Field Notes – 8/12/F
“Your role should inform your reading.
Your role should inform your reading plan so you can specialise in your reading and ultimately serve you in your role.”
Plan reading for your soul. Plan reading for your role.
Cruciform books is one of the my favourite publishers. I’ve read most of the books they’ve released. They’ve recently announced a new venture, Cruciform Quick, a line of booklets in the range of 40 to 60 pages each.
The latest Sovereign Grace Music album for kids is out today: Listen Up! Songs from the Parables of Jesus.
“I drum three passages constantly into the leadership of our church: Colossians 1:28, Ephesians 4 and Matthew 28. We need to be clear, and our leaders need to be clear, that our main goal is making disciples and presenting them as perfect, mature and holy before our Lord Jesus Christ. What we’re after is seeing people stand there with Jesus Christ on the last day, declaring that he is their Lord and Saviour, and that that they are found in him.” (Phil Colgan)
“Many, many years ago when we were thinking about starting to ordain men here at the church. And we’ve ordained many through the years. They said, “What should be the criteria by which we ordain a man?” Well certainly the necessity of his spiritual gifting and having proven himself, and all of those things.
But I said, essentially, anybody that receives ordination from Grace Community Church as a minister of the Scriptures, must know the Scripture. How basic is that? You must know the Scripture.
So I put together a pretty thick book of things they had to know. If they are to be ordained and these things are still in place as I understand it now, although I’m not always involved in every ordination, you had to be able on your feet without any help to outline every book of the Bible. That’s pretty basic, right? You don’t want to be guilty of malpractice, and if you don’t know the truth of Scripture, you have to start there.
So, you should know the basic content of every book in the Bible, give a brief outline of the book and kind of the flow…the flow of the logic of the book. And then you should know every key chapter in the Bible and what that key chapter is about and you should know key verses or a couple of verses and what they’re about. And then you should know every main doctrine Scripture reveals and you should be able to explain that doctrine, give a defence of that doctrine in a brief fashion that is crystalised and clarified in your own mind. Because of all things that someone who goes into ministry should be able to do, it is to reveal what the Scripture says. That’s the mind of Christ on everything.
And then there are issues that we used to ask them: Describe what the Bible teaches about divorce. Describe what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Describe what the Bible teaches about corporeal punishment. Describe what the Bible teaches about capital punishment. What does the Bible say about this and that and the other? And that’s the foundation. We are people of the Book and we have to be able to say this is the mind of Christ, this is the Word of God on that subject. And if you don’t spend your life digging in to the Word of God, you’re not going to be able to do that.
You know, it’s…it’s one thing to prepare a sermon and you’ve got all your notes written, it’s something else to have to answer those questions when you’re somewhere else and you don’t have your notes. And somebody asks you such penetrating questions as people ask me all the time, sometimes on television, on radio, they hit me with questions that I could never ever anticipate, never. But if I am going to be a minister of Jesus Christ, I need to be prepared to speak as if it were Christ Himself…I stand in His place.”