WILL YOU FOLLOW THE LEADER INTO COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS?
WHAT'S NEXT IN THE JOURNEY BIBLE PROJECT?
We're entering a phase of The Journey Bible Project we're calling "Follow the Leader." Who is the leader? Is it our preacher? The shepherds? Spoiler alert! The Lord is our leader! With God as the One who leads us, we must all learn first to follow before we lead. In this blog post are three important pieces you will need to know to track with our church through the end of the year, and each is explained further below.
1. A TEACHING SERIES CALLED, "FOLLOW THE LEADER" (JOSHUA-2 SAMUEL)
What can we learn from men and women who have led God’s people? As we read the next Journey Bible Project scriptures through the end of the year (Joshua-2 Samuel), our Sunday sermons will look at the lives and decisions of Joshua, Deborah, Saul, Ruth, David, and Solomon as we consider how we “FOLLOW THE LEADER.” How can we make the words of Joshua more than a plaque on our wall? What does it mean to us to live these words of Joshua? "Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
The story of Joshua shows how God keeps the promise to bring Israel into the land of promise, the very place where the promised One would be born. "The story of Joshua isn't just about Joshua and his generation," says Chris Seidman, "It's about Jesus and all generations. It's interesting that the name 'Joshua' is actually the Hebrew name for 'Jesus.'" Joshua is an English way to say Yehoshua, and Jesus is an English way of saying, Yeshua. Do you know what Yeshua and Yehoshua both mean? "The Lord saves." Seidman continues, "When God calls His people to move, it's almost always toward the ultimate end of more people having the opportunity to be swept up in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ."
So get ready for an adventure with Israel as they move out of slavery, through the wilderness, and into the land of promise. See the reading schedule below, get connected with a Bible study at 9:30 am Sundays, read this blog for devotionals on these texts, and come hear stories of leaders like Joshua, Deborah, and David through the end of 2018.
2. COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS
Tying in what God said to Joshua, we want to have courageous conversations in our church: "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go" (Joshua 1:7).
But people often hesitate to have difficult conversations, thinking them pointless since "we won’t convince anyone to change their opinions" or fear we’ll cause harm to relationships. With careful planning and structured dialogue, however, we can aim more to listen, love, and learn in community.
Beginning in August all are invited during the 9:30 am Bible studies to engage in “Courageous Conversations” about topics that trigger fight or flight responses: race, sin, sexuality, social action, worship, choosing leaders for our church. The format will be further explained in those settings but conversation will be facilitated by those trained and experienced in mediating. Everyone involved will be given time to express concerns on topics that are discussed. The plan is for a topic to be discussed one time a month through the end of the year, and this will give us all practice in talking through issues and discerning ways forward together through listening, learning, and loving.
What is a "Courageous Conversation?"
Download a booklet by the United Methodist Church on Courageous Conversations
Watch this video produced by the United Methodist Church to visualize the many ways we face difficult conversations and how we desperately need to learn how to talk to one another about difficult issues, in marriage, at work, in families, in church, and our world.
3. BIBLE READING SCHEDULE
Below is the Bible reading schedule through November 2018. You can read more at the Journey Bible Project home page or click the red button below.
7/1-7/7 Week 44 Joshua 1-4
7/8-7/14 Week 45 Joshua 5-10
7/15-7/21 Week 46 Joshua 11-16
7/22-7/28 Week 47 Joshua 17-22
7/29-8/4 Week 48 Joshua 23-24
8/5-8/11 Week 49 Judges 1-6
8/12-8/18 Week 50 Judges 7-12
8/19-8/25 Week 51 Judges 13-21
8/26-9/1 Week 52 Ruth
9/2-9/8 Week 53 Job 1-8
9/9-9/15 Week 54 Job 9-15
9/16-9/22 Week 55 Job 16-24
9/23-9/29 Week 56 Job 25-32
9/30-10/6 Week 57 Job 33-42
10/7-10/13 Week 58 1 Samuel 1-6
10/14-10/20 Week 59 1 Samuel 7-12
10/21-10/27 Week 60 1 Samuel 13-18
10/28-11/3 Week 61 1 Samuel 19-24
11/4-11/10 Week 62 1 Samuel 25-31
11/11-11/17 Week 63 2 Samuel 1-6
11/18-11/24 Week 64 2 Samuel 7-12
11/25-12/1 Week 65 2 Samuel 13-18
12/2-12/8 Week 66 2 Samuel 19-24
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.