Christian Education: Never Stop Growing
by Abiding Love
The two followers of Jesus were walking downcast toward the city of Emmaus. It was Easter Sunday. These disciples believed they had lost Jesus and been following a false belief in his Messiahship. Jesus began walking with them along the road, although they did not recognize their risen Savior. Jesus entered into their discussion about their lost friend and lost faith.
Then Jesus took them back to things these two disciples had heard many times from the Scriptures. Jesus took them back to the history lessons of Genesis through David. He took them back to prophecies that maybe these men had memorized when they were little. Jesus took these disciples back to Scriptures they had already learned, but then he opened their minds to understand more deeply what they were saying. Jesus connected the dots of what these disciples already knew so that they could fathom that their Messiah HAD to die and that he would rise again.
Jesus was a master teacher. In education, we first teach numbers, then how to add, them multiplication, and then algebra and other advanced applications. Each level builds on what was previously learned. So also, as we study God’s Word, there are different levels of study.
Our children and some adults are at the elementary level. In Sunday School this year we will teach our children basic Bible history and they will memorize parts of Scripture. For adults, we will offer a Bible 101 class to quickly immerse ourselves in the foundational teachings of Scripture.
When we know the basics of the Bible, we can build on it and go to the next level. For our children in middle school and high school, we offer classes that take the basic Bible history and the memory work of their elementary years and I ask “What does this mean?” Our children, entering an age of reason, are called on to think about what they have learned and memorized and heard in the past and grow in understanding. God-willing their minds and hearts are opened like the disciples on the way to Emmaus.
For adults, we have multiple opportunities to grow. I would like to suggest one in particular. Every Sunday at 9:15 I have the privilege of teaching the adults of our congregation. In the next weeks we will look at Jesus’ parables in depth and consider what they mean.
Finally, the more we grow, the more we can share. You can go from being a disciple to also being a witness and a teacher for your home and family, within your congregation, and to a lost world.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer