Skip to content

It’s All About the Gospel – Blog & Podcast

June 22, 2018

In our church, we will begin Vacation Bible School this Monday. It will one of the biggest events of the year for our church with the most adults involved for a concentrated period than for any other event or series. Some churches have started to question the validity of VBS, others have cut back on it because they can’t get workers, or their attendance is poor. I’ll be honest, I’ve seen some trends in the curriculum that do not excite me, but if it’s done right, it can be a powerful tool.

When I was in seminary, I had a professor named Marcia McQuitty who made a statement that has stuck with me in regard to the church. “We have raised two generations of Biblically illiterate adults”. As sad as it is to say, I had to agree.

So when I think about Vacation Bible School, I am still a big believer in it, if it has the proper focus.

John says this in I John 4:2-3a, This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.

The focus, not just of Vacation Bible School, but everything in the church, should be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as this passage indicates, there are people in the world that claim Jesus, but they don’t claim Him as the Christ, the Messiah, or maybe they don’t believe that He came as the only begotten Son of God in human flesh. Some believe He was the brother of Satan or was elevated from an angel status. That’s just not a Christian belief.

What makes us Christians? We are CHRIST-ians, followers of Christ, believers IN Christ, disciples of Christ. Our hope comes in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That means that VBS and everything we do in the church should be Gospel-Centered and Gospel-Empowered. Worship, discipleship, service, missions, and yes, even fellowship should have the Gospel as its center.

So what is the Gospel?

  1. God created man – just as sin entered the world through one man through his fall – so it spread to all men.
  2. Man was separated – For the wages of sin is death – and we’ve all been born into sin.
  3. Christ surrendered life – For while we were still helpless…Christ died for the ungodly.
  4. Amazing grace, undeserved – For we have been saved by grace through faith – it is God’s gift
  5. Repentance brings forgiveness – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive them and to cleanse us.
  6. My confession solidifies – If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

It’s because of this focus that I am still a big believer in the Sunday morning small group Bible study. You can call it Sunday School, as we still do, or Bible Fellowships, or whatever you want to call it, but it still serves the same 6 purposes, if done properly, which all have a Gospel focus.

  1. Biblical instruction – this one is obvious. There is teaching, discussion and interaction. We learn from the Word, from the teaching and from what others share.
  2. Community development – Community develops through the teaching, through the relationships that are built, prayer requests that are shared, and through fellowship.
  3. Ministry connection – Small group Bible study classes are the perfect platform to bind together to take care of needs of the members. Whether it be a death in the family, a sickness, a crisis of some sort, this family, as such, can minister to needs much more effectively than can be communicated through worship services.
  4. Entrance creation – We have multiple “entry points” in the church. Worship is an obvious one, but it doesn’t allow people to get to know one another all that well. Small group Bible study is another place to invite someone to, where they can actually interact with people in a similar stage of life.
  5. Gospel investment – The teaching should be Gospel-centered, to be sure, and classes can pray for and visit those who they are burdened about who may be lost. They can come up with a plan for investing in those they have burden for.
  6. Mission empowerment – Small group Bible study classes are just the right size groups to do ministry projects together, either as part of something going on in the church or something outside. The bonds built during this time can be very powerful.

All of these are part of the Gospel. Are you an active part of a small group Bible study class? If not, you should be. If you need some help finding one, I’d be glad to help you.

Let’s pray…”Father, help all that we do in our church to be Gospel-centered and Gospel-empowered. Thank you for small group Bible studies which help in these six areas and others. Use them for Your glory and Your glory alone. Amen”

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine, TX

From → Blog Posts, Podcasts

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: