Friday, July 31, 2020

From social club to discipling centre

Social is good, don't get me wrong, and humble socialising is an essential part of life, and therefore of church.

But we are more than that. We need to know and understand our faith.

In recent decades, if not centuries, Christian faith has dropped the idea of knowledge and is obsessed with 'feelings'. We need to pull out of this 'controlled flight into terrain' dive and start climbing, seriously!

Serious teaching need not be taxing; indeed, it is exciting and expanding.

Here's a program that the average church, or regional group of churches can run.

It's a mini-conference over two half days, meals and socialising included.


Arrive 12:15 for lunch at 12:30
1:30 first lecture, then half hour seminar after
3:00 afternoon tea
3:30 second lecture and half hour seminar
5:00 open Q&A
6:30 dinner
7:30 lighter lecture
8:30 informal discussion (or prep in groups for next day)
9:30 home time.

9:00 arrive, morning coffee
9:30 prayer and singing
10:15 first lecture, then half hour seminar
11:45 short capstone  lecture
12:00 discussion groups (or group presentations)
1:00 lunch or depart
2:00 informal afternoon
3:30 close.

Three of these a year on a three to five year cycle would enable systematic coverage of Christian knowledge.

Three year:

Year 1 - Old Testament, New Testament, Theology (based on the Apostles' Creed)
Year 2 - Church history 1, Apologetics 1, Theology of salvation.
Year 3 - Apologetic and society, Church history 2, Christology.

Five year cycle adds:

Year 4: Pentateuch and Prophets, Church history 2, Doctrine of God
Year 5: Creation, Holy Spirit, History of Theology.

These aren't sermons, These are 'knowledge transfer' lectures pitched for the level of the congregation, with notes, recommended reading, videos or audio recordings for further study and catchy names, if that would work for your group.

Separate training programs in 'social apologetics' and 'talking the faith' could be helpful as could a 'society and faith' topic. Each over a few weekly meetings, say, 5.

Now, go to it.

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