A Great Small Group Study

This fall we are encouraging our small groups to study Rooted: The Apostles Creed.  We purchased 120 copies directly from the publisher for a better price than you can get anywhere else.  You can get a copy from Pastor Knott for $10.   We already have about 50 folks committed, so you won't be alone if you take up this study.  We will also be using this book for our Inquirers class, so if we have extras they will be put to good use.  Here is why I am encouraged about studying Rooted as a congregation:

  1. Rooted in Scripture--The authors of Rooted begin each section of their study with a discussion of a passage of Scripture.  In very short compass, they offer a Christ centered reading of God's Word that leads to a Christ centered formulation of the doctrine in the Creed.  The result is that the study roots us in Scripture from the start.  For those who sometimes find it hard to see how the Creed is derived from Scripture, this will be helpful.  And, the sound interpretive principles will carry over into personal study.
  2. Personally Encouraging--Rooted has tremendous study questions that helped me apply the teaching to my own life and my church.  The Scriptural study and doctrinal formulation is not left hanging in the air, but brought right down to our daily lives where God himself dwells with us.  Group leaders will be able to tell that these authors have led small groups before and know how to craft a useful discussion guide.
  3. Worship Bolstering--I remember a conversation with a person who found saying the Lord's Prayer to be redundant.  As we discussed the Lord's Prayer, it became apparent to me that this individual did not find the same meaning in the phrases that I did.  Similarly, if you have a robust understanding of the Creed it is not nearly as likely to seem redundant for you to confess your faith in worship.  To the contrary, many find the confession of our faith to be an exhilarating reminder of what God has done for us, what binds us together with our church family, and of the hope that we have in Christ.  I think Rooted is going to lead people to a deeper and richer place of worship, and that excites me.
  4. Apologetically Useful--Every work of theology takes place in a moment in time.  The authors of Rooted are church planters and pastors.  They know the questions of our day--questions that challenge believers and unbelievers alike.  It would be an excellent study to use to introduce someone to the faith.
  5. The Church Universal--Rooted takes a Presbyterian and Reformed look at the Apostles Creed, explaining what we share in common with the church universal.  John Calvin's order of worship included the Creed weekly.  His famous Institutes of the Christian Religion is organized as an exposition of the Creed, and Calvin often referred to the "analogy of faith" in his interpretation of Scripture (by which he meant understanding a passage in light of the Christian faith as a whole).  Calvinists have never abandoned the Creed, which we share in common with other Christians. Rooted enables us to use the Creed as a point of departure in discussing our faith with other Christians, explaining why we believe as we do from Scripture and how our faith is related to that faith once for all delivered to the saints.

Pastor Knott will be speaking more about Rooted at the January small group leader training summit.  If you need to find a group please email Pastor Knott (jknott@epcnewark.org).