I belive the primary reason the church in America is not impacting the culture is that we expend most of our time, energy, and money doing many things badly instead of the right things well. We are amateurs competing against professional culture-makers.
To address this imbalance, I believe the church needs to “Go PRO.”
- Prioritize making disciples of Jesus who do all (and only what) He asks of them
- Recommission pastoral teams as missionaries to their community
- Outsource the business of church to professional management that does it efficiently at scale
I am confident this would unleash a flood of talent and resources that would turn the world upside down — or rather, right side up!
Part 3 of the Guilt–Grace-Gratitude musical trilogy, from my 1996 meditations on The Grace Cycle.
In Which We Become the Church, As We Grow Into Christ Our Head Via His Gifts
Continuing the theme of Sanctification, we explore how we are discipled into the name of Christ through His body — the Father’s principle vehicle for forming His Kingdom, by His Spirit. Specifically, we see how the fact that we serve One God requires us to worship Him as One Church.
[Note: I am now using the New King James Version for my interlinear; hopefully this will increase the readability.]
[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].
[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]
In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).
I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:
In addition to providing a sort index to the topics covered, this allows students and teachers to use those as supplementary textbooks.
- Draft 1 – Sunday, 24th August
- Draft 2 – Tuesday, 26th August: Added “Doctrine” “Essentials” chapters for each lesson
- Draft 3 – Friday, 29th August: Added “Doctrines” chapters for each lesson
As a counterpart (or even prequel) to my previous article about “safety skills“, I wanted to identify those theological topics essential for lay leaders to understand. In particular, I believe lay leaders need a more concise and practical “boot camp”, in contrast to the multi-year “officer’s training school” provided in seminaries.
Another difference in focus is that I believe (along with the writer of Proverbs) that the goal of theological education is wisdom, not mere knowledge. That is, the goal is to cover a small number of essential issue in sufficient depth to enable people to make more godly decisions — not simply provide an intellectual overview of traditional topics.
Given all that, here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology. What are your thoughts and suggestions?
As I’ve been meditating on the idea of “Comprehensive Theology“, I’ve begun to realize that it’s main difference from systematic theology isn’t merely (or even primarily) the content. Rather, it is whole pedagogy associated with traditional theological instruction I am reacting against. I might characterize (caricature?) the traditional model as:
The purpose of Academic Theological Education [ATE] is to indoctrinate students into an intellectual understanding of, and belief in, the central truths of their religious tradition.
As contrasted with:
The purpose of Comprehensive Theological Education [CTE] is to equip leaders for a lifelong journey of bringing their “whole selves” (heart, soul, mind & strength) and “whole worlds” (family, church, community & marketplace) into ever-increasing alignment with God’s purpose (redemption, kingdom & glory).
My original thought was “ATE bad, CTE good” — but that actually is not the case. Read more for details…