Foundations of Healthy Church Life Foundations of Healthy Church LifeAs you study God’s Word, you will find that it refocuses your view of God, of yourself, and of others. In fact, it will begin to shape your entire life. Like a master roadmap, it will begin directing the steps you take. It will begin changing the attitudes of your heart, the words of your mouth, and the priorities that govern your life. This study begins with the essentials of faith personally and onto our life among the people of God, the church.
Foundation Stones for New Believers The opening pages of the Bible shows us that Adam walked with God. Our destiny is to do the same. Jesus died and rose again to restore mankind to a relationship with God. Christianity and eternal life is more than just obeying religious rules in order to get into heaven when you die. Jesus said “eternal life” is knowing Him (John 17:1-3). Christianity is about a relationship with God in which we walk with Him. The study “Walking With God” will take us through various aspects of God’s design for our walk with Him. As we walk with God, His ways become our ways which lead to experiencing more of the fullness of His life.
Leadership in the House of God Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build My church,” and for over 2000 years He has done it faithfully. As His people have worked together with Him in the process there has been ups and downs along with good and bad examples in building. In the areas of local church leadership, we have seen many different models handed down to us over the centuries. Some have been very Biblical while others drifted away from the Biblical design. In this study “Leadership in the House of God” we will attempt to look as closely as we can at the Biblical design for leadership in the local church. We will cover the important issues of elders, deacons, as well as the Ephesians 4:11 (five-fold) ministries and how they relate to local church leadership.
Walking with God on Mission God has always been a divine family, Father, Son, and Spirit. He created mankind in His “image” and “likeness” then gave them the creation mandate to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth…subdue…and rule over it” (Gen 1:26-28). The mandate can be summed us as God’s family walking together with Him and each other in pursuit of His mission. The Bible begins with His family walking together on His mission and ends with His family, the church at the culmination of that mission the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9). In the study “With God on Mission you will be equipped to work more effectively with God as we pursue His mission on the earth.
Small Group Leader’s Training Manual Churches often build buildings and their buildings end up defining them. For many, the church is a building or a meeting, but this isn’t how Jesus designed it. When Jesus walked on this earth He demonstrated with His followers that God’s life among them took place everywhere, not just in religious buildings or at religious times. He called them together to “be with Him” as His family on His mission (Mk 3:14-35). Church is designed to be relationship oriented not attendance or building oriented. We see this in the first expression of His church in Jerusalem in which they met together daily in larger gatherings “in the temple” and smaller gatherings “from house to house” (Acts 2:46-47). Small groups help facilitate God’s design for His church to be His family together pursuing His mission. The “Small Group Leader’s Manual” is designed to equip people who have the heart to help and lead small groups into His purposes.
Handling Sensitive Conversations Jesus said the most important issues upon which everything rest is “Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength” and “loving your neighbor (those close to you) as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27). Most of the problems in local church life are not theological as much as they are relational. Usually, they entail some form of failure in handling sensitive relational interactions. This is why approximately 44% of the instruction in the Epistles are about how we relate together with fellow believers. God’s people need to have His presence and wisdom in handling sensitive interactions. In the study “Handling Sensitive Conversations” we will examine God’s wisdom in handling challenging relational interaction.
Connecting with and releasing God’s supernatural power God’s people are called to walk on mission with Him every day, everywhere, all the time. Missions aren’t just for a few special people with special callings to unique places. Missions is all of us in our everyday life. Missions is in our neighborhood, workplace, and marketplace. We are to demonstrate and proclaim the good news of God’s Kingdom and reconciliation through Jesus. It is important to remember that God’s Kingdom isn’t just a message. There is a power of the Kingdom of God that is to be demonstrated as well. 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words only but in power. This study will help equip you to be more open to and move in God’s supernatural power on His mission.
Maturing in God There is a creation design for growth and maturity. Children can grow physically but not mature which can be the cause of many problems. The same can be true for Christians and churches. The writer to Hebrews admonishes the church for their immaturity and challenges them to “press on to maturity” (Hebrews 5:12-6:1). As Christians “abide in Christ” the Father and Spirit work in them to bring about maturity so they can “bear more fruit” and bring glory to God (John 15:1-8). In the study “Maturing in God” we will look at various aspects of How God works to mature us both individually and corporately
Rhythms-of-life-Missions Missions in the Rhythms of Everyday life Missions is not a program but an everyday life practice. Missions is a way of life. This short study will help us see and engage in everyday missions that is in the rhythms of our everyday life.
Theology of Apostolic Prayer Prayer is as essential to the Christian life as breath is to our physical life. Many of God’s people are sometimes at a loss about how to pray. When it comes to the part of prayer in which we ask God for things we approach it like it is a shopping list for our own personal interest. If a visitor from another planet came to check out what serving God is all about by secretly observing the prayer life of Christians (prayer is our communication with God) he would probably conclude that God’s sole purpose of existence is to stand ready to grant any personal wish that His people have. God’s design for prayer is much bigger than that. “Theology of Apostolic Prayer” will help us explore what God’s intention is for prayer connected to His purpose revealed in the Bible and the apostolic writings. It also contains a list of all the prayers prayed by the apostles to give us a guide for things God’s wants us to seek Him about prayer.
Shepherding in God’s House Caring for God’s people like shepherds care for flocks of sheep is central to God’s health and purposes among His people. This study contains vision and practical instruction in helping care for God’s family.