Thursday, August 25, 2016

What is a Life Group?

What is a Life Group? A Life Group is an intentional gathering of people who agree to share life together, meeting on a regular basis for the purpose of fulfilling God’s mission for the church and for making Disciples of Christ.
What do you do in a Life Group? You do many things in a Life Group, here are 4 reoccurring points:
1.       Come together with others in love for encouragement and spiritual growth accountability. Groups are a place where people can find help with their spiritual needs.
2.      Pray and care for each other. (Read Hebrews 10:24-25)
3.      Study God’s Word. Each week a group of writers meets together and comes up with a Bible Study guide based on the Sunday sermon. This enables us to dig deeper into the subject of the sermon and keep everybody in the church on the same page of what we are learning.
4.      Reach out to the world around us, which is a vital part of serving Christ and the mission of the church. A Life Group encourages every believer to do something to contribute to the broader ministry and mission of the church. Serving makes for a wonderful marriage between groups and the centralized church- both on and off the campus. People in Life Groups grow in appreciation for each other when they serve the community as an entire group.
How do you get involved in a Life Group? The best way to learn about the Life Group ministry is to sign up for the introductory to Life Group session beginning on September 11th. To get your name on the list, visit our website at this link: 
What if I don’t like a particular Life Group? Don’t give up. Sometimes it takes up to 3 attempts before you find the group suited for you. Remember you need the spiritual growth accountability for your journey. Finding the right Life Group will be worth it.

It is not possible for church staff and pastors to personally minister to everyone. Healthy Life Groups help us to equip one another to bear the burden of ministry. Please sign-up for a Life Group today and become a part of a community that is growing together.

Mark "The Bru" Brunott

P.S. We hear about missionaries in other countries “building cultural bridges” to share Christ. How do we build those bridges in our own backyard? Join me this week at 9:15 and 11:00 as we explore how we can create a culture of invitation.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

It's Life Group Time!

It’s that time of the year when I’m get excited about meeting with my Life Group friends. It’s so hard to coordinate regular meetings in the summer, so I haven’t seen my Life Group friends for a couple of months. I miss them. I love the accountability we provide for each other in the group. I love the spiritual direction that is discovered when we meet. I love the laughter and fun the group shares in together. I love the prayer support we give to each other. Doing life together is truly a blessed endeavor.
When Jesus was talking to his disciples on one occasion he told them ‘I have come that you might have life, and have life to the fullest.’ (John 10:10) If that was one of Jesus’ goal while he was on earth, I think that should be a goal for the church.
Most people aren’t necessarily living life to the fullest. Oh, they have full lives. They’re traveling from one place to another, one event to another, one accomplishment to another, and even one relationship to another. Most people schedules are full, but that is a far cry from living life to the fullest.
Living life to the fullest starts with Jesus. You cannot have a full life without him. Salvation is the starting point to a life fulfilled but it’s not the end. May I suggest to you, even challenge you to discover that being in a Life Group helps you experience the ‘fullness of life’ Jesus was talking about.
I believe this because everyone wants to know they’re not alone. We were created for relationship. But our world has created so many factors that are causing us to be more alone. Pastor Rick Warren mentions four major causes in his blog:
  • Urbanization- the majority of us live in the city and we don’t even know our neighbor’s name.
  • Specialization- we increasingly separate people into different boxes- further isolating ourselves.
  • Family Breakdown- in just a few generations, we’ve gone from the extended family, to the nuclear family, to the single parent family.
  • Materialism- things have become more important than people.
A Life Group can provide the support you and I need. I want to be with a group of people who encourage me, support me, love me, challenge me spiritually, are devoted to me, lovingly correct me when I get off course, laugh at my silly jokes, pray for me, and honestly accept me for who I am.
Do you have that kind of support in your life? Do you have someone who spurs you on spiritually? God designed the church to be a family. (Ephesians 2:19) Don’t go through another season in your life without the support you need and can find in a Life Group.
The next Life Group session begins September 11th. Make an effort today to be an active participant in one. Register online at

Pastor Mark 
"The  Bru"

P.S. Understanding today’s culture is challenging. Knowing what God would have us do in today’s culture it the goal. Join me this week at 9:15 and 11:00 as we explore understanding the culture today and living life in light of that understanding.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


I’m back. What a vacation! It was relaxing, refreshing, and replenishing. There were times when I would go out on my pontoon and see eagles in abundance, loons, deer on the shore, pelicans, seagulls, ducks, Canadian geese. Sometimes I would turn off the motor of the boat and sit in the calm water and read, reflect and experience peace.

I want to thank the church for allowing my family and me this privilege of getting away. A special thanks to the staff team who didn’t miss a beat in my absence. A special thanks to Nat Crawford for using his preaching gift.
I thought a lot about peace in my serene setting in Northern Minnesota. Many people long for peace, and even though a few minutes of silence may sooth our minds, the Bible teaches that real lasting peace comes from Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
These verses remind me that Jesus brings peace with our Heavenly Father: ‘Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1). Without Christ, we are enemies of God because of our sin. Jesus’ sacrifice reconciled us to God and ends hostility that existed between us.
Not only does Jesus bring peace with God but He brings peace in our relationships. For He Himself is our peace, just as He made both Jews and Gentiles one (Ephesians 2:13-14), Jesus is able to remove the barriers, the walls that exist in our relationships.
Not only does Jesus bring peace with God and peace in relationships, He brings peace in anxious moments. The Bible says ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7).
Having peace with God does not ensure problem-free living. However it does steady us during difficult times. Anxious about going to school, the political scene, finances, your job, your health, the future? Jesus told His followers ‘In the world you will have tribulations. But He also said, ‘In me you will have peace.’ Christ, the true peace of God, can fill our hearts (Colossians 3:15).
Do you have peace with God? Have you placed your trust in His death and resurrection? How are you in your relationships? Do you need to confess a wrong you have committed to a friend, neighbor, or coworker? What are you anxious about? Place the worry, fear and anxious thoughts into His strong and powerful arms.

P.S. Do you understand today’s culture? What makes people think and act the way they do? How do we communicate in today’s culture which has become so secular it gives very little, if any, thought about God and His truth? Join us this Sunday at 9:15 and 11:00 as we begin to know our times and what God would have us do.