February 1, 2018
Rich Nathan
The Real Jesus

The Real Jesus

We are going to be doing another discipleship campaign during the season of Lent this year. If you’ve been here the last two years, you may have experienced one of our all church discipleship campaigns. In 2016, our theme was The Good Life. And then last year, we did a campaign called Fully Alive. As part of the Fully Alive campaign, we had over 850 groups throughout Central Ohio go through the Fully Alive small group materials. 550 of these were brand new groups!

This year, we felt led to focus our discipleship campaign around the person of Jesus. We are calling the campaign “The Real Jesus”. In this year’s campaign, we want people to understand that knowing Jesus personally is different than knowing about Jesus. Christianity is more than a set of behaviors or a moral code or a worldview. At its core, Christianity is a relationship with a real person named Jesus. We cannot be unchanged if we meet the real Jesus.

Our theme verse for the campaign this year is taken from the Gospel of Mark 8:27-29:

Jesus asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:27-29)

In this campaign, we want people to know the real Jesus, the Jesus that the disciples knew and loved and worshipped. We want to help people push past any barriers that keep them from knowing who Jesus is and how he could impact their own life and the lives of those around them. We want to disciple our entire church to know Jesus in all his various roles in our lives and more deeply love and serve him. Each weekend I’ll focus on a different role that Jesus plays in our lives – Jesus as our teacher, Jesus as our healer, Jesus as Social Revolutionary, Jesus as our Savior, Jesus as our King and so on. All of my talks will be drawn from the Gospel of Mark.

This series is going to be an amazing opportunity to invite folks to Vineyard Columbus. We are going to be doing special programing for everyone from the small children to students and adults since our campaigns are designed to disciple the whole church and not just adults.

One exciting part of this year’s campaign is that everyone will read through the Gospel of Mark during the Lenten Season if they follow the personal daily devotions available only through our small groups. And, in order to go deeper into the teachings on the weekends, I’ve recorded 6 small group videos exploring this year’s theme of The Real Jesus. These are also only available by participating in one of our small groups.

During the last two campaigns we had small groups meeting in homes, in offices, in libraries, and coffee shops all over central Ohio. People invited their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members. People in this church who had struggle to connect with others at Vineyard found connection for the first time. It was amazing to hear the stories of what God did and continues to do through these groups!

We are again inviting you this year to consider HOST-ing a 6-week Real Jesus small group. The only requirements are that you:

H – Have a heart for people
O – Open up your space (your home or office, a coffee shop, etc.)
S – Serve a snack
T – Turn on a video

If you can do these 4 things and can get 2-3 others to join you, then you can HOST a group! No previous experience required! You don’t even need to be a Vineyard member to HOST a group. We’ll help you start if you simply gather a few friends. We provide all the resources, coaching, and some training. To sign-up to HOST a group this year or to learn more, go to vineyardcolumbus.org/therealjesus or talk to a campaign representative in the lobby after church services at your campus.

If you are already in a small group, would you do two things for me?

1. Join in The Real Jesus small group studies during those 6 weeks. Put your other series on hold and join in! No need to sign-up.
2. Pray about HOST-ing a group during these 6 weeks.

We want to see every person whether they are far from Jesus or know him well, grow in their knowledge of him. I am excited to see what God will do in our church as we get to know Jesus better!