In the past six and a half years of New Life history, we have emphasized the importance of Sunday corporate worship, weekly house church gathering, intercessory prayer and missions. There are other essential elements of a local church, such as community outreach and Bible studies, that we need to pay attention to and must develop in order for us to become a biblically fully functioning church, and we will do so when the time comes. But there is a reason why I haven’t stressed the significance of Bible studies in New Life all these years.
The purpose of studying the Bible is the application of what we have learned from the Bible in our daily life so that we become more like Christ. The Bible says, “Do not fool yourselves by just listening to his word. Instead, put it into practice.” (James 1: 22 TEV) Unfortunately, I have seen too many people who seem to know a lot about the Bible but their lives aren’t touched or transformed by the biblical knowledge they possess. Many people study the Bible and go through Bible studies with others, not to learn God’s desire and obey his commands in their lives, but to accumulate their head knowledge and satisfy their ego. This is a dangerous reason to study the Bible because Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12: 48)
I sense, however, that we have come to a point where we need to focus our energy in studying God’s word more seriously. Many of us have demonstrated through our lives that we are willing to be stretched by God in doing his will and obeying his commands. New Life is genuinely hungry and thirsty after God, and we have a strong desire to go deeper with God in knowing him and loving him. Hence, we are offering several additional Bible studies this year along with our core classes.
Class 101 (Discovering Church Membership, taught by Pastor Eric)
This class will teach you what the gospel is, what every local church must be doing to honor God and how New Life is structured to fulfill God’s unique purpose for our church. A must class if you want to become a New Life member! One five-hour session; offered 3 times a year.
Class 201 (Discovering Spiritual Maturity, taught by Eugene Byon)
Are you wondering how you can grow as a Christ follower? Then this class is for you! It will teach you the four basic disciplines/habits that are necessary for your spiritual growth and show you how you can apply them in your life. Four two-hour sessions; offered 2-3 times a year.
Class 301 (Discovering My Ministry, taught by Pastor Eric)
Now that you are growing spiritually through the tools that you have acquired in Class 201, do you want to serve God and others around you? This class will teach you how God has uniquely shaped you so you could use your God given shape to serve in various ministries and experience fruitfulness and fulfillment! Four two-hour sessions; offered 2-3 times a year.
Class 401 (Discovering My Mission, taught by Phil Shin)
Do you have family members, friends or coworkers who are not Christ followers and want to see them come to know Christ, but you just don’t know how to go about sharing the gospel? This class will equip you with the tools you need in sharing the gospel and helping others cross the line of faith. Four two-hour sessions; offered 2-3 times a year.
Class 411 (Perspectives, taught by various speakers)
What is God doing all over the world to bring the lost to come to know Christ? What is my role in reaching the unreached people for Christ? If you are serious about going all out in doing God’s will with your time, talents and treasure, take this class. The speakers and the reading will stretch and challenge you beyond your imagination! You will be “ruined” for God forever! Sixteen two-hour sessions; offered 1-2 times a year.
Class 511 (Discovering the Heart of Worship, taught by Sean Kim)
Why is it that we hear of so many problems revolving around praise and drama team ministries in many churches? It is because they are the visible servants who regularly go up on stage to minister to people that Satan works extra hard to hurt and destroy! This class will teach and equip all those who are in Magnification Team to know what to watch out for and how to handle various situations that could potentially hurt them and church in a God-honoring manner. It is a required class for every Magnification Team member. Eleven two-hour sessions; offered 1-2 times a year.
House Church Shepherds & Interns Training (Taught by Pastor Eric)
Are you interested in learning more about house church ministry, the foundation of New Life Fellowship? Then take this class and find out all the ins-and-outs of house church ministry. Remember, we didn’t invent this ministry but just rediscovered it! It was always there in the Bible from the beginning! One five-hour session; offered in January.
To Live Is Christ (Life of Apostle Paul taught by Soo Kim & Beth Moore)
Do you want to know the heart and passion of one of the greatest Christians that has ever lived? Then this class is for you! It will trace the missionary journeys of Paul, using the book of Acts, and we will find out the amazing life he lived for God as his bond slave! Eleven two-hour sessions; offered 1-2 times a year.
Experiencing God (Taught by Pastor Eric)
This class will show us how we can experience God, who is always working in and around us! It will be offered just to the shepherds this year on Wednesdays beginning September. Thirteen two-hour sessions; offered 1-2 times a year beginning 2005.
Parenting Class (Taught by Pastor Eric & Lynette)
Do you want to know how you can make your child to behave the way you want them to? Well then, this class is not for you! It will help the parents understand God’s principles of raising their child, such as the centrality of God in their home, the specific roles of mom and dad, the significance of character training through loving discipline, etc. Take this class if you are teachable and want to be stretched according to God’s way in raising your child! Eleven two-hour sessions; offered one time a year.
Other than these classes, I would also like to prepare and offer classes on pre-marital preparation, marriage, Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, church history, etc. But these will need to wait until the right time.
As you can tell, I will be teaching several classes this year, and I am doing this because I need to at this stage in our church life. But I would love to see people with the teaching gift step up and take over these ministry opportunities. But how do you know that you have the teaching gift? As you take these classes, if you find yourself getting very excited about the material and saying to yourself, “I could teach this class better than he does,” chances are you have the teaching gift! If this describes you, please come and see me. Besides Class 101 and House Church Shepherds & Interns Training, I would love to give away all the classes to others.
This year, let’s go deeper with God through various Bible studies!
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2: 6-8)
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