with great abandon, make Him known.
Psalm 105:1 (NIV)
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Luke 10:2 (NIV)
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Romans 10:13-14 (NIV)
For, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Our God is the most creative and prolific artist to ever exist. With His words He created the heavens and the earth, and with His breath he gave life to man. Every sunrise and sunset, mountain view, colorful creature, shooting star and baby’s laughter, are all a product of our God’s creativity and handy work. Because we are created in the image of God (Imago Dei), His imprint of creativity still exists within us. Whether finding creative ways to bless and care for each other or actually painting a picture, writing a song, or producing a recording – they all reflect the incredible creativity of our Father.
At South City Church, we long to find creative and unique ways to share the love story of Jesus with the world. It could be in our teaching as we use a current and relevant voice to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, or in the music, film or art we create that draws us to the One who has given us the gift of creativity. We long to cultivate the creative gifts in our people and find ways to develop their craft whether young or old. We can’t imagine a world without beauty and there is no story more beautiful than that of Jesus’ love for us. We will continue to dream of ways to creatively share that story with each other and the world.
Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Exodus 35:30-35 (ESV)
Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
South City Church exists to love God and ALL people by becoming authentic disciples who make disciples for the glory of God and the good of the city.
First Sunday of each month: CityGroup Sunday (the Church gathers in groups in homes all around Central Arkansas)
All other Sundays: Worship Gathering 9:30 am on South City's campus
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