Five Things a Pastor Should Teach On Every Year
A pastor desires to teach a variety of Bible and topical studies each season and is generally looking to cover something new. Each year, however, let me suggest that the pastor must also revisit key and critical topics of teaching for the congregation. If the church fails to understand these areas, especially as new people come into the faith family, the confusion results. Consider the importance of covering each of these biblical pillars each and every year:
The mission. Whether the church has a specific mission/vision statement or not, the congregation must be reminded of the mission of the church. There are many interpretations of what the mission of the church is, but biblically most employ some language centered on the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). It is so crucial that the church understands what she is supposed to be accomplishing and focused on as a whole.
The Gospel. No year’s worth of sermons would be complete without teaching the foundational truths of the Gospel. What is the Gospel and how do believers live it and share it in their daily lives? Much of the church’s lack of action and influence in today’s culture centers on poor knowledge of the biblical Gospel. Each and every member of the church should be able to explain the Gospel, consistent with Scripture, and in their own words.
The doctrines. Basic beliefs of the faith should be a core teaching each and every year. Though the areas of doctrine may differ from year to year, the Pastor should be in the mode of systematically teaching what Christians believe on areas including God, man, the Bible, sin, Christ and the cross, the soul and eternity, heaven and hell, the end times and other similar themes. A pastor should not leave room, over time, for the congregation to have glaring doubts about key areas of the Christian faith.
The ordinances. Teaching and observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper should go hand-in-hand. Every baptism is an opportunity to reinforce biblical teaching on what baptism is and what it represents. Likewise, the Lord’s Supper, or communion, should be regularly observed and taught.
The life-changes. Finally, do not let the opportunity escape to present real and tangible life-change that is occurring within the congregation as God works in and through individuals and families for His own glory. Each and every day God saves people, God teaches people and God molds and shapes people through good times and adversity. These stories should be re-told, celebrated, prayed over and learned from. A church that consistently teaches how God is changing lives opens the eyes of her members to how life-change occurs and encourages a deeper faith in the hearts of her members.
Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.