When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He (Jesus) said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment, And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22: 34-40 (NRSV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 (NRSV)

Teddy Rollins is from Georgia. Years ago, a church-planting friend advised him that the key to growing a successful church is to remain focused on Jesus' command to love God and one another and his instruction to make disciples. As we prepared to launch our new church, we wanted to stay focused on these principles. The journey has been anything but easy, but Jesus reminds us daily, "I am with you always."

At their church, they try to think about reaching one person, one family, at a time. So every day their church is intentional about meeting new people - sharing their story and, more importantly, listening to theirs. They go regularly to schools, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, parks, and community outings - listening. And as they listen, loving connections are formed.

Their commitment to loving God and neighbor and to making disciples has helped them to grow into a strong church.

Prayer: Dear God, give us the strength daily to share your story of love with another person, in Jesus' name, amen.

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