Church is a place to learn

Teaching should always be part of the church.

Kei-Lynn Wheaton, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way society functions. For over a year, people retreated into their homes, overcome by fear. This was not limited to places of business and schools but churches as well. The retreat to the home brings up the interesting subject about what it means to learn in the church.

 The church should be where Christians come to learn and grow. Proverbs 1:7 says that, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 

Acts 5:42 also calls the church to teach, as it says “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

BIBLE CLASSES ARE DWINDLING

Mark Wingfield wrote an article that tackles this subject in “What will become of Sunday School?” Wingfield says “among all the non-Baptist churches I visited, most felt lucky to have two or three small group Bible studies that met throughout the year or part of the year. The notion of a year-round, full-scale, all-ages Sunday school program was unimaginable to them.” Wingfield theorized that because these were pre-pandemic numbers, they may have decreased further. He goes on to say “I would argue that in traditional churches like ours, adult Sunday school has been the glue that kept people together during the pandemic.”

These types of classes are still present in an online format. The numbers “in attendance” may rise but there is still a lack of community compared to an organic in-person conversation. As noted in Wingfield’s article, “the impersonal nature of online worship during the pandemic has increased the need for personal connections through small groups.” However, people must make the decision to bring a learning atmosphere back to the church.

WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD CONTINUE TO LEARN IN CHURCH

When someone hears “disciple,” they might think about someone who is devoted. 

However, in Greek it means someone who is a learner. Being a disciple in Christ means being someone who tries to learn and grow. 

Tyndale wrote an article that discusses why lifelong learning remains important. It says “yet the very activity of acquiring new skills, developing new attitudes, formulating new relationships, discovering, daring, exploring, reforming, renewing – in short, learning – is what makes life the adventure Jesus promised.”

USEFUL TOOLS

The Bible should be the first and most important tool for any Bible study or Sunday school class. There are great resources for free versions of the Bible online such as Bible Gateway. This website has free reading plans, recommendations for notetaking and much more. It is a great tool to use in a church that has limited funds but wants to establish a class with their congregation. 

Something as simple as a notebook and a pencil for notes is also needed. In some situations, Sunday school leaders  give their attendees printouts of questions and important topics they want to cover. The more that someone learns about the history and culture of the book they are reading, the better they understand the context. Every Christian should know the cultural and historical context of biblical passages. They owe it to God to do the work.

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