“Where To?” Study Guide

Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Communities
Study on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 7 P.M.

John Coblentz presents 8 challenges in this essay on building Kingdom Churches. During this study we will only focus on Challenges 1, 3 and 4.

Here are some extra resourses to stir your thinking:
(Click on the title read the article or listen to the messages)
Article written by Nelson Martin – Reclaiming a Biblical Vision for Community
*Message by Matthew Milioni – Church as Community
Message by Finny Kuruvilla – Autopsy of a Dead Church
Message by Finny Kuruvilla – The Nature of the Church: Aggressive and Conquering
*Message by Finny Kuruvilla – Church as a Strong Group Family –

If you are only able to listen to 1 or 2 of these I would highly encourage the ones that have an asterisk (*) by them.
Spend time considering Discussion Questions 1-5 on p. 48. Write down at least one thought you would be willing to share Wednesday evening for each of these questions (5 total)

Chapter 1: A Vision for Homes
September 20, 2017

During our evening together we will briefly survey the 5 strengths as given by Melvin Lehman:
1. A firm commitment to life-long marriage promises.
2. A father with a masculine presence and a mother with a feminine presence.
3. A commitment to serious child-training.
4. A capacity to Network
5. A strong identity and sense of belonging.

We will spend most of our time discussing the 5 weaknesses and the 6 snapshots for growing vision for godly homes.

Five Weaknesses to overcome:
1. Not accessible to outsiders or general culture.
2. An over-protection of family privacy that provides cover for evil-doers.
3. An inadequate view of the role of the ladies among us.
4. Deficiency in close, intimate relationships
5. Biological family loyalty trumps Church commitment.

Six Snapshots to foster vision:
1. Strengthening what remains.
2. Model the joy of life-long marriage to mirror Christ and the Church
3. Create wholesome child-rearing structures by incorporating relational strategies with the older emphasis on the authority of parents.
4. Create accountability structures that help men be men and women be women.
5. Blaze new trails, plow new ground.
6. Spread the message around the world.

Contemplate the discussion questions on p. 22.
There will be opportunity for parents to share the challenges and questions they are facing as well as victories they are experiencing.

Other resources:
Message by Matthew Milioni called “Who Is Responsible?”
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/mediaPlayer/#sermonaudio/233
Message by Dwight Nisly called “Raising Children in the Lord”
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/mediaPlayer/#sermonaudio/199
PDF file “The Anabaptist Advantage Among Muslums” by TDW
https://fbep.org/sites/default/files/The%20Anabaptist%20Advantage%20Among%20Muslims%20-%20TDW.pdf
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Chapter 3: Mennonite Education, What Could Be
September 6, 2017

At our last meeting we briefly surveyed pages 52-61, the section addressing the Biblical Imperative for Christian Education. In small groups we discussed what we would like our “ideal graduate” to look like in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values. To wrap it up we listed the strengths and weaknesses that we see in our school. These are not exhaustive lists.

Strengths:
– Christian Teachers
– Academics
– Supportive Parents
– Bible Memory
– Bible teaching
– Godly values
– Accountability
– Positive Peer influence
– Inspired school board

Weaknesses:
– Lack of long term teachers
– Lack of vision and respect
– Lack of proactive ministry training
– Lack of funds
– Lack of special education program
– Lack of teacher training
– Unsupportive parents
– Too sheltered
– Crammed facilities
– Low value of education

We will address some of the weaknesses on Wednesday evening. In preparation for our discussion read pages 61-70 in Chapter 3. An online version of the book is available: https://fbep.org/resources/5-visions-conservative-anabaptism.
Reading the entire chapter (especially if you haven’t read any of it yet) would be an excellent preparation for our study. Come prepared to share your ideas on how we can exercise our strengths and correct our weaknesses in a way that better equips us to train Kingdom citizens.