Resolution - Summit

Hope you have a great New Year. I don't know if you're a resolution person, but New Years Resolutions are some of my favorite things. I'm a goal setter by nature, so I love the opportunity to see a clean slate and to set some goals for a brand new year.

This year, I'm really excited about one of the "resolutions" we're making with the Young Adults here at McKinney. I'm sure the plan will morph a bit over the year because it's a brand new idea, so I'll blog about it now while we're only 1 day into it so I can follow-up later.

We've invited every one of our Young Adults (married and single) to read through the New Testament in 2008. Coincidentally, if you read one chapter a day, for five days a week, you read through the entire New Testament in almost exactly one year. I got the Bible reading idea from Watermark Church who do a Bible Reading Plan called "Join the Journey," in which they include devotionals written by members of their church on each passage of Scripture. When I was at Fellowship (ahem... Chase Oaks Church), we adopted portions of the Journey, and created Summit. Summit turned out to be one of the most rewarding projects I've ever been a part of in ministry, so when I made the move to McKinney I decided to take parts of it with me.

This year at McKinney, instead of the devotionals (which were extremely difficult to manage, edit, and publish), all of the teaching in our Young Adult groups on Sunday will coincide with the passages the group read the previous week. So, we'll be reading and teaching through the entire New Testament in 2008.

In order to accomplish that, I found 10-12 guys who I'm really wanting to develop in the area of teaching, and invited them to be a part of a "teaching team" that will stay 3 weeks ahead of everyone else in the reading, and then spend 2 hours every other week thinking through how to best teach each portion of the reading each week.

For example, our first meeting was a couple of weeks ago, and we studied through Mark 1-4 and Mark 5-9 together. We talked about how each passage breaks down (outlines), discussed the "big idea" of each passage, talked about the "tension" between what the passage calls us to do and our normal tendency, and talked about the application of the passage. Then we spent some time about how to pull off a lesson from each passage (do we want to do a survey of all 5 chapters, or is there a specific episode or verse that gets at the main idea?).

After this Sunday's lesson, I'll share with you what the teaching team came up with and how it was executed.

Each of those 10-12 guys on the teaching team will have several opportunities to teach throughout the year, so in essence, our time together is helping each of these men prepare their lessons. I also hope it will sharpen each of us as teachers and students of the Scripture. A byproduct should be teachers in our classes who are more prepared and more biblical in their teaching (if we're studying 3 weeks in advance, they're not scrambling to put together a lesson the Saturday night before they teach).

I know several churches have a team approach to studying for sermons, but haven't heard of any that do this kind of thing on a smaller level. So, it's sort of an experiment for us. But, my hope is that the end result will be a ministry of men and women who are familiar with the New Testament, and some quality leaders/teachers who can handle the Scriptures well. I'll keep you posted.