At Catalyst One Day, Pastor Andy Stanley explained how North Point Community Church‘s Sunday School curriculum focused on hammering home a small set of basic truths at each stage of life. Surprisingly, perhaps due to the decentralized nature of North Point’s ministries, I couldn’t find them written down in one place. Here’s what I’ve been able to compile.
In Which We Abide Fruitfully Instead of Vegetating Slothfully
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6
Sloth may seem like an archaic sin in our busy modern world, but our frenzied activity is itself a sign of sloth, which can be defined as a lack of vigor in pursuing God’s name — His character and purposes. In fact, the self-centered pursuit of our own “name” — especially under the guise of religion — is actually the worst kind of sloth! (cf. Matthew 23)
The antidote is to empty ourselves of worldly pursuits so that we become truly hungry for faith, hope, and love. Only when we abandon slothfully seeking our own comfort — which merely results in restlessness — can we experience the divine dynamism and peace that comes from abiding in Him…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 11. Hungering for Righteousness vs. Satisfied with Sloth
- Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
- 3.5 (Trustworthy) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue
As mentioned earlier, the LEAD! Bible Study is a tripod, built on three legs:
- theological education
- character formation
- skill development
We are over half-way through, so Part B will be ending soon — and Part C starts a week or two after that, so I need to get ready!
Here is the initial outline I used:
- Personal Bible Study: Understanding Scripture for ourselves
- Warfare Prayer: How to shake the heavens.
- The Slow Fast: Emptying ourselves to be filled.
- Memorizing the Word: Sharpening the Sword for battle.
- Daily Journaling: Tracking God’s activity over time.
- Cultivating Spiritual Gifts: For what has God made us?
- Failing Courageously: Taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from them.
- Good Things in Small Groups: Building missional communities.
- Constructive Criticism: ‘Tis as important to receive as to give
- Counseling and Discipleship: Helping people reflect God’s glory and grace.
- Friendship Evangelism: How to get Jesus into people’s hearts.
- Public Speaking: Communicating clearly and concisely.
Here’s the list the church originally proposed:
- Daily Journaling
- Devotional Prayer & Bible Study
- Bible Memorization
- Relating to Spiritual Authority
- Developing Spiritual Gifts
- Spiritual Warfare
- Dealing with Failure
- Sharing Your Faith
- Public Speaking
- Leading a Small Group
The challenge is to find a book or two to use as background reading that covers (or at least is relevant to) most of these topics. Any suggestions from my loyal readers?
Read more for a review of some possibilities, after the break…
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.]
In Which Jesus Sends the Comforter, and We Are Convicted By Him
This week we move from the Father and the Son to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. This also continues our theme of God restoring His Image by saving us from our rebellion. And as usual, there is a heavy price to be paid…
In Which We Receive the Gospel, And Are Saved By It
Our series so far — indeed, the first half of human history — is but a prelude to the coming of Jesus Christ. In Christ we have the word of God made flesh, the perfect revelation of God’s character, a tangible representative of the Trinity, and a reminder of what we were created to be.
Yet even more glorious than all that: Christ is Our Lord, and has become our much-needed Savior…
In Which We See God Creating His World, and Our Place In It
The overriding theme of our journey has been exploring what it means to be “baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Having dealt (however superficially) with the ontological aspects of that “name”, we now focus on the narrative aspects. In particular, we will focus on the arc of “creation corruption and redemption” found throughout scripture (and literature), as manifested through the persons of the Trinity. Starting with the Father, and Creation…