Subject: Pope Francis, Marcus Mariota and

"May it be done to me according to your word." John 1:26-38 (MORE)

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Dear - 

It's exhilarating when secular and faith cultures collide. Kind of like the Incarnation, revealed at Christmas. It happened big time this past weekend. Mark Mariota was named the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark is playing to win:

“When I relentlessly pursue Christ, I put all my faith in Him to be able to play well and lead my team. With His power, we are able to pursue and play for His glory. We want to go out and show the world that Christ lives.” 

ADVENT is a great time for us to ask, does the above describe us? On the field of salvation, each of us are called and equipped to be spiritual Heisman Trophy winners, that is, saints. Superstars. We're called to be what Pope Francis calls "missionary disciples." 

No athlete ever became great sitting on the sidelines. It's not enough to know about the game. It's not enough to cheer. It's not enough to wear the gear, or look the part. It's not enough to do the calisthenics.

This Christmas story we're called to live. It's about God descended from the highest reaches of heaven and entering the playing field. It's about persevering. It's about pressing past adversity, pain, and even momentary defeat.  

This is relevant. It's all consuming. The heart of every real problem in our world is a need for transformation in Jesus Christ. He accomplishes this through us. We can not give what we do not live. With all popes before him, Pope Francis is asking us to get in the game.

We've heard of missionary disciples, but are we missionary disciples?  

Here are just a few indicators: 
1) Do you prioritize daily time as a family to talk and pray? 

INDICATOR: How would you respond to a coach's call for 60 minutes of additional practice tonight vs. being invited to spend 30 minutes to talk and pray as a family (consider LIT Episode + Guide, or Presence for Christmas tonight!).

2) Are you engaged in evangelization that is more than incidental (what may happen), but intentional (pursuing someone)? 

INDICATOR: There is at least one person right now whom you're actively, intentionally, relationally leading to Jesus Christ.

3) Do you prioritize commitment to regular, accountable contexts for growth as a missionary disciple?

INDICATOR: You're committed to something weekly. You're actively growing in faith in identifiable ways. (see this Missionary Discipleship Growth Tool)

4) Is your heart broken by what breaks His? 

INDICATOR: What most guides your thoughts, actions, resources, commitments?

Ok, let's keep it real. None of us are "there." In fact, even if you're not very far, that's ok. Jesus Christ Himself, through His Church, bridges this Great Expanse. The important thing is that you're on the field, in the game and intentionally moving toward the end zone... in Him. 

Now is the time. Grace is being outpoured. This is our Great ADVENTure! This is what it means to be Church. We are eager to more fully live what we profess. We desire that the Holy Communion we receive correspond to a Holy Community we live. We recognize that this can only be accomplished through God's grace poured out through His Church.

We are so grateful for you-- for God uniting us in this "most important mission of the Church" of making Him who is Love known.  

Greg and Stephanie Schlueter 
+ Image Trinity | Mass Impact Board and Team
Greg@ImageTrinity.com


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