Educational Ministry–the organized structure through which your local New Testament church facilitates the work of the Holy Spirit in delivering God’s Word to the believer’s heart in a transformative way. Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade. It’s the vehicle of your church for the intentional guided growth of its members in Christlikeness.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, HCSB)
The Bible is so much more than a self-help book. It is a book divinely inspired by God the Father, delivered to the hearts of men and women through the work of God the Spirit, and on every page it testifies to the redemptive work of God the Son. If, as a believer, you ever feel uneducated, rebellious, untrained, incomplete, or ill-equipped for a life of godliness, consistent exposure to (and obedience to) the unadulterated Word of the Living God will be your pathway to purpose.
In a world of quick-fixes, it is tempting to move from one hot-spot spiritual experience to the next, hoping for some spark of Spiritual vigor to be reignited once again. A retreat or conference here or there, with an occasional revival meeting between. Those are all good things. Yet for some reason, we still walk from day to day spiritually immature – fleshly, carnal, defensive. The apostle Paul shares his frustration with the lack of spiritual growth in a church body:
“Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?” (1 Cor. 3:1-3)
The author of Hebrews agrees:
“We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (He. 5:11-14)
Your church has a Small Group program (or “Sunday School”) not because it’s a good way to ramp up numbers to report to denominational headquarters. Consistency in structured Small Group Bible Study is where believers have the most potential to learn and appropriate biblical truth in their lives. It’s where you maximize your potential for spiritual transformation, and become a partner in the spiritual transformation of others.
If it’s a life filled by the power of God’s Spirit, effective for Kingdom work, and productive for your own good/blessing, then your faithfulness to Small Group Bible Study in a local New Testament Church is “where it’s at.”
Grace and Peace,