Wednesday Night and How People Change
Before I get into how people change I want to say a few things about Wednesday night. We have had and will continue to have some great things happening on Wednesday night. The Wednesday night meal continues on, with the energy of new leadership provided by Amy Houston. We are adding a time of corporate worship immediate following the meal to set our minds on the Lord and enrich our fellowship. (Just a few minutes of singing together with God’s people can do wonders for your spiritual life in the middle of the week!)
This year we are launching our Wednesday Night Ministry with a Block Party (Wed. September 7th, 5:30-8:00PM.) We will enjoy being together and having a place to welcome our friends and neighbors. The Elevation Band (i.e., the folks who play in worship) has been hard at work to prepare live music. In addition to the songs that we sing in corporate worship, the band has prepared some other pieces just for this event. Benjamin Harding tells me quality is superb, so bring your friends out for some serious live music. We will have tables at the Block Party that present the ministries that will take place on Wednesday night. We will have food on hand for purchase, but you are welcome to bring your own food as well. (We have asked these vendors to make and sell food. We are not sharing in their profits, nor have we made guarantees to them.)
On Wednesday evenings this fall I will be leading a study using the book entitled How People Change, by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp. Paul Tripp is a second generation pioneer of the biblical counseling movement begun by Jay Adams, and appreciated by so many in our church through the Self-Confrontation courses led by the Evers, Zitlaus and Hilberts over the years. Tim Lane is a professor of biblical counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation affiliated with Westminster Seminary. How People Change is a comprehensive presentation of a gospel centered approach to change. It is the type of book that is worthy of re-reading, re-studying time and again. I chose this book because it is rich in application, replete with examples and deep (yet accessible) in theology.
Rich in Application—How People Change provides an opportunity for extended reflection on topics relevant to us all. We will have ample time—more time than in Sunday school and, in some cases, than in small groups—to have give and take discussion on living the Christian life. We will be able to grow together. Folks new to our fellowship will be able to grow with us if they are Christians, or be exposed first hand to the way that we as believers approach the challenges of our lives.
Replete with Examples—Tripp and Lane have culled many real life examples from their counseling experience. These examples provide points of contact for discussion and application. I have found the examples to be encouraging and challenging. One cannot help but see oneself on occasion in the pages of this book. It is both a comfort and a challenge to see a fellow gospel traveler struggling to live out the good news.
Deep, Yet Accessible in Theology—Lane and Tripp are well studied in the biblical-theological tradition, especially in its Dutch-Calvinist expression (Vos and Ridderbos). Each chapter begins with a brief, yet sufficient overview of a facet of the New Testament’s teaching on God’s work in Christ for us past, present and future. By framing the discussion this way the authors not only help us to think more clearly about our own relationship with Christ, they also help us to think more clearly about the Bible itself. In other words, your daily bible reading, approach to sermons and other studies will be enriched by our study of How People Change.
This study is open to men and women of all ages, couples and singles alike. As I have already shared with the WIC leadership, there is no intention to replace or compete with the current evening WIC study. That ministry is well grounded and much needed. As pastor of the whole church I am happy to see people find their place of fellowship and growth, wherever that is. I am hopeful that this study can become a place of such growth and fellowship for those who have the time Wednesday night but have not had the opportunity or found their place—men, women, singles, parents with children in youth ministry and couples desiring to grow together. Please pray for this new study and all our Wednesday night ministries.
See you at the Block Party!