For much of the second half of April, I was helping train pastors in Zambia as part of the Hope Center Pastor Training School near Serenje. While I was there and teaching through "1-2 Timothy & Titus, with Special Emphasis on the Doctrine of the Church," the topic of teaching and preaching came up. After all, it's tough to work through these books of the New Testament and NOT talk about these things!
I love how the pastors - on their own - brought up the importance of teaching and educational environments, in addition to and alongside the important role preaching plays in the life of a church. These interactions with the pastors have stayed fresh in my mind since then.
For those of you who follow this site a bit more closely, you've likely noticed I've not been posting much in April. The reasons? There's about 13 of them, actually, and they're pictured above - the pastors I had the privilege of being with again as part of the Hope Center Pastor Training School in Serenje, Zambia. (Don't worry, I'm hoping to being posting regularly again soon!)
The intentionality of this Training School is impressive, and I'm excited to be a small part of what God is doing to raise up godly, equipped leaders in Zambia. Here's a glimpse of what the Pastor Training School involves:
In 2016, Brookside Church is reading through the Bible - we're calling the series "365" to encourage people to spend time DAILY reading through a guided Scripture plan. (You can find out a lot more about what we're doing here.) And since the Brookside Institute is all about championing biblical literacy (along with theological formation, for the purpose of living on mission), I love pointing people towards this 365 Series and considering how the Institute can align with things over the course of the year.
All this is why I'm so excited about how the Institute will be "leaning in" to the 365 Series throughout 2016. Throughout the year, we'll be creating resources and offering "one and done" seminars designed to help people move into and through the Bible as they track along with the 365 reading guide. Be sure and access what we've already done - and stay aware of what's coming - by tracking along here. (And check back periodically, as things will continue to develop as the year goes on.)
And the Brookside INstitute needs your help as we do this!
Specifically, we'd love to hear from YOU as we prayerfully and thoughtfully consider which topics to address through resources we produce and seminars we offer. Here are some things you can get back to us about:
Even if your question feels "broad" to you or you don't feel like you can quite word it perfectly, please don't let that keep you from submitting questions, thoughts, and ideas that can help us offer resources and seminars that (at least kinda) get at the things that would help you out.
So bring it on and help us out. You can submit ideas/thoughts/questions in the comments section below, or feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and submit them that way, if you'd prefer a greater level of anonymity. (No questions will be tied back to the "author" of the question in any public environment.)
By way of disclaimer: You probably already know this, but please understand that time and focus constraints may keep us from answering every question (either by way of resource or seminar). I look forward to hearing from you!
Pastor and author A.W. Tozer is famous for saying that "What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us."
I, for one, happen to think Tozer is on to something with this statement. And so part of my goal - both as a Christian disciple and as someone who teaches a fair amount of Bible & theology - is to build a strong foundation around a biblical view of God AND continually be returning to and reinforcing a robust, "big," and accurate picture of who God reveals Himself to be. And that means I love it when authors, pastors, and teachers help bring various truths about God to life in fresh, vivid ways.
Recently J.D. Greear helped do this for me, bringing God's ability and His generosity together in some cool ways. Check out this quote, from Greear's Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send (Zondervan, 2015), p. 187:
No Brookside Institute "FOMO" Here: A Review of the Top 5 Blog Posts Each Month, for the Last Six Months
Many of you have heard the acronym "FOMO" (Fear Of Missing Out) - an anxiety or fear that something is going on somewhere that you're missing out on. Well, have no fear. In case you're experiencing "Brookside Institute FOMO," I've helpfully included all of the "top 5 blog posts" for each month, for the last six months (July-December 2015). If you're brand new to the Brookside Institute, be sure and check out our "About" page, our "Classes Overview," and our most recent "Speed Dating the Brookside Institute" as well.
Click on any of the posts included below to revisit posts you've already enjoyed and catch up on anything you may have missed!
This upcoming weekend I'm teaching on Christianity and culture in the Brookside Institute "Walking Wisely" class on Christian Ethics. I found this video (length: 14:22) and think it has some worthwhile stuff to say on this topic. Listen especially to how what's said relates to issues of culture, Christian identity, and hope.
God is on mission to do something in this world He's created. As part of that, God's mission has a church. I appreciate how J.D. Greear brings out what this "mission of God" or missio Dei means for the church in this SHORT (less than four minutes) video. J.D. Greear is lead pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina and author of the recently-released Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send.
Specifically, listen for what he has to say about how "winning a church to God's mission" involves (1) an understanding of the "sending" nature of the gospel, (2) an understanding of the mission-empowering work of the Holy Spirit, and (3) celebrating what God is doing through the church on mission.
Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.