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Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

Returning Biblical

Education to the Local

 Church

 David Alan Black  

It has always intrigued me that the early Christians made such unstoppable progress despite their lack of a professionally-trained clergy. Perhaps there are some lessons we can learn from them today.

I think, for example, of a church in Hawaii that I was a part of many years ago. It offered classes designed for “laypersons,” and many of us eagerly attended them. I can still remember my lessons as well as my teacher, a Mr. Cook. He was a mentor and a model, and not merely a lecturer. The result? An unquenchable appetite to go even deeper in my studies of the Christian life.

Often I am invited to teach in church-related Bible schools, many of them in the Two-Thirds World. And I am delighted to do so. The local church in America seems to have forgotten its responsibility to disciple its members. “After all, we have our seminaries.” That is a dangerous attitude. The seminary classroom can be a place of magnificent learning, and often is. But every care must be made to avoid a learning experience that fails to give our students an idea of what it costs to follow Jesus. We must not forget that the early church had no formal educational institutions or professionally-trained academics, and yet it turned the world upside-down in a mere 30 years.

There were many good reasons for this. Someone once said that the three greatest dangers of a seminary education are extraction, expense, and elitism. A clerical culture develops. Writes Abbé Michonneau in his book Revolution in a City Parish (pp. 131-32): 

Our seminary training … has put us in a class apart…. Usually it means that we feel compelled to surround ourselves with those who will understand our thought and our speech, and who have tastes like our own…. We are living in another world, a tidy clerical and philosophical world.

“Clergy” becomes a whole way of living, an ecclesiastical subculture. The church, however, predates the seminary and will outlast it. The book of Acts reminds us that the earliest church leaders were homegrown nobodies. They were not parachuted in from the outside with all of the proper credentials. They were already full participants in their congregations – they had homes, they had jobs, and they had solid reputations. If at all possible, I think we too would do well to train people for leadership in our local churches, equipping them for evangelism and other ministries, thus complementing the work of our seminaries and Bible colleges. The early church knew that leadership is best learned by on-the-job training, not by sending our most promising leaders off to sit behind a desk.

There is a real need today for ministry to become de-professionalized. Let us not forget the sufficiency of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to guide even the simplest believer into truth. Any church can, if it is willing, follow the pattern of the early church in this regard. It can begin by ensuring that its shepherd-teachers are steeped in the Word of God and able to teach its magnificent truths to others. Happy the church that, like the Berean congregation, can listen sensitively to the Holy Spirit as He speaks through the Scriptures! It is interesting to observe how many people have signed up for the Greek class I am offering in my local church. All are welcome, and I am expecting a broad array of students. I cannot help but think of the example set for me so many years ago by Mr. Cook. He had a true pastor’s heart, and he knew the Word. He was a mature Christian who walked daily and deeply with his Savior. And what of his students? They came from all walks of life, but each was prepared to listen and discuss and study and learn.

Let there be no pay for teacher and no fee for student! Equally, let us use ordinary language in our teaching and avoid the jargon of the academy. You have to get the right instructor, of course, otherwise the enterprise will be counter-productive. But I am not talking about someone with a doctorate in theology. And there is no need to professionalize or formalize the instruction either. I think it is fair to say that the tendency of American churches is to pay inordinate attention to matters of incorporating, financing, and staffing their new “Bible Institutes.” I am suggesting that it would be a waste of time and resources to hire a registrar, faculty, and administration. Let us look to those in our congregations who will volunteer their time and talents for the work. What a rare and attractive thing it would be to offer solid biblical instruction without the paraphernalia so often deemed indispensable by professional educators.

I would like to make it clear once more that I am not saying we should not have seminaries or Bible schools. What troubles me is that we so often equate a formal biblical education with true biblical understanding. It seems to me that it is time to say “Enough!” to the fallacious notion that a degree in theology makes one qualified for leadership in the church. Throughout the Scriptures the summons is given to forsake conformity to the world’s wisdom and to pursue the wisdom that is from above. Paul reminds us that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3), and that we “are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10). Call this the “sufficiency of Christ,” if you will, but it is insufficiently acknowledged. A major exception was the sixteenth-century Anabaptists in Europe. It was their devotion to the Scriptures that set the Anabaptists apart from their Reformation counterparts. They listened to the Word of God with humble reverence. They were anxious to obey it too, whatever the cost to them personally. Elsewhere I have noted that they believed in “the Bible as a book of the church instead of as a book for scholars,” and in “a hermeneutic of obedience instead of a hermeneutic of knowledge.” The Anabaptists well understood that we learn to apply the Word not in the abstract milieu of the classroom but in the world. And when we truly understand the truth of God’s Word, it shapes our entire life and worldview.

I believe one of the greatest needs of the contemporary church is conscientious obedience to the words and teachings of Jesus. Mature Christian discipleship is possible only where there is submission to the full biblical witness to Christ. And there is nothing in a formal education that guarantees such obedience. Indeed, there is much, I think, that impedes it. As an example, take a course in Acts I once taught at a Bible college in a developing country. The students were much more inclined to bring their notebooks to class than their Bibles. Their studies clearly were geared more toward a grade than toward life. When final exam time came, things took an interesting twist. In part one of the exam I intended the students to write out from memory certain verses with their Bibles closed, while in part two they were to answer questions with their Bibles open. The students strenuously objected to this policy, pleading with me not to expose them to the temptation of cheating on part one. My answer was gentle but unyielding: “If I cannot trust you not to cheat on this exam, you do not belong in this Bible school and certainly not in any form of Christian ministry.” In a similar incident that occurred while I was teaching Greek in another institution (again in the Two-Thirds World), my request to allow my students to write a take-home exam was met with the dean’s demurral: “Impossible. They can’t be trusted.” And this in the largest theological college in that country! In saying this, I have not forgotten the human tendency to cheat on exams. Yet these were Christian adults, not children. It is plain that if we cannot trust our brightest theological students to exercise self-control and honesty in exam-taking, we certainly cannot entrust them with pastoral oversight.

We in the church of Jesus Christ are always in danger of magnifying titles and degrees and forgetting that a formal theological education guarantees neither sound doctrine nor mature character. The essential mark of Christian leadership is love not ability, humility not arrogance, wisdom not knowledge. We must cease viewing knowledge as an end in itself, but must pursue the mind of Christ, remembering that “truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21). I wonder if anything is more urgent today, for the building up of the Body of Christ, than that its leaders should be, and should be seen to be, men who have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The crucial thing is that local churches take discipleship seriously. And it is neither biblical nor helpful to abdicate this responsibility to institutions of higher education, as valuable as they are. The seminary exists to serve the local church, not vice versa. So when opportunity occurs to return biblical education to your local church, I say grasp it with both of your hands!

January 8, 2009

David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.

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There used to be something I believed quite strongly in. That is if you just learned enough bible, you know enough verses things would get better. And the reason people couldn’t stay strong is because they didn’t have enough bible in them. So if someone had a problem hook them up to the bible IV, sooner or later they would get better, or there was something wrong with them. Why? Because the bible is the answer to all of our questions and life difficulties right?

Just apply the specific proof text to your problems three times a day and call me in the morning. Got marriage problems? Read the bible! Children experimenting with drugs (first the church may be so judgmental that you won’t have to worry about them talking to you) apply the bible. Anxiety due to the economy and you don’t have enough money saved to weather the storm? Read the bible! Molested as a child? Read the Bible! Lost your spouse and children in a wreck? Come on! Read your bible! Want to know the answers to everything in the world? Read your bible!

But what happens Community of Grace when it doesn’t work? When my husband or wife is having an affair? When my boss mistreats me and the anxiety wakes me up at 3:00 Sunday morning. When my kid overdoses? When my spouse commits suicide and we don’t have life insurance? When the chemo and the operation didn’t heal the cancer of my 3 year old? When I am told by the doctor that he can’t find whats wrong and my health insurance runs out. When my wife can’t get pregnant, or she loses 3 kids and now she has depression and don’t want to see me, touch me or even hear my voice? What happens when I don’t want to read the bible, my prayers are as heavy as armored truck, when the ceiling is closing in the walls are getting getting closer, the end seems to be as far away as the sun? When Jesus feels like an abstract thought, sort of like the Tooth Fairy or Frost the Snowman?

For the most part I don’t think we know what to do. We have become so accustomed to prescribing the bible that we don’t know how to allow people to be messed up. We got to fix it. We have to give them an answer. Forget weeping when they weep, or rejoicing when they rejoice. Forget bearing one anothers burdens. Why because that takes relationship, time,  grace. We have to allow people to question God in a way that shakes our faith at its core, and for most of us that is to scary. That is too risky. We have to allow people to cry on us until we are soaked in their tears, that our hearts ache, until we are torn as they our torn.

Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen. Sometimes we need to put the kids to bed, turn on the coffee pot (or open a couple of beers, or like me a little “wine for my stomach”) and prepare for a long night. But we don’t have time, nor the patience,  nor the endurance to bear others burdens. I also don’t think we have the compassion nor the mercy. It is much easier to fix it, give them a bible verse and it all just goes away, depression and emotional illness, and homosexual struggles, and infidelity and lose of young loved ones are not easy fixes and I know many people today who say “the church left me hanging in my time of need” and they want nothing to do with it/us.

Here is my appeal Christian, and to all of the people that I gave some neat verse in your time of need I am soooo sorry, be a shoulder, or an ear, open your home and get the tissues ready. Tell the spouse you are going to be up late at Denny’s, tell the boss you will be in a little late. In other words stop trying to do the easy fix method, the patch work of quoting verses. Listen, have compassion, lay down your life, I know you have to go to work and the kids have you up late, and the game is coming on, but I remember Paul saying “don’t look out for your own interests only”. Lets start being a community of grace and that just doesn’t mean forgiveness but also extended one’s life for the benefit of others.

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This is not an attempt to demean or nullify or to downplay the evangelistic methods of others. I do; however, want to communicate what I think “evangelistic methods” convey to others.

Most of us Christians live in the Christian Bubble.  We have no real intimate relationships with non-believers. A great deal of us wear our morality on our sleeves and expect many if not all of those in our path to conform to our morality and thus leading people further away from us.

Because we have no relationships with people the need for Drive-by Evangelism has been substituted for the need to win people over with the love of Jesus. As a matter of fact one is now the other. We are told today (I have read this just recently) that the reason we don’t evangelize the way Ray Comfort and others do is because we have no concern for the souls of man. In other words you don’t really love people if you aren’t out there trying to share the Gospel with as many people as possible.

Let first say to those who don’t evangelize is such a way, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that you don’t. It is ploy, a tick, a manipulative tool to get you to do something you are not comfortable doing and may shouldn’t be doing anyway. I will say this quite candidly; attempting to get people to do things your way by manipulating them and especially calling their love for humanity and God into question is of Satan. Okay I am off that soapbox.

Back to where I was going. Because we believe that Evangelical Morality is God’s utmost concern we live very isolated lives. We don’t want our children interacting with the kids across the street, 99.99% of our friends are Christians or at least morally astute, and our idea of Christian Service is greeting or parking lot ministry. Then Comfort and Cameron comes along and gives you “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” or some other guilt trip that make you feel dirty because you aren’t evangelizing enough and you build up enough courage to order some tracts to leave on your company’s lunch table, or hand out with sweaty palms at the mall, or you join the churches evangelism team and go out in numbers to save the world from Hell.

Others build there entire ministry on what we call “street preaching” on college campuses or downtown in major cities and they feel they have reached martyrdom if someone curses them out. They feel they have suffered for the Lord Jesus because someone yells at them or throws a tomato at them. I will tell you this quite honestly friend. It is much easier to stand on a box, hand out tracts, corner people who are guilty and get them to say a prayer, or any other evangelistic method. It is much more difficult and life altering to sit in the house with vilest of humans, have them over for dinner, invite your nosey neighbor into your life, hang out with someone who’s vocabulary is more in line with a Bar around at 1:30 A.M. It is much more difficult to get to know your neighbors, to have them over for movie nights or game nights, to help that prostitute off the street, become a father figure to that troubled kid in the community.

You see doing life on life evangelism takes, time, energy, and maybe even money. A CD with a gospel message, or some tracts only take a little money and just like many evangelicals in America we love to throw money at problems instead of getting in the trenches with the wounded.

Let me end with this. I am not discouraging you from doing any of the above “methods”. But I implore and challenge you that the person who does give you that 3 minutes to do the “good person” would be more than an evangelistic conquest and they become a real human being. That since they gave you 3 minutes that you would take them to lunch or have them over for dinner (that is if you ain’t evangelizing 45 minutes from where you really live). I challenge you to first start in Jerusalem (your home community) then go to the outer most parts. I ask that you wouldn’t just tell the convert to wrestle with these issues, but that you will wrestle with them even if takes 5 years. That you will not just hand them a tract but give them your number even if they never accept Jesus Christ that you will befriend them as fellow human being. I challenge you to take the same evangelism team from your church to the same community that you were trying to convert and serve them with reckless abandon. My challenge is that you evangelize like Jesus. Who not only shared the Good News but served humanity by giving His life. The key to evangelism isn’t convicting people of sin, or getting people to pray a prayer, or getting people to say yes they will receive Jesus and not even getting them into church. It is reconciling people to God and becoming Christ to them. When we begin to quote quantity of converts instead of quality of disciples we have missed it. Not only that, if you will only relate to them based off of a decision for Christ then I don’t know if you are evangelistic as God is. It took Jesus years to win most of us over, God invested His only Son, how much are you willing to invest?

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I now have to recant on my post and say to everyone I was wrong on my position but I think I my intentions were correct. My Post on Purate to Steaks has been demolished, disposed, crushed, dissolved and mutilated by this post! Below is a powerful excerpt from it!

It is vitally important that we understand the genetic reality of spiritual life, the organic nature of spiritual growth, and the inherent reproductivity of the life of Christ, beginning with the reality that we are born of the Spirit and that all growth and reproduction is a function of the Spirit.

then…

Then in a rush to transform our new converts into shiny, happy christians we train them into every aspect of cultural christianity rather than trusting the process of transformation by the Spirit that begins within before it becomes evident to others. The goal is to get them looking and acting like good christians as soon as possible.

So we feed them high-octane food in order to grow quickly.

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Here are the verses:

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,

Maybe this is an over allegorization but I am going to go for it anyway and then let you guys rebuke me. When I used to read this, I had no clue what it was about. I thought to my self big deal! Dude got a little tipsy, okay he got bonafide wasted but “we all sin and fall short of the glory of God” right? I am pretty sure there are many Christians who struggle with alcoholism or has a bit too much to drink or has a celebration at their home and has a bit too much to drink. And just in case you ask, no smoking cigarettes and drinking are not sins regardless of what many of my <clears throat> Baptist brethren tell you.

So after reading this I thought to myself man the punishment for telling your brothers “dudes, daddy got tore up” seemed to be a bit odd to me. Noah literally cursed his son. For saying “daddy got drunk and is naked”?!!! Man that seems cruel and unusual. That is like cutting off your kids arms because he took the cookie out of the cookie jar and he is only 2! But again I knew there was something going on, but I just went in the same ol’ Christian fashion which is “I don’t understand, and it isn’t a big deal”. Whew! Tell Ham and Canaan that!

But after reading something over at Smulo Space, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me an aha moment. So again this will be in usual fashion for me during the last few weeks and that is confession for you so that you don’t make the mistakes I made! Okay here we go. Ted Haggard was one of the most popular evangelical leaders in the U.S. He was James Dobson’s poster boy for evangelicalism! He had one of the biggest churches in the United States of America and was an adviser for President Bush. He stood arm in arm with Focus on the Family, and was well on his way to being on front of many Christian Magazines. He was sort of like Olsteen with a mean streak! For the most part I liked the dude’s ministry. Charismatic yet Conservative, Sort of Fundamental but yet fun! But then out of the sky BAAAAAMMMMMM! He was caught in a scandal! A huge scandal one that involved homosexuality (that he was against vocally) and adultery (didn’t I tell you he was down with FOTF) and it hit national news (listen to me carefully never covet the national spotlight and never ever let it define you, if so they will crush you like the planet Mars hitting a grape!). His stock fell faster than Enron’s, no it was more like Milli Vanilli after the “Blame it on the, blame it on it, blame it on it <record skips>” fiasco!

And guess what the community of grace! Paaaauuusssee! We are a community of grace aren’t we! If anyone is to be the most gracious for the whole world to see, shouldn’t it be us? Like, our foundation is Grace isn’t it (Ephesians 2)?! Wait, wait, “God so loved that He gave”, has anything been more gracious than that? Okay let me try this “you were dead in trespasses and sins BUT God made you alive”, oh, oh, I know, how about this one “while we were yet enemies Christ died”! I have at least 500 more but I will digress for time and space sake! Dude the only reason I am alive, you are alive, you are a Christian, you have eyesight, you can breath, you don’t have Downs, you weren’t born a crack baby, you don’t have AIDS is because of GRACE! Okay I am done with that one.

So what did the church do for Mr. Haggard! We joined in the public scorning with the media is what we did. We became “Rearview Mirror Prophets”! You know the ones who knew everything about everything but didn’t decide to express it until it already happened! Get outta of here! We joined the media in exposing him, oh yeah back the verses, exposing his nakedness!

Let me explain. It wasn’t about Noah’s nakedness, it was about Ham’s wickedness! What was his wickedness? The fact that he saw his father, vulnerable, in a shameful predicament, full of sin, he had fallen! The great Noah who God used to save humanity was now in a cave drunk and naked (after seeing that many people drown I probably would have needed a drink or two also, pregnant women, elderly, little babies, they all drowned, I probably would have tried to find some soil on the boat to plant something)! And instead of covering his father, he runs to expose his sin! To expose his shame, to make a public announcement (don’t forget they are the only ones around) about this old drunk fool! So that is why I believe he was cursed! Not because of what he did but why he did it! He didn’t go ask for help from Shem to cover his father, he wanted to show everyone the folly of his dad! A man God just used as a picture of the redemption of Jesus Christ!

You know what though? Ham does not have the living God indwelling him in the person of the Holy Spirit. The third person in the living Trinity taking up residence in his life! The problem with that is that we do! But just like Ham, we expose the shame, the embarrassment, we make a public announcement of others failures! The problem is I can’t understand for the life of me why! Why do we do that. Why are we so quick to run and tell others about the brother caught in sin, instead of doing what Paul commands the Galatians in chapter 6 of the epistle with the same name:

6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

You see we as believers have an opportunity to be Shems and Japheths in the Christian Community. It is a proven fact that many will fall, many will engage in gross sins, but when that arises what should we do? We should be a place of refuge and safety. We should cover our brothers and sisters short comings! Why? Because this is the nature of Christ. “Blessed is the man, who’s sin is not counted against him”. But not only that we love to have our sins covered. We love for Jesus to not expose us, for Him to give us an opportunity to get it right! It is evident by the fact we don’t confess all of our faults.

I close with this. The Church should look like Shem and Japheht, when the opportunity arose for them to feel good about themselves and laugh at their fathers nakedness, like their brother (who just so happened to be extended grace by allowing to escape the wrath of God) they did not. They were like God who covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness (remember Paul says “be imitators of God”). They were the Old Testament example of a grace and covering sin! Yes many Christians are in the spotlight, many of them are weak and immature. Some of them become Christians after living publicly lewd lifestyles and yes many of them are on TBN and Daystar! But they are our brothers and sisters, when the opportunity arises let us be like Shem and Japheth and let us rebuke all who have the wicked intentions of Ham!

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“You aren’t sharing the Gospel? How can you say you love Jesus”? “What you studying in the scriptures? Nothing!? Man you ain’t going to ever grow like that”! “Relational witnessing? What is that? I can’t find that in my bible!”. “You go to who’s church? Man, don’t you know that your pastor and Jakes, Dollar, Hinn, Warren ________ (fill in the blank) are friends”? “What’s your pastor’s name? Don’t you know that he was at a conference with heretic”!? “You don’t know what justification means? Man, do you even understand the Gospel”?! “Have you discipled anyone since you have been saved; that person does what, there is no way they are saved; you believe what; you don’t know that wow; you don’t do that dude; you haven’t read this, you aren’t interested in theology; you can’t tell the difference…………?????!!!!!!!

This was my Christianity, arrogant, cocky, self-righteous, judgmental, all head and about as much heart as when the Tin Man meets Dorothy! To sum it up I was not a pleasant Christian to be around. Always handing out unsolicited books, always telling people what I thought about false teachers, always showing people how smart I was, what books I had read, what I believed, proud to show people I knew the difference between Biblical and Systematic Theology and I always wondered why 8 out of 10 people didn’t want to spend much time with me, like the kid who doesn’t discover deodorant until he is 18!

Why am I telling you this? Because those things above defined me and I don’t want them to define you. If we are to error lets do it on the side of grace. Let’s be over-gracious instead of overly critical. I lived my Christian life looking for rotten apples on a pretty well off tree. So I overlooked bushels and bushels of ripe sweet apples and only found the ones that have some damage and would say of that tree “look, you see this tree is no good”. Not finding areas of God’s grace in a persons life is a critical flaw! Yeah a lot of people are jacked up. Some of that is due to being under bad teaching, some of it due to having bad experiences and bringing in a lot of baggage. But man, if you were to check my luggage you may find some things that would cause you to treat me differently you may not even want to travel this journey with me anymore. If you look for the bad in individuals you will find it that is a promise.

I also write this to tell you not to be as pushy as I was. I was aggressive (well maybe still am) and for some reason that never drew people in and I always pointed the finger at them. I could never see that I was critical, that I was judgmental (I would always say “Jesus calls us to be fruit inspectors, uh, not really) I could never see that Jesus ate, talked and loved on people and met them exactly as they were and went where they were. Jesus didn’t say “go, clean up your life and theology then come back and see me”. He simply extends them grace and love and because of that the religious elite called Him all type of unsavory names. Jesus doesn’t tell the woman who is crying at His feet “hey go get your theology right before you interact with me, dont’ you know who I am”. Actually there is a lovely post found here about this.  Nope, He actually rebukes the leader whose house he is at because of that.

I am going to be honest. Most of us with really good theology have really bad hearts. We can be very critical of others and we can be so unloving. We live by the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. We are zealous for truth more than we are people and yes Jesus is the truth but He values people so much more. I don’t want you to travel the road I was on and if you are on it I want you off of it immediately. We aren’t helping people we are hurting them and wounding them and many times those relationships are very difficult to repair. Sometimes Jesus just wants us to listen, love and serve, not give a bunch of deep biblical answers while over looking the experiences that has shaped the individual.

I close with this, a gentle knock is much more receptive than a battle ram. Think about it, if the police comes to your door and knocks it down with a battle ram, when they just could have knocked gently while you and your family was eating dinner, what would you think? Would that not be excessive force? We don’t burn down the house to get rid of a mouse do we? Paul commands us to correct with “gentleness and patience”. Jesus says “be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves”. Peter says “give a defense with gentleness”. I believe gentleness, patience, kindness, respect, man just plain ol’ common sense love is the way to go. Man I still have been trying to repair relationships from such mistakes and I don’t want you to have to experience what I experienced. I once heard someone say “experience is the wisdom of fools”. I think especially when you have evidence!

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One of the greatest tools I have gotten in discipling  are the catechisms above. My son who is about 2.5 years old has learned a 2 verses and 3 questions. The books are broken out by age group. It is a bit more simplistic than the other Catechisms that are out and I believe the niche is that a two year old can begin to have his/her worldview shaped. The book has hymns, verses and questions and I can’t recommend it enough. I really have no dislikes or complaints.  These can be purchased from Founders Press here Next up……

This is also a wonderful tool. If not the best tool I own. I will say upfront that most of the people including Adam and Eve are “White” and that causes a bit of a problem because there are many illustrations and some people of African American descent may not like this. The other could be the book seems to have Covenantal convictions and language flowing through it. This will be unnoticeable to many but I wanted to bring it up. You can pretty much read through this in a few weeks if you read nightly to your children. It does an unbelievable job keeping the narratives biblically and Christ centred. I say this because I keep “morality” driven Christian content away from my son. I actually dislike it a great bit. Things like “Veggie Tales”, christian superheros, “Adventures in Odyssey”, and whatever else you will find in the kid section of your local Christian bookstore I avoid. The Bible is Redemptive History and is all about Jesus Christ. I believe most of what they teach distorts this. Narratives like Jonah, David and Goliath, and the Exodus lose there Christocentric value and thus the Gospel becomes an add on. I will stop there. It can purchased here . I was actually blessed to get mine a bit cheaper from Grace Frisco Church a church in the Sovereign Grace Ministries Family.

So please purchase these tools. The last tool is your life. This is a bit more difficult, but there is no greater tool than them seeing your serve, repent, and lay your life down. However the reason you do these things have to be becasue of Christ. I hope this helps.

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