Meeting Jesus & Meeting Others

Meeting Jesus & Meeting Others

School has started and parents are starting to breathe easier now that their family can enter a routine that is not crazy and exhausting (maybe I only speak for myself). However, I have quickly realized that I have simply traded one inconvenience for another. Oh, how quickly I forgot all of the nuances associated with children and school. One of the hot topics in my house is homework. Now to be clear, our school system does not issue a lot of homework, but any homework is clearly the end of the world for a child in the Smith house. We spend countless hours debating “why” we have to do homework. Yes you heard me right, we spend hours debating “why”, before we “do” the thirty minutes of homework. My son likes to express his discontent by informing me that “I can’t wait until I am done with school, so I never have to learn another thing again.” He displays immense frustration as I explain to him that life does not work that way. Honestly, when we stop learning, life loses momentum. I like to use the term “discovery”. One of the most energizing parts of life is discovery. Some might even argue that discovery is the foundation of humanity. I feel this exhilaration every time I prepare for a Bible teaching. There is little that can compare with the continual discovery of the riches in God’s Word. The moment we think we have it figured out, we find that it goes even deeper. We could spend the rest of our lives in pure discovery in the pages of Scripture.

Continue reading

SCC Connect Groups – Sign Up Link

SCC Connect Groups  <– sign up here

Connect groups are the primary method of pastoral care and discipleship at Switzerland Community Church. Connect Groups can meet in many places and at many times, though many meet on campus on Sunday Morning. Connect Groups are organic, authentic, and intentional, and bring the church out of rows on Sunday morning and into the lives of everyone at SCC. If you can’t find an open group or one that fits, please let us know!

 

Summer Prophets

Summer Prophets

The summer of 2017 has proven to be a short summer indeed.  I took the last few weeks of July for vacation and my son and I went to the Florida Keys.  When my son realized how close we are to the start date of school he began his prominent ten-year-old lament.  This primed my thoughts toward the accomplishments over this summer, as well as what is in store for the fall.  If you have been at Switzerland Community Church for any length of time, you know that our continued prayer is that the Word of God becomes an unquenchable thirst in the lives of every member.  I am continually overwhelmed by the power and beauty within the pages of Scripture.  May the passion and excitement of His Word take each of our lives by storm. Continue reading

Summer Connect

Happy Summer everyone.  I sure do miss everyone as people cycle in and out for vacations but know that we are here for you when you get back.  In case you missed it we just finished our big church-wide summer ministry event – One Way Clubs.  Our Families Ministry, SCC Kids and Ignition Student Ministries joined forces to bring the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our neighborhoods and it was a resounding success.  We are so proud of Kara, Andrew and Megan for all their hard work and dedication.  Part of our Families Ministry philosophy is empowering families to bring the hope of the Gospel to where they live, rather than just talking about Jesus here on church campus.  Rather than have a Vacation Bible School here on campus, we opted instead to put our students to work, proclaiming the goodness of Jesus outside the church walls.  These students were able to reach dozens of kids right where they live to bring the message that we are made in God’s Image and that He made us to follow Jesus.  The entire week culminated in a Family Experience – a one of a kind worship opportunity designed to get the entire family unit worshiping Jesus together.  It was entirely performed and produced by students and we had 125 people attend, to worship God together and hear the good news.  Honestly, Family Ministry could not have done it without the support and overwhelming generosity of the church, so thank you. Continue reading

Ignition Impact

Dear SCC Family,

I’m so excited and blessed to be writing to you today from the trenches of Student Ministry. It’s been an exciting, impactful semester, and it doesn’t look like God has any intention of taking a break from working in the lives of students during the Summer. I wanted to take some time to both encourage and inform you as to what’s going on across the bridge.

Ignition Student Night saw its biggest night this semester, topping out at 107 students! Now, as we all know, ministry is NOT about the numbers… but that’s over a hundred students curious about and/or growing in the Gospel! That’s something to celebrate. Wednesday nights are going to take a little break over the summer, and pick up right where we left off in August. Don’t misunderstand, though… Wednesday nights may be taking a break, but we have LOTS to do for the next three months. Continue reading

Get Connected

Over the past several months you have heard us push Connect Groups.  Pastor Jake even wrote an article in the March newsletter.  Honestly, this idea is not a new one here at our church.  On one level, Connect Groups are sort of a re-branding of what we have been doing with Bible studies and Sunday Schools, and on another, it is a new way to think about how to do those things.  We are strategically placing Connect Groups at the center of our identity as a church.  I thought it might be a good idea to explain why and how we view these groups as such a big piece of who we are. Continue reading

Humbled Hearts

Humbled Hearts

 

The theme in our children’s ministry for the month of April is “humility”.  One evening this past week, my family and I sat around the table talking about humility.  We discussed one of the main points on the God-time card, that humility is not natural.  This point seemed to draw out the most conversation with the kids as we talked about how we naturally respond to situations.  Most of the time, we enter a situation with “our” needs at the front of our minds.  It is actually difficult to place the needs of others above our own.  It is simply not natural (according to the perversion of sin).

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

(Philippians 2:2–8)

 

We read this passage together and I was immediately struck by the significance within.  You see, when we think about Easter and all that Christ has done for us, we immediately go to Christ’s obedience to die on the cross.  We are overwhelmed by the passion week, beginning with Christ washing the feet of his disciples and ending with him dying for us all.  We are rightfully overwhelmed as we realize the completeness of the way he loves us.  From the least act, as a servant, to the great act of laying down his life.  There is nothing that can stop him from loving us.  All of this is biblically accurate.  But make no mistake, in the passage above, Paul ventures into describing the heart of Christ as he chose to take on the form of man in order to save.  God’s sacrifice of His Son on the cross is combined with Jesus’ humility to place our need for a savior over His rightful place in heaven.  Christ’s heart of humility preceded his world-shattering act of obedience.  This is the heart of the Gospel, and it has practical implications for all of us.

Continue reading

Connect Groups at SCC

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Ps. 133:1 ESV)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10:23-25 ESV)

 

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. (Acts 5:42-6:1 ESV)

 

The elders at SCC are so excited this month to talk about Connect Groups.  For years we have been praying and reading scripture and deliberating over how to best organize and communicate our Christian Education, Discipleship and Pastoral care philosophies at SCC.  Connect Groups are the SCC strategy to faithfully and enthusiastically address these most important topics.  We believe that as we look forward at growth in 2017 and beyond, Connect Groups are going to be the best way to connect every member and visitor at SCC with a life-changing connection with Jesus Christ.

 

First – What are Connect Groups?

 

Connect Groups are any small group of SCC members that meets regularly for the purposes of Discipleship, Teaching, Fellowship and Care.  What we previously called Sunday School classes are great examples of Connect Groups.  So too are our Monday night Men’s Group, our Thursday morning Women’s Group, Wednesday night Bible Study group.  These are already Connect groups.  They can meet on campus, they can meet at someone’s house, they can meet at Starbucks.  We are less interested in where than we are interested in the great work that God is going to do.  Connect Groups are organized by either topic or demographic.

Continue reading