Saturday, September 15, 2007

Session V: Core Seminar Overview

[Mike Gilbart-Smith 2:35pm Friday afternoon 9/14/07]

1 Corinthians 9:24:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

The normal model for a Sunday school curriculum is an age-graded system. This is how CHBC was set up when Mark Dever arrived. The advantage to this system was that the age group had the opportunity to know each other and relate because they were similar to each other. However, the disadvantage was that it divided the congregation. This age-graded system put the teaching ministry in the hands of people that the church didn’t necessarily know, which the church was responsible for in regard to teaching (Hebrews 13:17).

This ministry has changed a few times and has definitely evolved over the last ten years. Currently, they have the Sunday school classes set up in what are called core seminar tracks. It takes one year to complete each track.

(1) The membership matters track. This is the track that people should attend before they’re a member in order to become a member of CHBC.

(2) The basics track is geared philosophically to folks who are one of several categories: (a) pre-Christian (fosters a familiarity to and with the gospel), (b) new Christian (this is a model and explanation of Christian discipleship), (c) how we work out God’s will for our life (how to understand God’s guidance), and (d) how to share the gospel (this is a course on evangelism with a modified presentation of 2-ways to live material and Mattias media’s "Christianity Explained").

(3) The overview of the Bible track. This class is broken into two 26 week segments on that covers every book of the Old Testament and New Testament. This track provides a basic overview of every book in the Bible. Generally they spend a week on each book of the Bible focusing on main themes and then applying them to our personal lives.

(4) The Church History and Systematic Theology track consists of two 13 week divisions.

(5) Then there is the Christian life track going into more detail on how we live our lives in pursuit of Jesus for 12 months. This track consists of Living as a Church (based on Donald Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines in the Church), Personal Spiritual disciplines), a Marriage and Courtship course, and how to be Godly parents. The goal of the Christian growth track is to teach how we are to encourage others. How to engage in evangelism, apologetics and worldviews, and missions [I'm not sure that I categorized these correctly].

When people have gone through every possible course the Mike said that the church encourages folks to, “do the whole lot again.” This is a tool for discipling and the members of the church are encouraged strongly to use it. Not everyone is and elder, but all Christians disciple others. This is a basic part of the Christian life. Mike said that there are approximately 150 to 200 members currently attending core seminars.

He said that they exhort members to find someone else, bring them along to the different tracks, and talk about the class with them. This is how we are to disciple people as a church. Teaching is also a good training ground for current elders’ gifts and future elders. Current elders, potential elders, and staff teach the classes. To get curriculum…go to the CHBC website, we equip, then adults, then core seminars, scroll to bottom of page there’s a link that says view and download core seminar material.

Anything taught in the church must have a strategy for use. Don’t just do what has traditionally been done. There isn’t a specific track for college students either. They encourage college students to love people that aren’t college students, so they get them into the regular core seminar classes as well.

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