Amazing Grace: Introduction

grace2.jpgThis begins a new series of posts that will be the building blocks for a series of classes to be taught this coming winter on grace. Much of the material may already be found here and there on this site, but the idea is to squeeze the essentials into a 13-lesson series that can be taught by several different teachers at once.

We are blessed to have a growing congregation, but growth comes with growing pains. New members arrive from all sorts of backgrounds. Some are transfers from more conservative Churches of Christ. Some are converted from completely unchurched backgrounds. Others have backgrounds from other denominations.

As these new members arrive, the impact of lessons taught years ago evaporates and so the material has to be retaught. And so we are in some senses an upside-down church.

Everyone knows that the oldest members are supposed to be the most conservative and the most resistant to change. But in our church, we are more likely to get complaints about going too “liberal” from the young people, being people who’ve only recently joined the church and haven’t yet had a chance to learn just how great God’s grace is.

Therefore, this is an effort to boil things down to the essentials. The leaders need for the members to allow us to lead them in the freedom that Jesus gives. If we remain legalists, then we lose valuable tools that we need to effectively work in God’s mission. Or maybe it comes closer to home to say: If we don’t escape our legalism, we’re going to lose our children. Period.

The Churches of Christ are retaining no more than 30% of our children–including kids who leave and later return. We are not converting enough new members to replace those of our own children who leave us. We aren’t even growing at the pace at which we bear children!

In confidential conversations with some of the people who keep up with such statistics, the largest losses are being suffered by the most conservative congregations. The more progressive churches are doing better, but even they aren’t doing all that well.

What’s the solution? Well, as always, to open up our Bibles and prayerfully allow God to judge who we are and what we are doing.

There’s an older series on how to teach adults that you might take the time to read–

An Idea for Teaching a Class on Grace

Three Ways to Organize an Adult Bible Department

Preliminary Thoughts on a New Approach to Adult Education

Myth 1: A Discussion Class is Better than a Lecture

Myth 2: Adult Education is All About Education

Myth 3: Class is for Class

Myth 4: It’s All About Life Application

Myth 5: Grace Is Dangerous

Myth 6: The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Matter

Myth 7: The Students Aren’t Listening

Myth 8: Restoration History Isn’t Important

Myth 9: Asking Questions Is Easy

Myth 10: It’s a Good Idea to Talk about Other Denominations

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