New Sunday School Series, beginning Sunday, September 11
Led By Amgad Beblawi, Mission Executive for Iowa Three Presbyteries
As we continue to witness the rapid decline of Christendom (Christian culture and dominance), it’s important that we reevaluate what it means to be the church – what the church is and its purpose. This class will survey New Testament passages that describe the nature of church, its identity, and its purpose. We will discuss the meaning of the creedal formula, “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” Our study will conclude with the marks of a vibrant congregation.
Session 1: What the Church is
The New Testament describes that church as a new humanity, a new creation, God’s own people, household of God, body of Christ. We examine the NT metaphors of the Great Banquet and a large sheet.
Session 2: The Identity of the Church (to whom the church belongs)
The NT is clear that the church is Christ’s/God’s, not ours. In this session, we address issues such as Christian nationalism, tribalism (especially in rural churches), identifying churches by ethnicity (e.g., Armenian Apostolic Church, Russian Orthodox, PC(USA), etc.). We also address the problem with congregations that turn into social clubs.
Session 3: The Vocation/Purpose of the Church
We use NT passages that describe the vocation of the church as a sent community (John 20:21, Act 1:8).We refer to the Book of Order, chapter 1 – “The mission of God in Christ gives shape and substance to the life and work of the Church….”