the way to see some realities and focus ourselves on being effective Christians.

Discipleship courses help move us away from just coming to church and move us toward being the church. I intend to work with every responsible entity in the church to move us to the place where we will insist that if you wish to be serious about your relationship with this church, you will move through a series of discipleship courses in a careful, systematic way, so that you will know this faith, you will act on this faith, and you will have deeply planted in you the values for which we stand.

I intend to ask that we begin using a discipleship approach in a part of our Sunday School. I intend to propose that we start a new adult Sunday School class at least once every six months, more often if possible, but built on MasterLife and blending in other discipleship materials and materials which we ourselves will produce.

I intend to campaign for the expectation that anyone who wants to be in full fellowship with Takoma Park Baptist Church will enroll in deepened discipleship opportunities. We can no longer afford the luxury of half-informed Christians who just come to church and avoid being the church. Over and over again history has proved that churches which make serious demands on people grow faster and are more effective that churches which let people do their own thing. I intend to work for deepened discipleship and serious Bible knowledge.

After Jeremiah had bought his field, God said to Jeremiah,

“I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for all time, for their own good and the good of their children after them.”

If we as God’s people will engage in deepened discipleship, so that He may give us one heart and one way, it will be for our good and for our children’s good. If you will buy into that, it will be buying the field at Anathoth. Not a Florida swamp mess. Nor a Brooklyn Bridge fiction. But a sign of confidence in the God who is not finished with us yet.
II
Second, I believe that the way ahead for our church lies in multiplied ministries. We have a few ministries now, but we must multiply them. There must be many more. Every person associated with this congregation ought to have the opportunity to share in at least one ministry that reaches out and touches the lives of others. We need to multiply ministries, not only for the sake of the world out there around us, but also for our own sake.

A little history may be helpful. This church gave birth to some excellent ministries .. and I assume that you know that when I say ministries, I mean service to those beyond our walls, service to those who have some identifiable need.

This church gave birth to a neighborhood-wide youth ministry at a time when chaos reigned in this city. There are young adults today who look back to the sixties and seventies and credit this church for rescuing them. We’ve kept on doing youth ministry, and to God be the glory.