Roadtrip! - United Church
United, Church, United Church, Maryland, MD, Owings Mills, Iglesia, Baltimore, Baltimore County, UnitedFOR, Reisterstown, Owings Mills High School
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My family loves the beach, so the OBX is our favorite place to go in the summer. However, Florida has recently rivaled this, after some great trips to Disney, Legoland, and the heaven on earth where my mother in law lives down there.

However, it has yet to knock the OBX out of first place for the simple reason that “918 miles to go” flashes across the screen everytime I plug Florida into my GPS.

So, this year, I had the brilliant idea of driving at night. No traffic, no bathroom stops, and all five kids can sleep. I did it in college with my friends for spring break, and it worked great. It didn’t this time.

We left at 5PM to head home, and it was the worst trip of my life.  By 11PM I was exhausted. We pulled in at a truck stop to sleep for about thirty minutes, and by 5:30AM, my wife, Maria, had to take over driving. I’ll never do that again (I’ll also never live it down).

Most of the time, no one looks forward to the trip, the plane ride, the drive, the traffic, the waiting for luggage, etc. But, we love the destination.

Sometimes, I think we look at faith this way– as a bad road trip that we need to endure in order to get where we want to go (heaven).  

But here’s the thing: Jesus doesn’t just care about when you die and go to heaven. He cares about what happens on the way. He says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The first culture-shaping value that we shared for United was being all inclusive.  Jesus includes everyone and invites all people into a relationship with him, saying, “Come as you are.”

But, his teaching doesn’t land there.  He teaches: Come as you are, but don’t stay that way, because the best life he has for us involves becoming more like him.  That means change is in order.   

This doesn’t mean changing all at once. This means taking steps, which brings us to our fourth culture-shaping value: Pursue growth. We want to build a culture where we are all alway asking, “What’s my next step in finding and following Jesus?”

In fact, we think this is so important that we’ve created a 3-week series for people to learn what it looks like to live a life that constantly pursues Jesus. This series is called Growth Path.

In Growth Path, we’ll dive into the habits and environments that we can engage in to grow in our journey with Jesus. We’ll be unpacking three words through our Growth Path–captivate, cultivate, and activate–that help us understand what it looks like to be captivated by Jesus, to cultivate a relationship with him and others, and to be activated to serve him.

We’ll be walking through Growth Path several times a year, but our first one is coming up before our Grand Beginning (October 1). It will run August 13, 20, and 27, at Bill Bateman’s in Reisterstown, with breakfast served at 9:15AM and the class at 9:30AM. Share any questions or get more details by emailing us here.

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