Next Steps Guide: Introduction
Maybe you feel like your life is a long journey through the seven levels of a candy cane forest, passing by way of the sea of swirly, twirly gum drops before you pop out of the Lincoln Tunnel.
We totally understand.
We’re all travelers on this strange journey of life. If, by the grace of God, you have stuck out your thumb and felt God moving you toward him, here are your next steps in following him.
We are all in this together, we all need Jesus, and we all need help getting home. Thankfully, we serve a God who left all his comfort and glory to rescue us.
Follow these steps, and— most importantly— connect with us at ODCC to get help on the journey.
You are not alone.
What do I do? Baptism
In the New Testament, when people decided to follow Jesus they asked one of his closest friends, Peter, what to do. Peter replied to them, “Repent and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Baptism (to be immersed in water) is a way of identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:1-11). It’s the way we pledge our allegiance to God (Acts 19:1-7) and it’s the way we become a part of the Church (Ephesians 4:4-6).
If you believe that Jesus is the eternal savior and ruler, then your next step is to identify with him through baptism.
Where do I go? Sunday Morning
The first Christians gathered a lot, like every day a lot. But we know that they also came together on Sunday, the first day of the week, because that was the day of Jesus’ resurrection – the Lord’s Day (Acts 20:7). This became the regular day of worship. So if you are just beginning your journey, Sunday morning worship is the place to start.
How do I help? Invite 1
One of the simplest ways to get involved is to invite other people to our Sunday service. If you are beginning to encounter God here, we’d love for you to help us spread the good news by inviting one friend.
What Do I Do? Daily Worship
One of the first steps in really growing your faith is spending as much time with God as possible. We are rooted in Jesus when we read scripture, praise God in word or song, do good works, and pray. They help us connect to the presence and power of the Spirit, while at the same time reminding us of God’s ways. It is through this daily learning and connecting that we can grow, like water for a flower.
Where do I go? Small Church
Small churches (it may help to think of them as small groups) are a way to connect authentically with other people on the journey of faith. We meet in each other’s homes to break bread and pray, just like the first Christians (Acts 2:42). Small church is the place where we bear each other’s burdens by sharing our failures, victories, doubts, and hopes.
How do I help? Give
It takes a lot to keep the lights on, the ministries going, and the word spreading. If you are invested in Jesus, then you need to invest in his church. Various examples from scripture talk about sharing what we have, but ultimately everything we give is a sacrifice to God in worship.
What do I do? Witness
Witnessing is something we are told to do by Jesus (Matthew 10:32). This doesn’t mean you need to hit the street with a Bible and a bullhorn. It means that even your small words and actions bear witness to the fact that Jesus is your King. This includes things like inviting others, sharing your belief in God and what he has done for you. It can even be small things like saying to others, “What a beautiful day the Lord has made.” And if you say that on a cloudy Michigan day – you are really bearing witness!
Where do I go? Bible study
We don’t just want to daily read the Bible alone, but we need to expand our knowledge and understanding from others. We have lots of opportunities to participate in a Bible study and resources for you to study on your own. The Bible is the best way to get to know the ways of God and train ourselves in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). #themoreyouknow
How Do I Help? Serve
Jesus said he came to serve, and that his followers would then also be servants (Mark 10:45; Matthew 23:11). There are all kinds of ways you can serve others, and thus our Lord. Contact the church office for a list of amazing opportunities, whom to contact, and how to get plugged in!
What do I do? Disciple 1
The goal of the faith is that we grow into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13-14). But as we begin to grow to this depth, we need to be disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). So when you are able, as soon as you are able, disciple one other person.
Where do I go? Bible 401
This is a step beyond our normal Bible Studies. You might have heard of Sunday School; this is more like Sunday College. But if you desire to dig into scripture, theology, and Church history as deeply as you can, then contact the office for times and opportunities.
How Do I Help? Lead
We need leaders who are passionate about sharing Jesus. There are many ways we try to make that happen, and many ideas we haven’t even dreamed of yet. We need dreamers and makers who not only want to serve but want to head up events and ministries. What dream has Jesus given you?