May 1, 2007

Not only have I finished the blog series on Romans but also I taught the final class in our series on that book at church yesterday. I really enjoy teaching and especially when the topic is something that requires me to really dig. Romans is that kind of book. I probably averaged three hours preparation for each thirty minute class in the series, reading several commentaries and a few books along the way. As a result of all that preparation, I always learn far more than I’m able to communicate in the short class. But with all the other responsibilities of my life, teaching a class like this is a stretch. That’s good for me, but now I’m ready for a break.

My congregation has designated May as Marriage and Family month. This Saturday we will kick it off with a marriage and family workshop. Then beginning Sunday we will be teaching a series of Sunday classes on the subject. We will be following up on this material in our newly reorganized family groups. The goal is to help those who have needs to establish an ongoing support structure that will help them to grow in these areas, not just in May, but continuing into the future. One of our deacons who has been working in these areas (teen ministry, Dynamic Marriage facilitator, group leader for teen parenting, etc) will be teaching these classes.

June’s focus will be household finances. In like manner, we will kick off with a Saturday workshop. Sunday classes in June will focus on followup to the workshop. Family groups will personalize the message, attempting to match up needs with resources (possibly Dave Ramsey materials or something similar). Our two financial / benevolence deacons will be leading the followup.

So my next Sunday teaching assignment will probably not come before July. That gives me time to decide on a topic and get a head start on preparation.

Meanwhile the church has purchased a copy of the book Set Apart by R. Kent Hughes, for each household in the congregation. This is an excellent book hilighting the imperative that the church not be conformed to the world. We will be going over the book in one or more settings (probably including family group discussions) in the coming months. I hope to do a book review on this in the near future.

I have read another book recently which I want to review as soon as the rest of my family members finish with it. The title is The Churching of America (1776-2005): Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy. That is another great book hilighting the need for the church to be in “tension” with the surrounding culture, and the consequences when it is not. I taught a class from this book a few weeks ago at midweek service, bringing in some additional material from the Restoration Movement to increase awareness of our roots.

All these things are part of our theme for this year of “getting our house in order.” It is our goal that every member will be able to look back at the end of the year and see visible progress on areas where they needed help on January 1… whether the need is marriage, family, finances, personal holiness, Bible study, prayer, relationships with other Christians, evangelism, etc. That’s a pretty broad theme, more of a panorama than a focus. But we are trying to provide concrete help in each area so people can take advantage of what they need most. The goal is to have lives that are pleasing to our Father, bring glory to God, and “make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”


  1. Wow, what a great year you guys ought to have. I love the ‘panaroma’ idea, that’s great.

  2. Sounds like you have some wonderful things going on at your congregation. God bless you brother in Christ Jesus. I know your flock is going to be blessed by all the many classes that you and the elders, and teachers are going to be teaching this year.

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