Since we started as a church we have met together at 9:30am Sundays for a “workshop” [no I am not very creative when it comes to naming these kinds of things] prior to our main morning service. During this same time slot we have a Children’s Sunday School as well which has evolved from more of a creche to, beginning this Sunday, a full Sunday School programme. This post will focus on our “workshop” time.
Quite often in our life as Christians we have a number of questions about God, Christ, the Scriptures, along with life in general which are not fully addressed in a Sunday sermon. Or at least not as often as we need or in a format that allows for interaction and questions. Mid-Week Bible Studies or Home Groups are an excellent tool as well, but it is generally difficult for a husband & wife (especially those with young children) to attend the same group. By providing Sunday School for the children and holding these workshops on a day when we are already focused on church, we get to participate in this time of learning together as a church family.
This is another benefit of both the time along with the format of these workshops. Because more people can generally participate together we are learning the same things together, wrestling together as a church family with the Scriptures and our hard questions. This aids in building unity of mind as well as heart in the life of a congregation.
For our first two months as a church we used this time to discuss, from the Scriptures, a number of topics which form some of our distinctives as a church – both doctrinal and practical. These subjects included:
- Membership & Church Discipline
- Church Leadership – Elders & Deacons
- Baptism & the Lord’s Table
- An overview of our Governing Documents (Constitution and Doctrinal)
In the future this same material will form the content of our Membership Classes. Initially this time provided an opportunity to ensure that all of the charter members of Rolleston Baptist Church were united on these key subjects which effect how our church functions as a congregation. By leading all future members through the same material we will endeavour to maintain this clarity and unity.
Since then we have continued with our “workshop” time [with the exception of a Summer break] but have expanded into a number of broader doctrinal subjects. These included:
- The Scriptures
- The Trinity
- The Attributes of God
- What is Man?
Beginning this Sunday we will continue this series. We have the following topics yet to come:
- The Person of Christ
- The Work of Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- Our Great Salvation
Each week our goal is not to cover as much material as possible, but to seek to study together these great doctrines from Scripture, wrestling with their implications for our own life and the life of our church. As a result some doctrines may be covered in just one week, others may take longer.
In the future we plan to use this “workshop” time for a series on ethics which will include such subjects as:
- Biblical Sexuality
- Reproductive Technologies & Genetics
- Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage
- Science & the Bible or “Were Adam & Eve Real People”?
Really the opportunities are limitless. This time provides us, as a church, the opportunity to come together and actively discuss what the Scriptures have to say about virtually any question we (or those we know) might have.