Here are some questions to help you with your class for the next two Sundays. Phillip Slate provided some questions, and I have added several. There are too many questions to actually use, so you will need to select the ones you feel are most appropriate to your class and to your interests. Of course, you may have some of your own ideas of what you want to discuss in class, and that is fine also. Feel free to use whatever questions you want to.
Tapes have been made of Slate’s talk for you. If you do not get your tape Wednesday night in the Teacher’s Class, then check with the church office. The presentation is also available on our Brentwood Hills web site. The Teacher’s Class will meet next Wednesday night (7/30/03) also to help you prepare for the second week of class. However, there will be no additional questions besides what is in this handout.
You might want to begin by asking your class for general reactions to Slate’s presentation before dealing with specific questions.
Here are the questions that Slate submitted:
1. Why is Matthew 28:18-20 an important passage for the church’s task of evangelizing? What does this passage teach us?
2. While Matthew 28:18-20 is a pivotal text, in what way is it proper to say that missions/evangelism does not arise so much from a single text as from the nature of God Himself?
3. In what ways may it be said that the church now stands in the place of ancient Israel in making known who God is and what He is like? See 1 Peter 2:9-10. Discuss what each of the four phrases (chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, people belonging to God) mean for the church today.
4. In what sense should we say that missions/evangelism/outreach is as much a matter of who we are as it is a matter of what we do? See 1 Peter 2:10 and Isaiah 60:21 and 61:3.
5. What validity do you see in what is called the “book of Ruth” evangelism, which means that outsiders, nonChristians, often “must get to know the people of God before they get to know the God of the people”?
6. Having looked at some of the biblical materials on the importance of worldwide teaching of the gospel, how do you feel about part of your financial contribution here at Brentwood Hills going to support of that work? Does it help our motives and intentions in giving when we know more about what our money supports?
7. In what areas would it be a good idea to provide training in this church so we could do a better job of outreach in our city? What kinds of training would be needed?
8. Is anyone in this class a Christian because someone other than family took an interest in you and helped you become a Christian?
Here are some questions that I added:
1. Slate said, “a fundamental aspect of being the people of God is to spread the message of Jesus.” In other words, if a congregation is not spreading the message of Jesus, are the members of that congregation really the people of God? Must all Christians spread the message of Jesus?
2. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus told his followers to “make disciples.” What does this involve?
3. Slate discussed Genesis 12:1-3, where Abram is told that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” God chose Abram and his descendants to be an instrument of his blessing to all people. How does this passage connect with Matthew 28:18-20? In what ways does God still bless all nations through his people (the church) today?
4. Slate discussed that God chose Israel for a special purpose. However, God did not choose Israel because they were more numerous than other nations (Deuteronomy 7:7-11) or because they were more righteous than other nations (Deuteronomy 9:4-6). In other words, knowing that you are chosen should not lead to pride. How does this still apply to the church today?
5. Slate said “our chief task is not to grow [the church] but to live to the glory of God.” What did Slate mean by this, and why is this significant?
6. Slate said that our postmodern world will argue with rational explanations of the gospel, but it cannot argue with the integrity of a godly life. (This is very similar to what Earl Lavender said.) How do you react to this statement?
7. Slate challenged us to learn to speak about our faith and to teach others. What fears do you have about doing this? If you had the opportunity to teach a nonChristian, could you do it? What specific things would you teach? What passages would you use?
8. Slate suggested that some people might need to take on the challenge of planting new churches or joining with small, struggling churches. What are the advantages/disadvantages of doing this instead of trying to do evangelism as a part of a large church?
9. Slate suggested that we need to see the unexpected changes that occur in our lives (such as a job change) as new opportunities sent by God for us to participate in His work. Do you agree? Why would this mindset make a difference?
10. Slate suggested that some churches are beginning to respond to the Kurdish, Latino, and other subcultures in Nashville. What opportunities does Brentwood Hills have in this regard?
11. Slate concluded with the story of The Gospel Blimp. Sometimes, we (the church) choose to go to elaborate, impersonal means (a gospel blimp that drops tracts all over the city and plays Christian music) to reach others when all that is needed is the personal touch of a neighbor, friend, or coworker. Why does the church sometimes choose impersonal means to spread the gospel?
You can decide how to divide Slate’s material for two week’s worth of discussion. Since he had a biblical section and a practical section, you could divide the material that way. But you may have other ideas.
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583