In my last post, I blogged reflections from Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase. In this post, I’ll share some practical ideas that are coming out of Centre Grove church council’s discussion of the reading.
Earlier this week, we talked about what we’re currently doing in the area of faith development (including Sunday school, occasional short-term studies, etc.), but we spent most of our time dreaming about what intentional faith development might look like for us. Specifically, we responded to the group activity that Bishop Schnase suggests in the book to …
outline a year’s worth of learning opportunities that you would like to attend if they were offered (78).
At first, several specific studies were named (e.g., the case for creation, etc.) but we also spent a good bit of time talking about various kinds of small groups and how we might get people involved in them.
The next day, three of us met together and we came up with a plan to help us be more intentional about faith development. In September, we are going to invite people to participate in The Essential 100 Challenge, which is a Bible reading program built around 100 selected passages of Scripture divided equally between the Old and New Testaments.
Along with the Bible reading program, we’re going to encourage people to participate in small groups (at church or in individual homes) beginning with ten weeks in the fall, which will take us through the Old Testament readings. In January, people will have the opportunity to continue in groups for the New Testament readings.
We have a few goals with this program: (1) to help people read the Bible consistently, (2) to give people a good overview of the Bible, and (3) to get people involved in small groups.
It’s a start. In our next discussion, we’ll talk about ways we can effectively cast the vision for this new ministry, as well as other ways we might practice intentional faith development beyond the next few months.