This coming Sunday is the 3 year anniversary of the church we’re part of here in Florida. So we’re commemorating it with our yearly Vision Sunday. If you’re in the area, you ought to come check us out and see how God has been at work. And, if you’re not currently part of a church body, this Sunday is a great time to visit since you can meet all of our community group leaders and find out where/when they meet and get plugged in that way.
We’re also starting a sermon series on Nehemiah. As you can tell from the blog title, the emphasis is on being part of a church that is for the city, the nations, and the generations. Because we live in Orlando (which is called “The City Beautiful”) we literally see millions of tourists come and go each year. Additionally, because our church is down the street from the University of Central Florida, we see a lot of college students come and go as well. I didn’t know this until we moved, but UCF is second only to Arizona State in student size, coming in just under 60,000 for enrollment. Our church is made up of mostly college students, and it’s our hope that through the Spirit’s ministry through our church many of those students would commit their lives to Christ and catch our vision for reaching even more people. That vision is to be a church for our city of Orlando, and raise up leaders to reach the nations as well as the generations.
We’re excited to see God continue working through our church and our small group as well. In getting ready for Nehemiah, I’m planning to do my own parallel reading. If I could recommend a few resources to dive deeper into the book, it would be these (the two best commentaries, and two special studies):
Ezra/Nehemiah (TOTC) by Derek Kidner
A short and to the point devotional commentary on both Ezra and Nehemiah
Ezra-Nehemiah (NICOT) by Charles Fensham
The go-to technical as well as pastoral commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah
The Message of Nehemiah (BST) by Raymond Brown
A special study on Nehemiah’s doctrine of God and Scripture, as well as his experience of prayer and example of leadership
A Passion For Faithfulness by J.I. Packer
It’s a book by J.I. Packer, and that’s pretty much all you need to know
Reading these is obviously no substitute for working through the ideas in community, which is what we’ll be doing over the next several months in our small group. If you’re in Orlando, and don’t have a set church home, you should definitely come check us out on Sunday, and come back and visit one of our small groups the following week!