Category Archives: Books
As we’ve gone through the Story Formed Way, some of the members of the core group have had questions about what we specifically believe on certain points of doctrine. This is understandable. As dedicated Christians, many of us have read books or listened to Christians speakers or radio programs that all are given from different theological backgrounds. If it has been years since your confirmation class, you might have forgotten some of the finer points of Lutheran Doctrine.
Martin Luther actually created his Small Catechism as a tool for the common Christian to be able to learn true doctrine. Originally, the Catechism wasn’t something a 13 or 14 year old child would open for the first time in a church building as they began confirmation class. Rather, it was something a Christian Father used to teach his family the true faith and to help them memorize scripture. Martin Luther intended for you, as scripture exhorts us in Deut 6:1-9, to take every opportunity to teach your children the ways of God throughout the entire day. I encourage all you fathers and mothers to start teaching your children the faith daily through the help of the catechism.
Our core group for the Church Plant would be well served in going back to the catechism as well. It covers what we believe as Lutherans on major points of doctrine such as The Ten Commandments, The Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession, The Sacrament of the Altar, etc. Yet it’s not just Luther’s understanding that is recorded in this book.
Included in the Catechism are many bible verses that are the source of what we believe and teach as Lutherans. This will come in handy as you engage with unchurched friends. They’ll want to know what we believe, but they won’t care much at all about Luther’s words. They’ll be more interested in what the bible says. Luther’s words will simply guide you to truth taught in all of the bible verses that are referenced.
A PDF version of the Small Catechism can be found here for free. It is a good reference for Luther’s explanation of our understanding of each doctrine. However, it does not reference all of the Bible verses that are in the hard copy of the Catechism
The ESV version of the Catechism can be purchased at CPH.org. I recommend that each member of our core group dig out their catechism or purchase a new one.
The above image was found here.
I’m a church planter and this blog is published to help my core group and missional community grow in their understanding and living of the Christian life on mission through missional training.
One of the resources that I’m using is Steve Timmis & Tim Chester’s The Gospel-Centred Life: becoming the person God wants you to be. This material was created to help “Ordinary Christians live the truly extraordinary life that God calls us to.” It continually teaches and demonstrates, through scriptures and stories, how the Gospel message changes everything. It will help reshape your identity, how you spend your time and money, how you prioritize your life, how you deal with heartache and how you witness to others in everyday non-threatening ways.
This booklet could be used as a small group study. Yet we are using it more for a weekly devotion for each of our leaders. Our Core group meets every Tuesday. I ask them to read each chapter on their own every Wednesday and come back to it once or twice a week. I want my core group to not only read the content but to live it and incorporate it into their lives. Then at the next meeting we discuss the content and how we’ve put it into action or how it’s changed us. This material has been a helpful tool to slowly shift our perspectives and priorities. Its helped us to understand the Gospel more and to understand how to live with greater Gospel intentionality.
I’m currently reading through: A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community and Mission Around the Table. It’s a great way to understand how to take a regular rhythm of life and living it with Gospel-intentionality.