4. How could Learn Local Northwest class help me and my community?
“…make disciples and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”
More study is not the enemy of authentic, life-changing ministry. More study in isolation, however, is. Learn Local combines content with community.
Let’s start with content—
More and deeper study has always been central to discipleship. Paul preached on the Sabbath, and he taught daily at the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus (Acts 19.9). And he walked side-by-side with his disciples teaching them all along.
Ongoing, deep study is vital because Scripture is a saturating grace. It can work by thunderbolts and cloud-bursts, but its real power is more like a Northwest winter rain. It soaks the soul. Learn Local is a micro-climate where disciples can engage the Gospel at greater depth than commonly found in small groups or on Sundays.
Now about community:
Learn Local Northwest builds communities where students can wrestle with the information and the implications of their study. And relationships have the power to leverage learning and turn it into living.
Ultimately, the fruit of the Learn Local Northwest experience rests with the student, but here’s what participants might expect from Learn Local Northwest's “truth plus one another” formula:
- Expand your soul. Few Christians will grow as much as they know, but no Christian will ever grow beyond what they know. If you want to know how high and wide and deep the love of God is you will need to do more than study, but you will certainly not be able to do less.
- Learn yourself. The very first words of John Calvin’s famous Institutes claim that all true knowledge consists of two parts: Knowledge of God and knowledge of self. Mentors and cohort fellows can help willing souls learn about both and grow in self-knowing and the understanding of God’s glory.
- Love God. God makes himself known through his Son in the Scriptures, by the Holy Spirit. Learning well makes loving God more fully possible. Again, it takes more than doctrine to love God, but it certainly doesn’t take less.
- Discover your call (or part of it, at least). Jesus summed up the Law with “Love God and love your neighbor.” Your calling in life flows from those two fountains. By examining the Bible in community, you can learn how to do both and gain insight into how God made you to love him by loving others.
- Become more useful. Arrogant Christians full of head knowledge are not helpful, but humble people who haven’t tried to learn more aren’t the answer. Learning about God and his ways is good for the Church and world.
- Have your brain pastored along with your heart. Our pastoral mentors have the experience and training to shepherd your mind as well as your heart. How you think is just as critical for how you live as what you love.