This Is How We Do at Evident Grace

This-is-How-We-doWith so many thinking that there is a church on every corner, it is fair to ask why any young church should exist. Because of that, a purposeful church should have a purposeful rationale for its existence. Otherwise, just let some other church do the job. So, in light these truths, Evident Grace launched based upon these verses:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been made evident, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

In summary, Evident Grace exists because God’s grace made evident in our lives enables us to make God’s grace evident to the world.

But practically, what does that mean for us? How does a church live out that mission specifically for the Spotsylvania/Massaponax community? So, to put boots to that missional ground, Evident Grace lives out these 3 missional pillars: Community, Worship, and Service. That means that everything we do should…

We desire to deepen our ever-growing community,

We desire to focus on growing in and reflecting on the worship that we enjoy each Sunday,

And those things should enable our church to grow in service to each other and our community.

We have activities like (eg)Groups and studies for our men and women for community, worship, and service, but even with that, people still wonder what the actions are that each person should work towards for those missional pillars. Well, we want to help and make those things crystal clear. If we are going to make God’s grace evident through community, worship, and service, this is how each person can do that. They can,

Invite Eagerly: which means we will live lives constantly aware to invite people to both become a part of Evident Grace and to begin a relationship with Jesus.

Pursue Purposefully: which means that we will make a point to always greet new visitors and to meet with each other with the purpose of getting to know each other better and to enable each other to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Serve Selflessly: which means that we will serve however and whenever the church needs and according to the gifting that God has given us.

Give Gladly: which means that we will demonstrate our thankfulness to God for all that we have by giving financially to support the mission and work of the church.

This mission, these pillars and these distinctives are much of why and how EG is going to show the grace of Christ to the Spotsylvania/Massaponax area.

If you are new or curious about Evident Grace, please worship with us at 10:30 on Sunday. We meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes or you could just contact us at egfellowship@gmail.com.

If you are already a part of Evident Grace, let’s get together to talk about these things so that we can pray and dream about what God might do among us.

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Is Church Membership Antiquated?

8 trackMany churches this time of year hold membership or partnership classes. In fact, Evident Grace Fellowship, will be hosting one soon.   Culturally, however, one notion that continues to gain popularity is whether or not church membership, affiliation, or partnership is biblical.

There is a popular notion that church membership is an option for the believer. So, is it?

I bump into this idea that the structured, organized church is broken and can sufficiently be discarded for such reasons as style. So then, is the organized church antiquated and out of date? Can we just discard it and live more “robust, spiritual” lives?

I would answer “no” and not just because I’m a pastor. Many will say that you can’t find the context of church in any organized, structured way in scripture and that living church is simply living out Christ’s commands. But that is hard to do without the organized church.

How do you obey Christ and rebuke a brother and eventually take him to the church if it is not organized (Matthew 18)?

How do you appoint elders and deacons if the church is not organized (I Timothy 3 and Titus 1)?

How do leaders care for your soul and how do you submit to those leaders if you are not organized (Hebrews 13:17)?

How are pastors ordained to ministry if the church isn’t organized (I Timothy 5)?

Why would Paul warn the Corinthians to eat at home so as not to make pigs of themselves during the Lord’s Supper if the church is not organized (I Corinthians 11)?

These are all direct commands of scripture. Obedience and thus loving Christ is living out these commands. The church, however flawed she may be, is a wonderful gracious gift of God intended to nurture and care for souls while glorifying Jesus.

I agree that the church has structures that are traditional and formal by very nature of an organization that has met for 2000 years, but that does not mean the the organism as it exists today is non-biblical. Being a Christian does make you part of the church. But declaring to live a life outside the commands of scripture (which include the commands to organize the church) is an inherently non-biblical and non-Christian attitude.

My urging for folks who want to abandon the church? Don’t. Biblically challenge the structures that frustrate you. Love her, but don’t leave her. Love that does not desire Godly change will just become empty criticism. Love that desires Godly change is effectual love.

Gordon

Taste and See if You Like Evident Grace on 09/12

taste_and_seeHave you ever been to a restaurant and seen a dish on the menu that interested you? Of course, but the way most restaurants work is that you don’t get a taste ahead of time to find out if you really like it. Your choices are either taking a risk and ordering the dish or skipping it for something that you know you will like. The problem is that you will just never know if the dish you skipped was good or not.

Churches can be the same way. Maybe you like the service or you like an event that they hosted, but often, there is not any venue where you can find out more about the church. Most folks have questions that they would love to have answered, but where can you do that with a church?

Well, Evident Grace will be hosting a “Taste and See” get together Friday, September 12th at 6:30pm, for anyone who would like to know more about the church. The idea is for Gordon, the pastor, to spend some time presenting the history and vision of the church, coupled with a hope for where Evident Grace might be going. Jeremy, our pastoral intern, will be there as well, so hopefully, between the two, most of your questions can be answered. There will be plenty of opportunities for Q & As, and as any good event should have, there will also be food.

This will be a completely non-pressure, casual get together much like friends discussing something they like or want to know more about. There will be none of this, “What will it take to get you in this car today?” salesmanship. In fact, it will be a great, low-key event to bring a friend.

If you would like to join us, we will have childcare, and we will kick off at 6:30pm. We will go as long as folks are interested, and you can head out whenever you want or need. We will be meeting at the Curtas home at

6601Turkey Run Drive

Fredericksburg, VA 22407

If you have questions or would like to confirm, contact Gordon at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or call him at 919-412-8161.

Journey to Worship Preview

10654017_10100284510435919_1196740249_nOn Sept 7, Evident Grace begins its new series, “Journey to Worship – a Study of Ezra”.  As Ezra is not an often studied book, an extended preview might be helpful, so towards that end, here is the text of an important portion of the sermon.

You know how we grow in comfortable skepticism? We like to say things like, “Well, I know God can do anything, but I doubt anything is going to happen.” Or we will say, “Well, aint nothing going to change.  I mean I guess God can do something here.”

And in both cases, we have no hope that anything good or Godly is going happen. We should read Ezra and be reminded that God does what He will when He will, and as a result, we should stop being so cynical and skeptical.

Now, please hear me:  this isn’t junk theology that tells you to believe harder for what you want so God will do it.

I am not going to tell you that God can’t and won’t do things unless you change first.

God does what He will when He will, and you know what? I’m sure not going to tell you to go live life at a higher level while God has your back.

We should simply read Ezra and say, “God will receive glory no matter the circumstance.  And in that, we are transformed”

How do we know that? How can we be assured? The life and death and resurrection of Jesus show us that God will pursue His own glory and that nothing will stop it – not your sin, not your mistakes…nothing. God will be glorified, and God will be worshiped.

This study should take us up to the 2014 holiday season. The good thing about Ezra is that you can join it at any point and time and not be lost, but we encourage you to join us for worship on September 7th to experience our series launch. We meet each Sunday for worship at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes, and you can find directions here.

Come as you are. We are neither formal nor casual. And if you desire, we have both a nursery, and we also offer an individual teaching time for children aged 2-5.

Community Worship Service

community worship serviceWe are incredibly excited at Evident Grace to announce a full month of activity in September to help the community get to know us better.  We are launching a season entitled:

Community.Worship.Service.

Community, Worship, and Service are the missional pillars of what we hope to do at Evident Grace.  So, to reinforce those things for us and to introduce those things to others, we have a lot planned.

Labor Day Cookout

We will launch our September activities with an end of summer, Labor Day Cookout at the home of Michael and Gabrielle Corbin.  We’ll get together around 4:00pm, and as our other cookouts have gone, we’ll hang out and have a blast.

Missional Pillars

Then, following that, we will take each of the following 3 Sunday’s services and focus them around our missional pillars.

On September 8th, our service will focus on the Community that we hope God builds for us at Evident Grace.

On September 15th, our service will focus on the Worship that we hope God gifts us with at Evident Grace.

And on September 22nd, our service will focus on the Service that we hope God enables Evident Grace to do in the Spotyslvania/Frederickburg area.

All of these services will begin at 10:30am, and we will meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes in Spotsylvania, VA.  You can find directions here.

Partnership Meetings

But we also know that getting to know a church and what it is all about requires more than just a cookout and some worship services.  So, have set apart two distinct times where we can get together, talk about Evident Grace, and answer any questions that folks have.  We call these Partnership Meetings.

Our first Partnership Meeting will be on Friday night, September 20th at 7:00pm.  This get together will be hosted in one of our homes, so folks can relax, feel comfortable, and get to know each other.

Our second Partnership Meeting will be on Saturday morning, October 5th at 7:00am.  This get together will be hosted at the Evident Grace Offices, upstairs above Liberty Lanes.

Each of these Partnership Meetings will last about 3 hours.  They will cover similar material in each, so you can choose whichever one you want to attend, and of course, you can always come to both if you want.

For More Information

 More than anything else, we are praying that God would use this time to help us grow as a church in our missions:  Community.Worship.Service.  We hope that you can be a part of this time where we grow in our relationships with each other.

If you have any questions about our busy September or about any of these activities, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Gordon Duncan at 919-412-8161 or email him at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com.

And as always, you can find out more about Evident Grace at our website and at our Facebook page.

Citizens of Heaven

wethe peopleBeing a citizen of Heaven has great earthly value.  Those who have faith in Christ hold onto this world loosely as they consider all things as a loss to gain Christ.  They have cleansed consciences from sin as they forget what is behind and press forward to what is ahead.  They have a real, tangible hope that Christ will return, and they have hope that Christ will renew and transform these frail, weak bodies one day.  This gives us hope for our families, each other, and every single person that we bump into during our days.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

Philippians 3:17-21

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:19-30 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:1-7 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:7-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:12-16 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:17-1 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

Philippians 3:17-21

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

A Mature Believer is…

matureAccording to Paul, what does maturity look like for the believer?  Maturity is not being held down by the past, believing that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are sufficient even for the worst that you have ever done, and pressing forward in worship and obedience knowing that Heaven awaits.

Remember just a second ago when I said, “Paul knows this and Paul knows that?”  Well, maturity as a believer in Christ is you knowing those things.

So, let’s personalize them for a moment as we head towards a conclusion.  Paul knew that God has removed his sin and guilt, right?  Maturity for you is to say, “I know God has removed my sin AND my guilt.”  Paul knew that he had been called up to Heaven to enjoy Jesus Christ.

Maturity for you is to say, “I know God has called me up to Heaven to enjoy Jesus Christ.”  And Paul knew what pressing forward meant.  Maturity for you means no longer beating yourself up for your past sins, growing in knowing all that God has gifted you, and then growing in obedience and worship.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:19-30 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:1-7 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:7-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:12-16 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Philippians 3:7-11

Philippians 3:12-16

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

Service Preview for 072813

maturityPaul this week is going to tell us that maturity as a believer is not measured by passing theological exams but by applying the work of Jesus.  Please join us Evident Grace this Sunday at 1030 am as we meet in the comedy club above Liberty Lanes.  Until then, enjoy this service preview.

You see, biblical knowledge and theological knowledge find their root in the freshest soil that is free from guilt.  But the soil of guilt and reminding people of their sin is a spoiled dirt that creates theological and biblical self-righteousness and stinks of hell.  It leads to looking down on other believers who are supposedly not as smart and leads to discompassionate judgmentalism towards non-believers.

We are not called to a maturity that is measured by what we do or what we know.  Paul knew a ton and did a ton, and I hope we will know a ton and do a ton.

But maturity in Christ is measured by the tremendous faith it takes to believe just how powerful Jesus’ work is.  Maturity means continually applying Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and continual intercession on our behalf to our sins.  Maturity means offering all of that to those who so desperately need it.

And then, all manner of Biblical and theological knowledge will be gifts from God where we learn about and apply the precious work of Jesus to our lives.  Let’s pray that God makes that true for us at Evident Grace.

If you would like to join us, you can find directions to Liberty Lanes below.

The Free and Terrifying Work of Jesus

terroGang, even as we grow in obedience, even as God transforms us and does amazing things in our lives, all that we are ever going possess that is worth having confidence in is Jesus.
It is a good time to remind us that Jesus says, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. –John 8:36

Is that thought both terrifying and freeing?  Why is that thought freeing?  That thought is freeing because through Jesus we have everything with we will ever need to trust.

Primarily, we can trust in a secure and loving relationship with God because of all that Jesus has done on our behalf.  Why is that thought terrifying?

That is terrifying because apart from Jesus we have absolutely nothing with which we can ever totally trust.
We can’t trust our talents because they can be taken away.
We can’t trust our possessions and money because it can be gone in a minute.
We can’t trust even the best of relationships because they are fragile and not eternal.
We can’t trust our obedience because even when we do obey, we don’t always have perfect motives and the goal of glorifying God and denying ourselves.

But when we trust the free work of Christ that secures our peaceful and joyful relationship with Christ, then we can do several things.
We can enjoy our talents because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our possessions and our money because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our relationships because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.
We can enjoy our obedience because Jesus redeems them as we use them to glorify God.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:19-30 is here.

Audio for Philippians 3:1-7 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Philippians 2:19-30

Philippians 3:1-7

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.

God Takes Great Pleasure in Enabling Change in You.

change-sameYou can pray Philippians 2:13 as a personal prayer with great hope that God will answer it.

“Dear God of peace, thank you for raising Jesus from the dead so that He might shepherd and guide me.  And knowing that you brought Jesus back from the dead encourages me to pray that you are able to equip me with everything good so that I might do your will.  Please work within me whatever is pleasing in your sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”

You can pray that knowing that God works in you and me to work and will whatever is pleasing to Him.  So right now, if you have grown tired in asking God to help repair a relationship, if you have given up on ever conquering a habitual sin, if you have given up on trying to read your bible, pray, share the Gospel or even just getting along with your friends, your spouse, or your kids, you can pray knowing God has promised to work and will in your life.

The excerpt above is from this past week’s sermon at Evident Grace Fellowship where we explored how hope in Christ is so secure, God’s commands, and we can count on it.  The devotional pdf’s, kindle, and audio are up.

You can download the pdf’s for free at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

And audio for Philippians 1:15-18 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:19-21 is here.

Audio for Philippians 1:22-26 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:1-4 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:5-11 is here.

Audio for Philippians 2:12-18 is here.

Also, we are making all of our devotional pdf’s available on Kindle as well.  Because these are available at places other than Amazon, we have to charge $.99 for these, but all proceeds go back to Evident Grace.  You can find our Kindle devotionals at:

Philippians 1:1-8

Philippians 1:8-11

Philippians 1:12-14

Philippians 1:15-18

Philippians 1:19-21

Philippians 1:22-26

Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 2:1-4

Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:12-18

Thanks for taking the time to look over these with us.  Join the conversation either by worshiping with us on Sunday, getting together with us throughout the week, or discussing these online or at Facebook.

Thanks.

If you are interested in worshiping with Evident Grace, we meet each Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes off of I-95 exit 126 in Spotsylvania, VA.