Adult Class @ Trinity Presbyterian Church, Arlington, VA
“The Soul of Ministry”
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Paul H Mannes
“The Soul of Ministry” is an adult class offering on the biblical foundations of ministry for everyone in the church. Based on the book of the same name by Prof. Ray S. Anderson (1925-2009, Fuller Theological Seminary Professor and fulltime Pastor, Harbor City, CA), the class will journey with Ray through the “inner logic” of God’s revelation in the OT and the NT to explore how we might more faithfully and graciously think ministry, do ministry and be ministers of Jesus Christ. We will explore the biblical paradigms which guided the patriarchs, the prophets, the apostles and quintessentially Jesus, to understand and believe God and act in appropriate ways to participate in the miracle of God’s ministry to his people.
Have you ever wanted to “think and act” biblically on some subject but were not sure where to start? Have you ever wondered if there might be a biblical pattern which could guide you in your decision making on some challenging contemporary issue? As Christians, we should welcome and want to be able to do that! Too often the formulas provided falls short. So, what is NOT being offered here is a “what would Jesus do” type approach or a “seeking God’s will for your life” process of discernment. An example of what IS being offered is demonstrated in Jesus’ words to the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” We will garner an insight into the background and understanding of the OT covenant which lead Jesus to make this statement. In this single statement was a profound challenge to the religious culture of Jesus day and a statement of such an obvious (or not) truth. We will attempt to answer the question; “How did Jesus know that?” Jesus did not quote some OT bible verse. Rather, he relied on the paradigmatic core of God’s existing revelation to flesh out the implications in that situation of a fundamental truth of God’s created order, namely, healing on the Sabbath is consistent with "entering God's rest." That is to say, there is precedence in the way’s God works which Jesus relied on to unearth that hidden treasure and speak a Word of God to the contemporary situation.
There is a wealth of experience, life circumstances and patterns of behavior in the biblical materials which can lead us to discern the nature and character of God’s covenantal compassion for us. With that, we can, in turn, help address our own times with His Word, in grace and love. But we need to start by journeying with Moses, the Patriarchs, the Prophets and the Apostles as they struggled to hear God’s “still small voice” and then to work-out how we can be ministers of Jesus Christ on behalf of the Father for the sake of his love for the world.
The Lessons for this course are listed under the Topics Link.