By David Nelson. Equip for Ministry will be featuring selected churches in the PCA excelling in the ministry of making kingdom disciples. The following article features First Presbyterian Church of Stanley, NC., Dan King senior pastor. The article by David Nelson, associate pastor of Christian education and discipleship,was written at the request of EfM. Our thanks to David for his assistance. We asked him to highlight their ministry to the rising generation. We commend them for their vision and desire to begin the discipleship process in the early years of their covenant children’s lives.
The PCA, as a biblically reformed church, has a particular perspective on the Church and the kingdom. Being reformed in doctrine requires a strong commitment to covenant theology, and covenant theology gives special attention to the rising generation in its implementation. God has instructed us to make kingdom disciples by teaching his people to observe all that he has commanded, and that definitely includes our children and grandchildren, “that the next generation might know them, and the children yet unborn,”(Ps. 78:6).
I am responding to two related questions below that focus on curriculum, the main topic in this edition of Equip for Ministry. One is what difference does it make what curriculum we use in our church? A second question has come from pastors who basically ask, why should I get involved in the curriculum used in the church? Several years ago in a random sampling, I found that only one-fourth of the pastors queried knew what curriculum was being used in their Sunday school.
By Dave Matthews. Part of the church’s responsibility of equipping teachers for a ministry in the church is to provide them with the proper curriculum… A major problem in churches today is choosing a curriculum that is biblically sound and faithful to a correct theological interpretation of Scripture-the redemptive-historical approach. Many churches, independent and denominational, use material that is broadly evangelical and user friendly without discernment of the curriculum’s focus.
By Brad Windsted. No one has to tell me how busy they are as parents in this cyber/new millennium age. Two income homes are now the commonly acceptable and necessary economic structure of many Christian homes. The increasingly fragmented family finds it almost impossible to set aside any time for family fellowship let alone family worship. To have a meal together is now a cherished event reserved more for holidays and seldom seen during the week as conflicting schedules leave us with microwaved suppers and exhausted parents and children.
It never ceases to amaze me that anywhere in the world you say “Christian Education” people automatically think of Sunday school. Is this the only education the church is engaged in? If so, we are in trouble. Let me explain.
Don Clements. Does it matter if I know all that stuff about Martin Luther and John Knox? Does it matter if I know what has happened in the PCA for the past 30 plus years? All I really care about is my own local church and my own personal ministry – and I just don’t have time to worry about all that other stuff. Let me suggest that “all that other stuff” is part and parcel of what ultimately produced your local church, and for that matter, most likely your individual ministry.
God has given us his Word as his revealed will, but has also given us hundreds of years of church history to help us better understand and apply his Word to our life and world. The Apostles passed on that tradition to the early church and through the church to us today. We do not worship in a time warp. We are not existentialists only focusing on the present moment. As evangelical and reformed Christians, we realize that we worship with saints of all the ages and we stand on the shoulders of giants of the faith who have preceded us.
The framework for the church to be in the world but not of it requires knowing the Word, knowing what we believe and why, and knowing the transforming effect truth is to have upon our lives. Included in the framework is the need to understand the world–not only to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, but also to know how to better communicate God’s truth in this world. Still, through my study, experience, and analysis I have a number of concerns about the church’s current involvement in our world.
By Amy Sherman. The members of Southwood Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, Alabama, are heavenly minded–and earthly good. The most visible example of this is the giant replica of the solar system they’ve constructed for Lincoln Elementary School, where 94 percent of attending children are poor enough to qualify for the government’s free lunch program.