by Rev. Paul J. Bucknell

Growing the Church Through Biblical Training


The church as a living organism perpetually wrestles with the need to grow. Each generation seems to latch on to some new truth from God’s Word that helps her make a forward advance. As flaws and inconsistencies are noticed, solutions are then proposed.

In many cases, the breakthroughs of past years have led to stronger foundations for the church to build upon. The concept of teams, for example, requires the concept of multiplicity of gifts, which in turn depends upon the priesthood of believers. Each advance builds upon numerous biblical truths.

Team work and foundational truthsThe implementation of a truth requires a person to be shaped by its rigid demands. For example, ‘teamwork’ necessitates a need to value and focus on God's goals over one's own goals and to be able to prioritize one's relationship with others over one's own perspective. They will not compromise basic theological teachings but neither will they sacrifice love. This brings God's people to a higher and more effective level of service.

Progress in technology and society has also influenced the way the church has perceived God’s Word, her functions and needs. In a positive sense, they have opened new doors of opportunities.

Two examples are sufficient to demonstrate this. The increase of literacy, through education, has revealed the need for training and reading materials that otherwise would never have come about. Easy and inexpensive international networking is a more recent phenomenon. The web is reshaping our concepts of training, which, in turn, affect our activities. MP3 taping of sermons make them available free on the web to those around the world. All of these changes open up new understandings of the church’s function and responsibilities.

Training is not a new concept. Jesus, from the beginning, told His disciples to make disciples.[1] The concept goes make much earlier, however. God’s instruction to Adam and Eve whether about the tree or marriage are a form of training. Deuteronomy 6 reveals God’s admonition for fathers to train their children. New situations, however, enable us to look at and apply God’s Word to us in different ways to better carry out God’s Great Commission.

Another reason we are rethinking through God’s Word is that new threats are arising, many from the same form of technology. These attacks on our spiritual foundations are forcing those who have not given up hope to reprocess the truths of God’s Word. As a result, they are discovering new hope through their stronger faith.

See why training is so urgent for the church today next.
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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

by Paul J. Bucknell

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[1] To ‘make a disciple’ means to ‘cause a person to learn.’ This is similar to what the word ‘train up’ means.