At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that whoever hears his words and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on a foundation of bedrock, and whoever hears his words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish person who built their house on a foundation of sand (Matthew 7:24-27).
When the storms of life came, the first house stood, and the other crumbled.
What to do is obvious (put Jesus’ teachings into practice), but the challenge is how to actually learn to live in a way where we put Jesus’ teachings into practice every day.
In a house, the foundation is the starting place. It’s not meant to be flashy. What matters is whether it can hold the weight of what’s built upon it. In our discipleship plan this is where Kingdom Foundations comes in, a three-week course meant to give an overview of the story of Scripture and an introduction to the life of discipleship to Jesus, providing a solid foundation upon which we can build a life of faith.
In a house, the foundation is the starting place. It’s not meant to be flashy. What matters is whether it can hold the weight of what’s built upon it. In our discipleship plan this is where Kingdom Foundations comes in, a three-week course meant to give an overview of the story of Scripture and an introduction to the life of discipleship to Jesus, providing a solid foundation upon which we can build a life of faith.
In a house, the next basic step is installing the functional features. Think roughed in plumbing, electrical conduit, duct work, inner walls and doors, etc. These are the inner workings that help bring utilities to life and the home flow well. In our discipleship plan, this is where Emotionally Healthy Relationships (EHR) comes in. EHR helps us gain the competency and the skills to truly love other well, not just talk about it. Through learning how to communicate and do conflict better, learning how to recognize and then stop living with unfair or unrealistic expectations or assumptions, and learning how to sort through our powerful inner world (which is powerful and influences how we speak to and treat others whether we’re aware of that inner world or not), EHR helps us take on ways of relating with one another that better represent the new family of Jesus we come into when we begin to follow him rather than mostly mirroring our families of origin as they usually do, even in church contexts.

Calling these sorts of opportunities “Finishes & Fixtures” does not mean they’re unimportant or unnecessary afterthoughts. Far from it! Instead, we think they work best when added to an existing foundation and infrastructure, rather than trying to use them as the foundation themselves.
Two huge priorities here are being connected in a group for Christian community, and finding a place to serve in Jesus’ name, whether inside or outside the walls of the church. For the first of those two priorities, many people find that Life Groups are a great way to build community and share life together with others along the way, so we have an event several times a year called Group Connect in order to help establish those sorts of connections and get groups going.

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Quinn Tirrel

Associate Pastor
Quinn@westwoodchurch.net

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