Jim Collins, in his Good to Great, says the key ingredient in a successful organization is knowing what their business is and knowing their business. Collins says businesses struggle when they don’t have a laser focus on what it is they do, and when they try to do what’s not core to their business.  To do that, they have to know the business inside and out, and know what factors to look for that are core and what are not.

A church is a franchise location of the Kingdom of heaven.  Our policy manual is the written word of God, the Bible.  There are good management instructions that amplify the core document, but the core document always takes precedence.

If you own a McDonald’s franchise, but try to sell something that’s not on the approved list, or use ingredients that aren’t approved, or try to make  the burgers in a way not taught in Hamburger U, your franchise will be taken away and given to someone else.  In Rev 3, the Spirit says that the church that loses its first love and abandons that task will have the lampstand removed.

Dr. Alvin L. Reid says that“Leaders in Christ’s church today must have more than a superficial knowledge of the faith. If they are to help churches contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, they must be steeped in Scripture and deep in theological insight. Scott Thomas has provided a remarkable guide to assist leaders in their theological growth.”

Dorothy Bass says that Bible Study is “Breaking through the ordinary to disclose what God’s activity consists of.”[1] Begin your restoration with a review of your church’s core statements of doctrine.  Or walk your way through a Catechism (Westminster, etc.) Whatever you choose, teach the Bible and teach the people how to teach the Bible.

The essential characteristic of setting an appropriate foundation Bible Study, I choose to describe that particular practice as both the study of the word of God and the accompanying personal application.  This is the practices of knowing both what you believe, why you believe it and what effect it has on the way you live your life.  Bible Study is God talking to us in clear language.  There are interpretations of what is said in light of our backgrounds and current circumstances, but we share common understanding of who God is an why Jesus came based on how we read the Bible.


[1] Bass, Dorothy and Dykstra, Craig “Growing in the practices of Faith” in Bass (ed) Practicing Our Faith

[2]( Reid, Alvin Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry and Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary), describing Acts 29 Network’s study guide to Gruden’s Systematic Theology.  Find it at http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/theological-clarity–application-updated-version-still-free/


copyright 2010 Mike Mitchell

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