Missions first! There’s not much point of being a Christian if you don’t share the greatest thing in your life — the Lord Jesus! At Our Shepherd, we think everyone should hear about Jesus. We’re not just “blowing hot air”; between 25-30% of all gifts given to Our Shepherd are expended in what is called missions: work being done to save people for eternal life. This is an exceptionally high percentage of money spent every year on people who do not yet know Jesus. Why do we spend so much on these people? Because they matter to God, so they matter to us too!
Our primary tool to reach people with God’s forgiveness is a radio program called The Word Today, which has been on the air since 1978! The program is hosted here at Our Shepherd and is supported largely by our members.
Check out this statistic: The approximately 500 adult members of Our Shepherd Lutheran support mission work costing over $500,000.00 per year! Yes, that’s right, more than one half million dollars leave Our Shepherd every year for the sole purpose of bringing people to Christ. We mean it when we say we want the world to know Jesus!
Actually Being Disciples: The word disciple means student. Jesus’ great request just before he Ascended (was taken physically back into the presence of God the Father) was, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Ever run into someone who says something like, “I don’t need to read/study the Bible to be a Christian”? They don’t know very much about what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is made a disciple as two things happen:
- They are Baptized, and
- They spend the rest of their life learning about God by becoming a student of the Bible (see Matthew 28:18-20).
We have several Bible classes, and we add new ones regularly. Why? Because, the only way you will ever become a disciple is to learn what God says, and the church is supposed to help you do that.
There are no such things as “Inactive Christians”: A Christian grows in their relationship with God. A believer prays, learns the Word of God, worships, receives the Lord’s Supper, etc. There is no such thing as an “Inactive Christian.” Either you’re alive in faith, or you’re spiritually dead without faith.
At Our Shepherd, the expectation is that if you want to be with us, you’ll be with us. We don’t play games with membership. If you want to be a long-term guest and show up every now and then, good. If you want to be a member, we expect regular worship, (for those who need numbers, let’s say no less than twice monthly). We expect you to read/study the Bible. We expect you receive the Lord’s Supper at least twice a month. This is the only way you can ensure you will actually grow in faith. Authentic Christians do these things.
If you are our guest, you will be welcomed and given the opportunity to learn more about Our Shepherd and Christianity. You will not be made to feel guilty about not being a regular worshiper. If you are a member we will assume you want to be a disciple, to grow in faith. If you are “slipping” in your commitment, we’ll encourage you to recommit yourself.