Our deepest desires are manifested in our daily habits.
This realization gives us insight to the disturbing reality that there is a gap between what we think we want or love and what we really want or love.
While I might say that I want to wear my jeans from two years ago, my habit of eating ice cream at midnight betrays my words and tells me what I really desire. Students often express that they want better grades, but their use of their time ultimately tells if they really desire academic success. By contrast, we can think of people who really want physical health, academic success, financial stability, or a thriving family, who have adopted practices and formed habits that overtly and tangibly pursue those desires.
The church of Jesus Christ is a unique community of people whose members own up to the fact that we don’t always love what we say we love.[i] That is to say, we can profess great love for Jesus or express our desires for Christlikeness individually and our yearning for joining together as a thriving church, but we will find that our real desires are manifested in our habits.
Our best intentions are betrayed by our daily habits.
The church is designed to meet this disturbing reality head-on through deeply meaningful habits which become part of our lives. The routine practices of the church shape us toward a desired goal. You may have never thought of it in these terms, but if you want a healthy body and healthy family, then you must establish healthy habits for your life moving you toward those desires.
A Christ-centered habit is a way of teaching our hearts what to love. Corporate worship, for instance, as a weekly habit is meant to recalibrate our hearts from the bottom up, training our wayward hearts to love God above all things.
As your pastor, I desire the following for FBC.
- Every member to have an ever-growing, warm-hearted love for Jesus Christ
- Every member growing in Christ-likeness
- A thriving church where the grace of God is at work in us and through us to impact our community
Do you share those desires? If so, we must commit to some habits together.
Will you to commit to the following six habits?
Be fully present with the local church every single Sunday
- If you can be in worship and Bible study, be here. If you cannot be present bodily—if you are travelling or if you are impaired by health—take the time to worship and connect through our available media outlets. When you are “present,” be fully present. Put other distractions away and engage with what’s being said and read, and with what you’re saying and singing.
Be fully present with Jesus Christ every single day
- Get into the Word of God and commit yourself to daily prayer. If you need help getting started, the church offers free devotional literature that can be picked up any time. In 2023, FBC is walking through a year-long Bible reading plan together. Consider using either the ESV or CSB Study Bible or downloading a helpful app (Dwell Bible App or YouVersion Bible App). Whatever route you take, the goal is to be fully present with Jesus daily.
Identify and connect with a small group
- Find and get involved with a group in our church. Find a Sunday school class or a Life group. Join a Wednesday night group. Get involved in men’s and women’s events. Help us start new groups for community and discipleship.
Befriend and invite people who don’t have a church
- Make friends outside of our church, and invest in people in our community. Invite them to your small group and/or Sunday worship. Though some may not be open to the invitation, many will be.
Strengthen the church through serving and giving
- The church is full of needs. You can serve on Sunday morning as part of the greeting team, media team, or safety team. Talk with Amy or Ryan about volunteering/serving in our Children or Youth ministry. We have an overflowing nursery that could use your time and care. Serve “behind the scenes” as part of a committee or join in with service/mission opportunities.
Actively bring your Christian faith into your community by serving your work, your world, and people in need
- We want to be a church filled with people who are intentionally engaging as followers of Christ in the places where we live, work, and play. Live out your faith in public. Live each waking moment in light of the gospel so that it increasingly affects every part of your life for the glory of God in our fallen world.[ii]
[i] James K. A. Smith. You are What You Love.
[ii] Liturgies adopted and adapted from Christ Presbyterian Church of Nashville.