Faith Journal

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FAITH JOURNAL Becoming a Follower of Jesus

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.� Luke 10:27

By the end of his lifetime, John Wesley, the father of Methodism, used a seal with his initials inside a circle containing the words: “believe, love, obey.” This seal reflects John Wesley’s core ideas about living as a follower of Jesus. If you were to create such a seal to represent your life as a disciple, would these words be your life’s mission? And if so, how would you live each day in order to remain faithful to your mission? This discipleship plan provides information and options to assist you in being intentional about loving God and people in real ways every day. You will find beginning and advanced steps to choose from in every category. Your journey in following Jesus will surely not go forward in a straight line, step by step by step. For example, some may begin by using their hands and feet to serve before they believe! Some may be involved in all three areas all at once! This is your personal journey, but one thing is certain: God is seeking your mind, heart, hands and feet so that you might share God’s love with the world! How to use this journal for spiritual growth. There are three areas of growth - believe, love and obey. Within each of the three you will find core practices that all disciples should work on, first steps and advanced steps. Please use the journal pages to make an intentional plan for how you will grow in your faith! After you have made a plan, add your signature or initials to the last page and pray the Covenant Prayer to seal your commitment to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself!

Our vision: We are a community of faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, growing together in God’s grace, and sharing the love of Christ with the world. Scriptural support: We expect the Holy Spirit to work in tangible ways through us for the healing, liberation and the salvation of the world. Luke 4:18-19, Acts 2 We are deeply committed to growing as a community of believers who focus on the Apostles’ teachings and who worship, pray and serve together. Acts 2:42-47 We relentlessly share the love of Jesus Christ in our families, in the community of Fort Smith, the state of Arkansas and across the world. Luke 10: 27, Matthew 25:31-46, 28:19-20, Acts 1:8 Our mission: When we believe, love, and obey God-lives, communities, and the world will be transformed. In short:

Believe, love, obey!

BELIEVE! Giving your mind to God is a pathway to faith. Core Classes: the basics of our faith for everyone! ______ 1. Learning about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit ______ 2. Learning about the Bible ______ 3. Learning about following Jesus ______ 4. Learning about yourself and God’s purpose for your life ______ 5. Learning to pray and connect with God ______ 6. Learning to give and live generously First steps: believing! Learn about the basics of faith through core classes, profess your faith in Christ, be baptized or confirmed, become a member of FSFUMC Advanced steps: sharing your belief! Learn to tell your faith story, share your faith story with others, capture your faith story on video to share in worship or online, invite others to a life of faith

Notes A place to add your reflections, dreams and plans for your pathway to faith. How will you love God with all your mind? Year 1 Beginning date:____________through___________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ Year 2 Beginning date: ____________through __________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

LOVE! Giving your heart and soul to God is a pathway to spiritual disciplines. Core practices of devotion and worship: the basics for everyone! ____Worship weekly ____Read scripture daily ____Pray daily ____Live a life of generosity ____Commit to a small group that meets regularly ____Receive Holy Communion regularly First steps: Introduction to spiritual practices, a class about how to read the Bible, introductory or short term Bible studies, read the Bible daily, worship regularly, receive Holy Communion regularly, pray regularly, begin to give to the ministries of the church with a goal of tithing (10%) and beyond as an act of worship, belief and obedience. Advanced steps: Advanced Bible studies, Enneagram work, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Financial Peace University, work with a spiritual director, explore new forms of prayer, be part of a prayer team, lead a prayer team, start a prayer team, participate in worship leadership, become an extravagant giver (over and above a 10% tithe), attend a spiritual retreat like Walk to Emmaus or Chrysalis.

Notes A place to add your reflections, dreams and plans for your pathway to spiritual disciplines. How will you love God with all your heart and soul? Year 1 Beginning date:____________through___________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ Year 2 Beginning date: ____________through __________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

OBEY! Giving your strength to God by loving your neighbor is a pathway to serving Core practices of serving: the basics for everyone! ___Serve within the church ___Serve the community or world ___Learn about injustice and seek justice (Serving includes both acts of compassion and acts of justice. Please see The General Rule of Discipleship for more information.) First steps: Serve within the church, serve outside the church, learn about justice issues, participate in a local mission event, participate in a fresh expression of ministry Advanced steps: Lead a small group or outreach ministry, seek justice for those without a voice, initiate a new mission or justice project, initiate new methods of hospitality, lead a small group, mentor children, youth or new Christians, join the congregational care team, participate in a national or international mission event, initiate or lead a fresh expression of ministry, serve in church leadership, serve as a lay servant

Notes A place to add your reflections, dreams and plans for your pathway to serving. How will you love God with all your strength? Year 1 Beginning date:____________through___________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ Year 2 Beginning date: ____________through __________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

Works of piety are ways we love God and draw closer to God; these are acts of devotion and worship. Acts of devotion and worship include: Worship weekly, read scripture daily, pray daily, live a life of generosity, commit to a small group, receive Holy Communion regularly Works of mercy are the ways that we share God’s love with people; these are acts of compassion and justice. Acts of compassion help alleviate needs and include: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, sheltering the homeless, welcoming the stranger. Acts of justice involve working to alleviate the causes of suffering such as advocating for and working for solutions to the problems in the world that lead to hunger, sickness, incarceration, homelessness, etc.

Please add your own initials or signature in the seal above and pray the prayer below as your commitment to love God and neighbor.

A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition (UMH #607) I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, Exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. *universal

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