Most small groups are finishing up our church-wide campaign, NOT A FAN, this week. The feedback from small group members have been very affirming as it relates to this study. Most are saying this is the most powerful study we have done as a church. The feedback in short has been overwhelmingly positive.
I am taking the EKU Football Coaching Staff thru the 6 week DVD Small Group Study – The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. We watched session one this morning. It was a powerful session. I am working my way through the workbook as well as reading through the book. I would like to share the following with you from the book, The Explicit Gospel, page 59:
First Corinthians 1:18 says that ‘the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.’ This is a dire warning to those who find the cross too silly of a doctrine or who seek to diminish its place in the Christian faith to make their calling sure. Those who see the message of the cross as foolishness are perishing. . . . What alternatives to the cross are there? Be a good man? Be a good woman? Be a good Boy Scout or Girl Scout for Jesus? This is what it boils down to for many in the church: replacing the centrality of the cross with something more appealing, something we think is more weighty. In fact, all across the evangelical landscape, people want to get away from the shame and the blood and the guts and the horrific slaughter of Jesus Christ and focus on something else with the cross out on the margins.
But the reason we do this isn’t so much to rectify an imbalance but to idolatrously elevate ourselves. It’s like the charismatics who want to make the day of Pentecost central to the Christian faith. Or the Calvinists who to make TULIP central. Liberals want to make social justice the center. Fundamentalists want to make moral behavior the center. (Their motto is ‘Do, do , do,’ but the cross screams out ‘Done!’) All of those things are good things, biblical things. But to make any of them the center of the Christian faith, the grounds of our hope, is to disregard the only power of salvation–the message of the cross.
Questions….what is central to your faith? What is your gospel? What gospel are you preaching? Is it the gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4? What study is your small group going to plunge into next? I would suggest that you consider The Explicit Gospel Study.
Why is the such an important study? In order to make disciples a disciple-maker has to understand the Gospel.