First, Approximately ten to twelve months ago we as Elders started a process of examining everything at LHBC through the lens the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) which teaches three distinct responsibilities: (A) Make disciples (B) Baptize them [lead them to public identification with the Person and Work of Christ] and (C) Teach them to obey everything Christ commanded.
Second, As Elders we articulated a Mission Statement born from, and consistent with, these distinct responsibilities: “LHBC exists to make mature followers of Christ to the Glory of God.”After settling on that statement as the articulation of the reason LHBC exists we then asked ourselves one basic question: “What does a “mature follower of Christ” need to know (and be and do)?” As we interacted around the answer to that question we began to see that a study through the Gospel of John was a great way to lay (review in some cases) a doctrinal and theological foundation for maturing believers. A careful study through John clarifies Who we are following and where He is leading!
Third, We prayerfully settled that going through the Gospel of John was the right way to begin teaching by example a process we refer to as the “proper presentation of the Word.” For us as Elders at LHBC this means two things: Exegetical Preparation and Expositional Presentation. Exegetical preparation refers to the process of allowing the Biblical text to define itself. “Exegesis” is the process in which a Bible student identifies the context, content, and concept of a passage in order to understand its meaning and application. Expositional presentation refers to the process of communicating God’s Word as it was given to us, through a sequential context. “Exposition” is the process of teaching through Scripture in a verse-by-verse or chapter-by-chapter process in order to maintain the integrity of context and observe the author’s original concept develop through the passage. We do this so everyone can learn how to look at Scripture for themselves in order to understand and apply it. This goes beyond knowing a “chapter and verse” for things we believe. This process builds confidence and stability (i.e spiritual maturity) in the foundation built on the context of specific words in a specific verse in a specific chapter. This is intended to be an interactive process were the reader interacts with the text and the audience interacts with the teacher. If you’re hearing doctrine and information but are missing the practical implications and applications we invite you to connect with us for further discussion and clarification.
Another benefit of working through a book in this way is that you know what’s coming next! You can read ahead and review the concepts presented in the next passage rather than trying to process everything in one sitting. Tools like this blog feature and the audio files of the messages will help us all review the teaching as we proceed through the series. Another way in which this teaching series will be interactive is through the schedule shift we’ll be making with the Sunday morning Gatherings beginning on September 3. By placing the main teaching first (10:00 a.m.) then unpacking it in a discussion-based, small-group format (11:00 a.m.) we will be able to identify specific implications and applications for our own lives and situations as individuals, families and Covenant Members of LHBC.