Special Focus is the title of a series of specific presentations on important subjects in addition to the regular adult church education curriculum that people want and need to know about, be able to explain to others, and act on themselves in order to serve the Lord most effectively. These presentations, usually offered in a lecture/discussion format, are typically contained in one session, though occasionally an issue will require a second session in order to adequately address that matter.
The presentations address current issues covering a wide range of subjects, e.g., theology; church traditions; cultural values; marriage, parenting, and family; moral matters; and contemporary news items. Specific examples include an overview of the Bible in one session; doctrinal questions (e.g., Do all people worship the same God? The short answer is No.); cults and other religions and how they contrast with Biblical Christianity; the meaning of the special seasons and days in the church year (e.g., Lent, Ascension Day, Pentecost). Such subjects are the substance of these classes. From time to time, depending on the issue being addressed, guest speakers often from the congregation who have expertise and experience on relevant aspects of the topics for the day join the main teacher in this class. Video and other forms of presentation also are used where applicable. All presentations are followed by discussion; all questions and any comments are always welcomed and addressed. The class meets frequently but not continuously.
Pertaining to contemporary issues, the subjects are presented based on what the Bible says to guide us in our thinking and acting. Where such subjects have contrasting positions promoted by political parties, the presentation focuses on the interpretation, implications, and applications of God’s Word on these matters rather than partisan platforms. If an explanation aligns with a particular political party’s position, or parts of the explanation are included in the position of one or more political parties, such commonality is coincidental; our allegiance in and as the church is to God and his Word, not to any party. The same reality applies to Biblical subjects that contrast with political parties and other components of the culture. As Christians we are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), which sometimes affirms and sometimes critiques cultural entities according to the Word of God in order to accomplish his purposes in the world, which he created, owns, and is redeeming in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The following are some of the subjects and Special Focus programs I’ve offered in church education ministry. Resources for these and other subjects for Special Focus sessions can be obtained elsewhere on this Website and on my academic Website. Just type the subject you want to present in the Search bar on the homepage, e.g., infant baptism.
Select from the topics below:
ANGELS: Biblical Teaching about Angels
COPING WITH TRAGEDY: Biblical Answers to Questions about the Tragic Events of September 11, 2001
HALLOWEEN: Should Christians Still Participate?
MIDDLE EAST CRISIS: Biblical and Theological Factors for Consideration
PARENTING: How to Talk So Your Teen Will Listen