The author of Hebrews challenges the reader about halfway through the epistle by writing:
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. And so God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. (Hebrews 6:1-3 NLT)
This admonish is a bit complicated because one can read it and think that pastors and churches are stuck preaching and teaching on these basic principles. When are we ever going to go deeper?
For those who have been walking the journey of faith over a longer period of time, they may feel like they’ve heard enough about repentance, faith, laying on of hands, resurrection, and judgement. There arises a bit of frustration or boredom with some of the teachings offered at church. But don’t forget that just as there are seasoned saints in the room, there are also new babies. Actually, the author of Hebrews is chastising the seasoned saints for their ignorance and/or inaction as it relates to matters of a faith-filled life.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. (Hebrews 5:12 NLT).
One could argue that built into the author’s argument is that part of the Christian life is being equipped and then put into action (deployed).
The leadership of New Vida has established six statements or concepts we desire to live into. We use these six statements to help us determine if we are effectively leading people on a journey of personal transformation in Christ Jesus. The statement this post is focused on is:
Equipping and Deploying people into kingdom service locally and around the world.
This month, our youth ministry is altering it’s programming approach for our Wednesday evening activities. For the past few years, the meetings have focused on a large group model. This model has allowed a few to carry out teaching, music, prayer, and other activities. Now we are shifting our approach to still incorporate the large group model, but to focus on equipping and deploying our teens in a small group approach. To do this, our teens are signing up to serve on one of six teams. These teams are made of 5 or 6 students who will work together for about 8 weeks. During this eight week period the student teams will focus on their area of emphasis and develop a presentation of sorts to share with the larger group once a month. So for three weeks out of the month, the students will be learning, discovering, and preparing. For one week, they will serve. The teams will be akin to ministry teams of the church (music, dance, video editing, visual arts, drama, and activities). After the 8 weeks with a group, our teens will be encouraged to try out a new team.
The expectation is that our teens (many of whom have attended church for several years and know many of the Bible stories) will now move into teaching others about God’s word through a variety of methods. They’ll no longer be spectators of ministry, but rather servant leaders. And when a student invites their friend to church with them, the new friend will join the team the student is on.
On September 6, 2017, this approach was introduced and enthusiastically received by 30 teenagers of New Vida. Your prayers for their growth and transformation are appreciated. God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.