“Where To?” Study Guide

Tentative Schedule for future studies:
Wednesday, April 18: Ch. 5 A Vision for Missions (Part 1)
Wednesday, May 2: Ch. 5 A Vision for Missions (Part 2)
Wednesday, May 16: Ch. 5 A Vision for Missions (Part 3)

Chapter 5: A Vision for Missions
Part 1 of 3
Study on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

In preparation for our study read Chapter 5: A Vision for Missions (pp. 92-108).
Here are several questions to consider:
– On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) where would you place a vision for missions in our brotherhood?
– Our brotherhood follows neither the pattern of the early church nor the pattern of the early Anabaptist’s in at least two areas: location and evangelistic zeal with fruitfulness. Does that matter?
– How can we recapture the clarity of the Gospel and confidence in the Gospel so as a people we will be eager witnesses who boldly share the Gospel and call for a decision to follow Christ, both nearby and far away?

Additional Resources:
Click here. to listen to Finny Kuruvilla share some very important thoughts regarding church fruitfulness at the beginning of a presentation on Sattler College.

Chapter 4: A Vision for Business
Part 2 of 2
Study on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

In preparation for our study read pages 82-91. This section addresses the apparent contradictions between the teachings of Proverbs and the teachings of Jesus that were discussed previously. It also focuses on building a vision for Kingdom centered businesses.
Here are several questions to consider:
– On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) what level of financial/business accountability does our brotherhood have?
– How could our church better both bless and hold the wealthy business men accountable?
– In the Book of Acts, it is obvious they were very transparent with their finances. What are some dangers of no transparency? What dangers might accompany too much transparency?

Additional Resources:
“God’s Order in Business Matters” – Aaron Lapp. Calvary Messenger, April 2018.
pp. 341-344 (on Occupations) in King Jesus Claims His Church – Finny Kuruvilla
Note resources listed below for last week.

Chapter 4: A Vision for Business
Part 1 of 2
Study on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In preparation for our study read pages 71-81. These pages identify several perspectives on the Christian and business and discuss the confusion and the resulting misconceptions surrounding the Christian and business.
Here are several questions to stir your thinking:
– What confusions, misconceptions, or questions regarding the Christian and business do you have?
– Is business ownership a “necessary evil”?
– Have you ever had questions regarding the differences between the teachings of Proverbs and the teachings of Jesus regarding wealth and possessions? If so, what are they? (Put them on paper)
– In which of the three basic views do you place yourself? (These views are given on page 73)

Here several additional resources:
“An Anabaptist Conversation on Economics” – This paper includes thoughts from Wendell Heatwole, Merle Burkholder, Gary Miller, Steven Brubaker, Merle Herr, and John Coblentz on topics such as New Testament Perspectives on Material Possessions, A Christian Framework for Economics, Debt and Usury, and Business and Brotherhood.
“Relating Faith, Career Choice, and the Church” – Message by Finny Kuruvilla

Here are the two messages that were mentioned Wednesday evening.
An Abundant Life – Matthew Milioni
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/mediaPlayer/#sermonaudio/254
Dig Up Your Idols and Destroy Them – Zach Johnson
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/mediaPlayer/#sermonaudio/312

Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Commnunities
Part 4
Study on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

In preparation for our study, please read pages 40-47 in Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Communities. We will be discussing the following:
Challenge #6: To Work Toward Better Articulation of our Theology
Challenge #7 To Develop a Framework for Change
Challenge #8: To Provide a Way for those with an artistic nature to thrive

Additional Resources:

Chapter 7 “Church History: The Spadework of Biblical Interpretation” (pp.61-70) King Jesus Claims His Church – Finny Kuruvilla. This chapter would apply to Challenges 6 & 7.

Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Commnunities
Part 3
Study on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 7 P.M.

In preparation for our study, please read pages 33-40 in Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Communities. We will discuss Challenge #4: To engage with technological innovations, taking advantage of the potential without succumbing to the dangers of sinful uses; and Challenge #5: To Cultivate spiritual maturity so that weak and struggling members are nurtured.

At our last study we did not take time to identify strengths and weaknesses that exist in our church so we will do that this time. The purpose of seeking to identify these areas of strengths and weaknesses is not to tear the church apart, but to identify areas where we need instruction, improvement, and growth for the good of the Body and the Kingdom of God.

“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation” – article by Jean M. Twenge. While this is a lengthy read, it is fascinating and enlightening.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Commnunities
Part 2
Study on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 7 P.M.

In preparation for our study, please read pages 23-33 in Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Communities. During our time together we will try to identify some the strengths and weaknesses that exist in our church. We will also discuss Challenge #3 given on pp. 31-33.

Here are some additional resources to stir your thinking:
“No Broken People Allowed” – Article by Asher Witmer. An excellent read on brokenness and the church.
http://www.asherwitmer.com/no-broken-people-allowed/
“Everybody’s Got a Wound” – Article by Asher Witmer
http://www.asherwitmer.com/everybodys-got-a-wound/
Book Review written by Dwight Gingrich on the book When the Church was a Family – Joseph Hellerman
http://dwightgingrich.com/when-church-was-family-hellerman-review/
“Struggles in the Church” – Article by Frank Reed. A thought provoking discussion.
https://biblicalbrethrenfellowship.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/struggles-in-the-church-2/
“Avoiding Drift in the Church” – Message by Finny Kuruvilla.
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/messages/sermon/2016-08-04/avoiding-drift-in-the-church

Chapter 2: A Vision for Church Communities
Part 1
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.