The theme that has been selected for 2020 is FOLLOWERS. God’s will for all people (John 3:16) all over the world (Mark 16:15) is that they would become followers of His Son, Jesus Christ, because it is only through Him that anyone can find lasting love, joy, peace, meaning . . . and eternal salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Our prayer is that every Tusculum member will become a more deeply committed Christ follower in EVERYTHING they do in 2020.
At Tusculum, we are not interested in producing fans of Jesus but followers of Jesus. If you have only been a fan of Jesus in the past, we challenge and encourage you to become a truly committed follower of Jesus in 2020. God wants you “in the game” not just “in the stands” or content to simply be a “benchwarmer.” And when you get “in the game,” I can assure you that the view from the field is a lot different than the view from the stands or from the bench.
The success of Tusculum Church of Christ can never be measured by how many fans we have in the seats but by how many disciples are being produced―people who are committed to following and becoming more like Jesus every day.
We’re not just talking about something as simple as more faithful attendance at worship assemblies, although that is extremely important. We’re talking about being more committed than ever to follow Jesus in every single part of your life: spouse, parent, employee, student, neighbor, friend, etc. Name any part of your life, and Jesus should be in it and over it. The ultimate goal of discipleship is to be like Christ—in EVERYTHING.
Simply put, a follower is a disciple, and as Christians, we are followers of Jesus Christ. It is a full-time commitment not a part-time job. We are to reflect Jesus in every part of our lives. The following verses give us a little perspective on all of this:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The true measure of a church lies in its ability and capacity to make and grow followers (disciples) of Christ. When a church will not or does not make disciples, it doesn’t matter how many buildings they build, how much money they give, or how many programs they have going on. They have failed to achieve the main purpose for which the church was established if they are not about the business of making and growing disciples for Christ.
God did not create His church to sit, soak, and sour week after week. He called His church to FOLLOW and CHANGE. We’re asking you to be committed not only to Christ but the church that Jesus died for (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) and even more specifically, your church family at Tusculum. We ask that you not just be a fair-weather fan, who is only committed to the “team” when the team is playing well. When we struggle, we will struggle together and not abandon one another when we “rub each other wrong,” when we get offended, when things don’t go our way, or when life gets hard. We always want Tusculum to be a church family where “no one stands alone” and where people never give up on each another, because Christ has never given up on us. We’re asking you to be “in Tusculum” not just “at Tusculum.”
As we get ready to boldly face a new year together as a church family, I leave you with the words of the apostle Paul to the church at Ephesus: “. . . till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:13-16).