I give thanks to God for the grounding my faith had as a result of going to Sunday School. Particularly I give thanks that in my journey with God, learning about faith didn't stop with Sunday School; rather it gave me the basic tools with which to continue learning about God.
For many people the primary time they hear the Bible or receive any teaching on it is during worship. This is a great sadness, because learning about our faith comes so much more alive when we can interact with the scriptures and tease out together what it means for our daily living. Being part of small groups where this is possible opens up a whole realm of pastoral and prayerful support for each other. This is why the Wesleys placed small groups at the centre of their strategy for nurturing and growing disciples of Jesus. Indeed, it is a model that many churches of all traditions employ, to help each other grow in faith and in noticing God in the world around them. Groups also become safe places for us to practice talking about and sharing our faith.
There is no doubt that learning about our faith is a life-long pursuit. Our needs will change over time, and different priorities will come to the fore. The joy of being part of a church is that we can share in these things and support each other on the journey. At its best, learning together stops our faith and belief and delight in God from becoming dry and stale.
The wonderful thing is that there are so many resources published for all ages, whether specifically Bible-based, or theme-based, as daily devotions or for group use. Of course, some of our learning is not formal, but informal. We pick things up from other people in the church and the wider Christian community. We learn from the way we see others live and behave towards each other. As it is often said, we can learn and study the Bible all we like, but unless we see it reflected in our daily living, then we have learnt nothing at all.
Learning about our faith is an exciting journey, because it draws us closer and close into the heart of God and transforms our lives – which sometimes means we are challenged to the core of our being about the choices we make.
A learning church is also a church that is geared up to nurture new Christians of any age, something that is increasingly important now that the Christian stories are not as commonly known as they once were.
Let us learn more about the God we worship, let us draw closer to God and become all that he intends us to be.
All Saints Methodist Church
There is free parking in our car park behind the Church in Dorchester Crescent.