Having been at my church (ARBC) for almost six months, I am slowly starting to get the ebb and flow of this wonderful family of faith.
One of my passions and, yes, spiritual giftings is that of discipleship and teaching. This is evident in my preaching on Sunday mornings, in my writings, as well as how I aim to lead. Romans 8:5-8 drives home this point in my thinking and I pray in yours as well:
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (ESV).
Education ministries in our churches (whether it’s Sunday School, small groups, or other discipleship groups—even preaching!) aim to gear the Christian’s minds on the things of the Spirit. As our minds go, so go our emotions, and so go our lives!
I have been thinking on a strategy for moving our education forward and God kept putting in my mind a fourfold strategy of biblical, spiritual, doctrinal, and missional! Then He led me to Matthew 22:37-39—the Great Commandment:
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
These two commandments given by Jesus are ones in which “depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 22:40). While we must do love, we must also learn what love looks like. All Christian education, be it at a local church level to a seminary level, must be such that cultivates and compels a love for Christ and culture.
A Great Commandment Education Strategy : Based around Matthew 22:37-39
- Biblical (Heart): Studies based on an expositional look at a book of the Bible. The Word of God saves (Romans 10:17) and sanctifies (John 17:17) the heart of man and transforms this center of who we are, affecting every other area.
- Spiritual (Soul): Studies geared around the spiritual disciplines (worship, Bible study, prayer, etc.).
- Doctrinal (Mind): Studies dealing with theological topics such as the doctrine of Scripture, God, Christ, the Spirit, the church, and end times.
- Missional (Strength to love neighbor as self): studies on missions, evangelism, and apologetics
- Evangelism: personal incarnation: one-to-one conversation and presentation of the gospel
- Missions: glocal (combination of global and local) incarnation: taking the gospel witness from Centennial to the corners of the earth.
- Apologetics: ideological incarnation: defending the faith by knowing clearly what we believe and what others believe in order to interact with them on the gospel front.
I plan on fleshing this out over the next few days and weeks, as time permits. But what better strategy than that from Scripture?