Welcome to the Georgetown Christians podcast. I’m Jarrod Drawbaugh. This is something a few of us at our church have been talking about doing for a while, and in this initial episode I want to share with you why we’re doing this, some of the topics we plan on addressing, and what we hope to accomplish.

We’re calling this the Georgetown Christians podcast because: 1 – we are a group of Christians in Georgetown, TX, 2 – we’re wanting to use this podcast as one means of sharing with those in our community what we believe, why we believe it, how we live, why we live that way, and what we’re all about. Eventually our hope is that this leads to us not only sharing, but engaging.

We know that there is a wide spectrum of individuals in our community.

Regarding personal beliefs there are those who:

Hold to and are actively practicing and living out the Christian faith

Hold to the Christian faith but have grown a little stagnant, a little complacent, a little apathetic in their walk.

Hold to some other religion

Are spiritual but not religious, believing either in God or at least some form a higher power, but are understandably a little antagonistic towards organized religion

Do not identify with any particular religious group or belief system

Then we know there’s a wide spectrum of life circumstances within our community.

There are those who:

Are struggling financially, dealing with mounting bills and growing expenses that your income struggles to keep up with. Those who are unemployed or underemployed.

Are wrestling with various health issues

Are struggling in their marriage, wondering if their marriage is ever going to improve or if it’s even going to survive.

Wrestling with various habits and addictions

2,000 years ago there was a carpenter from Nazareth who has had more of an impact on individuals and communities than any man who’s ever lived. One of the reasons for that is because His story and His message speaks to all of these issues and addresses everyone across this broad spectrum of beliefs and life circumstances. As His disciples, part of our mission is to share His story and His message and to engage the community on these things as best we can. To be frank this is a mission I think most of us have failed at. We’ve hidden behind the comfortable four walls of our church building too comfortable and complacent to get out there and share what is truly good news and what is truly the greatest story ever told.

This podcast is one small part of our attempt to remedy that. As we do so, we want to make this as interactive as possible, addressing your specific needs and questions as best we can. So I’ll share with you some of the topics we’ve kicked around and hope to address in due time, but this list is certainly subject to change as we hear from you.

We’re going to start off in our next episode addressing a very important topic which is at the core of what has made the gospel message so revolutionary and impactful, and yet one that has often been misunderstood at least by some Christians and that is the topic of grace. We’ll look at what grace is and how grace works, we’ll look at the contrast the apostle Paul makes in numerous letters of his in the New Testament between a system of faith and grace versus a system of law and works, we’ll look at what role, if any, our own works play in salvation? How can I truly know whether or not I’m saved? What do we mean by saved? Saved from what? And we’ll address what we believe are some common misunderstandings and pitfalls to avoid concerning grace. All of this will work together to answer the question: what exactly is the gospel? What makes the story and message of Christ such good news?

Grace will be the topic of conversation starting with our next episode and going throughout the course of probably 2-3 months.

As we go through this, we are also going to be discussing this in our midweek Bible study we have on Wednesday evenings. We’ll be meeting at 7pm on Wednesdays to discuss these things and you are more than welcome to come out and listen live or even join in the discussion. You can find the specifics of our address and how to contact us if you have any questions at GeorgetownChristians.com.

A few other topics we’re planning on addressing at some point would be (just to give you a flavor of what’s to come):

Apologetics – giving a reasoned defense of the Christian faith where we explain why we believe what we believe and addressing objections from skeptics and critics. Our minister, Brad Helgerson, who you’ll hear from in our next episode was raised a Catholic, eventually became an agnostic with leanings towards atheism, and then was amazed when he started really examining the Christian faith at how strong of a case, on every level of being, the Christian faith has. Being convinced, he not only became a Christian, but launched himself full force into the work of ministry, so he’s done a lot of study on the field of apologetics and has a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience to share, particularly around defeater beliefs. As we go through our series on grace what we’re hoping to do is to paint a picture of how beautiful the gospel of Christ really is to the extent that there is something crying out within you saying “I wish this were true. I want to believe this.” But perhaps another voice inside you says “but I can’t because it’s not rational to believe this sort of thing in our modern enlightened scientific world” or “I can’t because there’s still the presence of so much pain and suffering in our world and I can’t reconcile that with an all loving all powerful God” or “what about those of other religions or those who never hear the gospel” or whatever the defeater belief is that stands in the way as an obstacle to not only believing but embracing and living the gospel.

A while back we did a survey on our Facebook page which we promoted out to people in the area asking them what topic they would be most interested in. We gave a long list of topics and questions, and I was a little surprised at the top result, which was prayer. Perhaps you acknowledge the importance of prayer but you’re not sure, or maybe you just need to be reminded and encouraged on how to enhance your prayer life, as well as addressing some common questions on prayer. We hope to do a series on prayer at some point.

One of my personal favorite topics is hope. You may have heard it said before that most people are leading lives of quiet desperation, acting like you’re happy and have it all together on the outside while you’re falling apart on the inside wrestling with all kinds of doubts and fears. Even those of us who adhere to the Christian faith have been impacted by various philosophies pervading our culture which which rob us of any real substantial hope. And then there’s the question “what exactly is the Christian hope”. What are we, both individually and collectively, striving towards? This question gets into a study of the end times which is always a fascinating subject. So it is my hope to do a series on hope on some point.

Social/life issues – Struggling in your marriage, raising children, financial trouble, forgiveness, gratitude, wrestling with habits such as gluttony, laziness, pornography, pride

Obviously there’s so much more but those are just a few ideas we’ve kicked around which I wanted to share with you in this first episode just to give you a flavor of what to expect. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but these are things we’re very passionate about, have given a lot of thought to, and feel compelled to discuss and speak out on.

Again, as we do this we’d love to hear from you and get to know those of you that are listening and tailor our message accordingly, and feel free to come out and join us either for our Sunday worship or our Wednesday evening study where we’ll be discussing these things. You can contact us and find all the pertinent information on our website, GeorgetownChristians.com.

Brad Helgerson will be with us next week as we start to take a look at Grace.

Thanks for listening. God bless.