Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between


Bible study

Feature Friday (06/21/19)

We’ve all been there. We had a meeting, lunch, or other get together to prepare for and failed to do so. It’s now fifteen minutes before the other person shows up or we have to leave to get to the meeting. What do we do? Bluff and act like we have it all together? Just pull up some quick notes and wing it? Or is there another option? Having tried most routes I have found a better option…be prepared!

Now I can’t help you in every situation but one that Richard Sweatman gives some aid in is “How to Use a Pre-Written Bible Study“. If you’ve ever lead a small group, Sunday school or just a one on one bible study you know the easy pitfall to find yourself in when using a pre-written study. You show up hoping it’s a simple read, repeat out loud, and the group takes off.

That is rarely the case, so what can we do? Richard’s article gives some helpful hints and things to avoid.

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (12/28/18)

As I sit in a recliner at the house I grew up in I can’t help but reflect on years past. I recall riding around this town on my bicycle exploring every nook and cranny this place had to offer. My memory brings to the forefront the years of driving the back country roads with friends, often at higher than reasonable speeds. While I am not one to sit around reminiscing old times that often, I can’t help at the end of each year looking back to the previous 12 months.

Reflecting on the past year should come as no surprise or as anything out of the ordinary to most. At the end of every year and beginning of the new, it is typical to find people making resolutions. More recently I have gotten in the habit of making annual goals for myself. I make goals in multiple areas of life: physically, emotionally, familially, vocationally, and spiritually. My tendency is to keep it to 7-10 goals so as not to overwhelm myself into failure. But there is one goal that is always a part of that planning I would like to encourage you to include in your new year’s resolutions as well.

An excellent annual goal would be in the area of Bible engagement. Anyone who has heard me teach or interact in a group for any length of time surely has heard my passion regarding Bible study, reading, or engagement. So I want to encourage you, my readers, in this endeavor this next year. Make a goal. It should be a challenge, yet realistic. It should stretch you, but not burden you. In case you have never embarked on this type of journey before and are unsure of what “studying your Bible” may even look like, check out Brian Tabb’s article “10 Tips for Getting Started with Inductive Bible Study“.

I hope you enjoy the New Year. Remember the past, look forward to the future, but always seek to enjoy the present. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day and enjoy the article!

Photo by Michael Skok on Unsplash

Feature Friday (9/16/16)

Years ago I learned a simple method for studying the Bible. Almost immediately I began to implement this method for my own personal time in God’s Word. It would be only a short year or two after first hearing about this method, that I began to teach it to others. Five years after my initial enlightenment to this method I created my own little teaching booklet to be able to instruct others in this method. But it was not until today that I found the greatest resource in teaching this Bible study method.

With this tool, anyone can get to know the Lord Jesus by learning to study his word. OIA Bible study is a wonderful tool. And the best part about it…it’s completely free for print and distribution as well as digital download (epub and pdf). For many more resources and coaching on the OIA bible study method check out the website

As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (6/24/16)

“Read your Bible, pray everyday and you’ll…grow…grow…grow…” If you grew up in the church or around a Christian influence you are probably familiar with this song. It seems oversimplified. And to one degree it is. The Christian life is not just a 1+1=2 walk. However, there are certainly disciplines of the Christian life that really are means of grace from God. Two of the vital ones are Scripture reading and prayer.

But aside from reading random passages daily and muttering a few short prayers a day at meal time, how can one go deeper in your Bible study? Be encouraged! You are not the only one to have asked or be asking that question. A 13 year old girl once asked Pastor John Piper that very same question. You can find his letter of response here.

Enjoy! And as always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday on Saturday (11/15/14)

season-changeThe seasons have changed here in eastern Virginia. Last week I woke up to 50 degree weather, this week the temperature has been closer to the 30’s. With a change of temperature also comes a change of actions on my part. No longer am I wondering over to the gym at 6am without a coat on. But this change of actions reminds me of the intended result that comes as one interacts with the God of the universe through His word…change.

God intends each and every person to be changed by meeting Him and interacting with His word. However, it is these applicational areas of personal and corporate study that is neglected or at least viewed as too difficult. But this needs not be the case. How does the God of the universe wish to change us by interaction with us through His word? I think this article gives great direction to at least start at when it comes to application of God’s word and life change.

Two Directions for Application!

Enjoy! And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Christian Education: Definition and Goals

Node-Christian-Education1-large1Education: there are so many forms of it today–public, home school, Christian, private, adult, special, informal, primary, secondary, higher learning, and the list goes on. With so many choices, how do you know the best option for yourself, your children, and your family? I am not one that thinks there is a one-size-fits-all mold for education. However, I do believe as a follower of Jesus Christ, that any education we undergo ourselves or in which we place our children should be Christian. I am not arguing that every set of believing parents must put their children in a Christian school or they are sinning. No! What I want to begin sharing today is simply a series of posts concerning Christian education. This series is not about why you should send your children to a Christian school. Far from it! Instead I hope to help you frame your thinking about what “Christian education” really is and is not. To start off, I want to ensure we have the same definition and goal.

Christian Education Defined

Christian education is more than just education that has been “Christianized”; it is an education that is completely informed and influenced by God’s Word.[1] “Christian education is more than Christian schooling”[2]—it is a holistic approach to life. For education to truly be “Christian”, it must be founded upon the only source that provides everything necessary for life and godliness, God’s Word (2 Pet. 1:3).[3] One cannot view Christian education merely as the teaching performed in a church Sunday School setting, a Christian school classroom, or a Wednesday night Bible study. Christian education is to be carried out in every area of life including the home, school, church, and recreation. Christian education takes into consideration every element involved, from the teacher and student, to the curriculum and methods, and even the philosophies of learning and how to effectively evaluate the education being provided. In order to qualify as a truly Christian education, that education must flow in every way out of God’s Word.

The Goal of Christian Education

Perry G. Downs states the goal of Christian education as “leading believers to spiritual maturity.”[4] The highest goal and purpose of Christian education is to facilitate growth in believers so that they resemble and become increasingly more like their Savior Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:26-27, Rom. 8:28-29).[5] Every facet of education from a Christian perspective, from class work at school to family interaction at home, must be executed with this end in mind. Christian education is an “equipping ministry”[6]; therefore, the Christian educator has a high calling and responsibility in this process of maturing believers and must serve both as a model and mentor. Teachers must model and mentor their students into spiritual maturity.

JonahChristian education flows in every way out of God’s Word as mature believers model and mentor younger believers to spiritual maturity. Understanding what Christian education is and the goal it has fuels how it is done, which is what we will begin to look at next week: Christian Education: The Teacher.

[1] James R. Estep Jr. A Theology for Christian Education. (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2008) 2

[2] George R. Knight. Philosophy & Education: an Introduction in Christian Perspective, 4th Edition. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2006), 203-204

[3] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 1018

[4] Perry G. Downs. Teaching for Spiritual Growth: An Introduction to Christian Education. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), 17

[5] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2003), 944, 979

[6] James E. Reed. A History of Christian Education. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993),  370

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