May 12 – Intentional Faith Development with Debra Douthett

My name is Debra Douthett, and I am a retired Special Education teacher. I grew up in Florida, married my husband Joel, and raised our two children here.  We now live the Village of Dunedin.

Today, we will examine intentional faith development as one of the Five Practices of a Fruitful Congregation.  We ask that the Holy Spirit guide us as we discuss making the choice to join others in fellowship, learning, praying, and in the breaking of bread. We ask for God’s help as we seek to mature in faith and develop relationships with others.

As part of my spiritual journey, I participate in the Fresh Expressions program, Messy Church.  This program takes place in the Wildwood Community. Messy Church provides a church experience for families   that otherwise might not attend church.  We tell stories, sing songs, make crafts, and pray together.  Each session ends with the sharing of a meal.  This program brings together people who have vastly different life experiences, but who share a love of God and wish to learn more about His will. is    Messy Church has been a great opportunity to share and fellowship across age and social boundaries. 

Scripture reminds us that Jesus reached out to all kinds of people. The rich, the poor, the young and the old, those in robust health and those that suffer, those held in high regard and those that were outcasts. 3 John 1:5 reads ”Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you.” We are called to welcome all as we would friends.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How have I committed to learn and grow in my faith through community?
  2. How can I reach out to the unchurched to share in my faith journey?

Pray with me: Gracious and Heavenly Father, we humbly enter your presence. We praise you for all that we have been given.  We ask that The Holy Spirit be with us as we grow in community and in faith. We seek to bind ourselves together in your name.   We ask for courage and compassion as each of us seek to share your love and develop our understanding of your ways.  In Jesus’ holy and precious name, AMEN.

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