The Big Five: Promises that Matter
When persons commit to join the church, we ask each individual to proclaim that he or she will promise to be loyal to Jesus Christ in the local church through the sharing of prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. Why are these promises so important? How do they define who we are as a community of believers? Where do these promises come from? Why should we keep them? Why does it matter to everyone?
Join us for a five-week study as we learn about the five most important promises we make when we decide to belong to the Christian community called Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. For additional study, read The Acts of the Apostles.
April 28 & 30 – Prayers
Author Anne Lamott says that there are really only three prayers: Help, Thanks and Wow! Like any relationship in which communication is vital, prayer that speaks and listens is not easy. Sometimes it’s hard to say Help me, or to remember to say Thank you. And yet, when we join a community, we promise to pray. Why is prayer important? How should we strengthen our prayer life? How can we overcome prayer phobia? What do we expect from prayer? What kinds of patterns and examples do we find in scripture? Why do we pray not only for our sakes, but for the world?
May 5 & 7 - Presence
When we join the church, why do we promise to attend worship and to be present regularly? What does it mean not only to belong to a community, but to be there for one another? Why do more Christians seem to skip worship frequently these days? Are there other ways to be present? What was the pattern for the early church and what did those first Christians receive from their community of faith by being together?
May 12 & 14 - Gifts
What are gifts? There are spiritual gifts, certainly, and many ways to serve, which Paul mentions at length in 1st Corinthians 12, but what about financial gifts? Where do our financial gifts fit in with our spiritual journey? What is important about making a financial commitment to your faith community? Why does the Bible talk so much about money? How can giving change you?
May 19 & 21 - Service
Diakonia is a Greek word we find used over and over in the New Testament and can mean running errands, waiting on tables, ministering or service. Why do we serve? In what ways do we serve? Jesus gave us the example of service many times, from the feeding of the five thousand to washing the disciples feet, and these types of stories are important in understanding service to one another and the world. Without each person serving, the church cannot provide its ministries to those who are ill, hurting, hungry and lost. Find out why it was so important for the early church to recruit and select persons to share in all parts of ministry. See also 1st Corinthians 12 for further reading.
May 26 & 28 - Witness
What is the meaning of witness? Christians often think of witness as telling others about Jesus Christ, but it’s also about being Christian in what we think and do, not just what we say. What are ways to witness to the love of Christ, so that others see Christ in us, at work through us? What kind of witness has touched you most? Hear the story of how Peter’s presence, love, prayer, and concern affected not only Dorcas, but impacted those around her. When we experience God’s healing and gracious love, people take note of our lives and the lives around us that are also touched.