“Making Christ known”. That’s the motto of Shepherd Gate Church. You see it in the logo on our marquee, our banner, our website, even our little business cards. We believe that this means more than sharing a good sermon on Sunday morning and posting it to our website. It means more than our Sunday schools, prayer meetings, bible studies and small groups. It is our aim to infuse the knowledge and praise of Who Christ is into everything we do.
That’s why we have the dance studio and community musicals: to disciple people in the praise of their Creator through the fostering of their creativity. It’s why we have the workout room, and it’s why we’re preparing the soccer field and baseball diamond: to disciple people in the praise of their Creator through the exercise and celebration of their muscles, joints and tendons. It’s why we have the garden, the sewing classes, the festivals, the facilitation of home school programs and children’s outreaches: to disciple people in the celebration of the Creator by tending to His creation.
Jesus did not say “Go and make converts”. He said, “Go and make disciples.” That is our primary purpose as the Church, to foster a Kingdom mentality that stretches beyond the walls of a church building, to discover more about the nature and character of God as reflected in all of His creation, and to discover creative ways to celebrate His glory in every specialty, every career, every pastime.
People have told me that, as a pastor, I have the highest calling anyone can have, but I disagree. Certainly, God has called me to do the work of a pastor; therefore, the highest calling for me is to be a pastor. Anything other than God’s will for my life, for this season of my life, would be sub-par. But God’s highest calling for you is to do exactly what He has designed and designated you to do in this season of your life. God has not called anyone to “second best.” He has called every one of his children, every “joint-heir of Christ” to the highest calling, to know Christ and make Him known within the giftings and opportunities that He has given you.
That’s also why we have our fall DTC (Discipleship Training Course), modeled after YWAM’s DTS (Discipleship Training School), sponsored by YWAM Richmond. As any of our recent graduates can tell you, it is nothing short of life-changing. No matter where you are at in your journey with the Lord, whether you are a pastor or elder (as some students have been) or a new believer (as other students have been) or anywhere in between, this course will challenge, inspire and fuel you up for a more intimate relationship with God, more healthy relationships with others, and more fruitful Kingdom-advancing impact in all that God has called you to do, regardless of whether your calling is in full-time ministry, the marketplace or the home.
I had grown up in YWAM, had sat in on a number of DTS’s, and had already been in full-time ministry for a number of years before I ever attended a DTS as a student. I assumed that everything I heard would be just a nice little reminder, but it was so much more than that. The Holy Spirit used it to impact me in ways that are still bearing considerable dividends. If you have not attended a DTS or DTC, I urge you to do so, as soon as possible. I love hearing from our students that, though they thought they would be stretched to sacrifice their precious few resting hours by attending the DTC, they find, instead, that they end up having way more energy during the week than they would’ve had if they had simply rested on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. When you have the opportunity to ignite your passion for God and for the life He has given you, that passion enriches every part of your life.
Whether or not you attend a DTC or DTS, though, what we desire most, what we earnestly pray for whenever we remember you all in our prayers, is “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
“Making Christ known”. Hopefully, when the world looks at our church, they will not just see that on our logo. It is my prayer that they will see it in our lives.
–Pastor David Sanborn, July 14, 2016