...teaching them to do all things whatsoever I have commanded you. -Matthew 28:20a
Twice in the past week I have been engaged in conversation with one of my church family at GPC and they have made the comment, "Ours is a teaching church."
The deliberate and considered effort at Grace to instruct believers in the faith is the reason why I am rarely tempted to be discouraged by our relatively small numbers.
What does this "teaching church" look like, you may ask.
We have had studies in everything from the biblical view of worship to how to evangelize to church history. We teach our little children simplified versions of the catechism (click here for an idea of what that looks like:
Both Sunday School and Sunday evenings are given to learning about the content of the faith. This is important stuff after all, right? How else would we defend the faith (1 Peter 3:15-16) if we were not aware of the biblical foundation for it?
How could we understand our denominational teachings (and some of yours, too) if we had no knowledge of the Church's history: its growth, its persecutions, its struggles against false teaching (which we see beginning with the letters of the Apostles)?
Do not think that this is some bragfest on behalf of our church or denomination. I wish that every Christian church everywhere took such pains to instruct their members in our precious faith; faith in the Only Name wherein salvation must be found.
I am aware that most do not. Does yours?
It may be that having the Bible's promise that Christ's kingdom will grow until it fills the "entire earth (Daniel 2:35b)" makes us forgetful. Forgetful of the fact that God uses "ordinary means (preaching and the sacraments)" and "secondary causes (that's us)" to grow His kingdom. Forgetful to pray that His kingdom come.
Does it make sense that a teaching church will help us to remember?