NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Two of LifeWay Christian Resources’ most prominent leaders have paired up to write the 2004 January Bible study to stir churches toward Kingdom-focused ministry.
“The Church: Anticipating the Kingdom’s Appearance” is the title of the study by James T. Draper Jr., LifeWay’s president, and Gene Mims, vice president of the church resources division.
Using 1 and 2 Timothy, the study probes several issues facing the church today in view of a Kingdom focus.
“I pray that churches would learn that we need to be Kingdom-focused in our ministry and completely committed to winning the lost and seeing them mature into reproducing believers,” Draper said. “This is the basis of all genuine church growth and development.”
Issues covered include:
— The nature and importance of the Gospel
— The qualifications for pastoral/deacon leadership
— The role of women in a local church
— The nature and authority of Scripture
— The ministry of a local church in a decaying culture
— The nature of pastoral authority
— Elder/deacon rule in churches
Some churches have strayed and implemented practices that are questionable, Mims said — issues that should be addressed biblically. “The Bible is explicit in its principles that can be applied to any current church issue, and it remains the only authority we have for addressing these issues successfully,” he said.
1 and 2 Timothy, written to a young pastor who needed encouragement, instruction and guidance, are primers on leadership and servanthood. The intent of the two New Testament letters, Draper said, is to heighten Timothy’s position in the eyes of the church so they would look to him for spiritual leadership.
“The pastor needs to know how he should lead, and the people need to know how to follow and relate to the pastor,” Draper said. 1 and 2 Timothy “magnify the spiritual leadership of the church and also lift up a high standard for the minister.”
Draper also said he believes the work of the Kingdom is achieved through the church, and God gave believers both earthly families and spiritual families.
“Lone Ranger Christianity is not biblical Christianity,” Draper said. “It is important for the church to recognize its opportunity and responsibility, and it’s important for each believer to be part of the Kingdom ministry of the church.”
The 2004 January Bible Study is also available in a student edition, “Dispatched to Serve: Studies from 1 & 2 Timothy.”
For more information on JBS materials, or purchases: 1-800-458-2772, or www.lifewaystores.com. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: JANUARY BIBLE STUDY 2004.