Why North Side University?

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When I was growing up I hated school. Well, at least the learning part of it anyway. I enjoyed going to school because all of my friends were there, but the learning part? No thanks. I did what I had to do to get by. I regret that now but that was the truth then. Maybe most of us, to some to degree, can say that as well. For me, school was something I had to do, in order to get to do, what I wanted to do. But one day that all changed. Would you like to guess when that change occurred? You got it, when I got out of school. It was not until after I was a student (in the formal sense of the word) that I actually became…….a student. And to this very day and hopefully for the rest of my life, I consider myself a lifelong learner. That’s what we want for each member of our church. We want you to be an active life long learner of God’s Word and we are called to help.

In Ephesians 4:11 the Apostle Paul writes the following: “ And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.” Why did He (Jesus) do this? That answer follows in verses 12-13; “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. One more question: What is the desired outcome of this “equipping of the saints?” Paul answers this in verse 14. “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.

One of the primary roles of Church leaders (elders) is to teach. In fact, from a biblical perspective, the primary distinction between the role of an elder and a deacon is that of teaching. Paul is saying here in Ephesians 4 that Christ has called church leaders to teach the truth of God’s Word so our congregation may mature in the faith and not be deceived. Teaching comes in many forms here at our church. Primarily it is done from the pulpit and in our small groups/Sunday school classes. This article however, is specifically intended to highlight a teaching process we have entitled North Side University (NSU). North Side University is intentional teaching from our elders. Each class is between 6 and 12 weeks long and will be offered throughout the calendar year. Currently we are conducting one class at a time but the long term plan is to have multiple classes at multiple times on an ongoing basis so that we are continually equipping the members of our church.

There are many areas that must be considered in order to cover a wide range of topics. We are in the process of expanding our class offerings and have, for the moment, categorized them into two separate tracts; NSU for membership and NSU for Leadership development. Any member or guest is welcome to attend any class. We will update class offerings, dates, and times throughout the year via The City and our web site. Below is a sample of the classes that are currently offered and/or are being developed.

Class Offering

NSU Membership

NSU Leadership

Biblical Eldership

X

Christian Doctrine

X

Compass Financial

X

Doctrine of Salvation 

X

Hermeneutics

X

Kingdom Values

X

Knowing God

X

New Believers

X

New Testament Survey

X

Old Testament Survey

X

Pastoral Care

X

Preaching/ Teaching 101

X

P.L.A.C.E.

X

Spiritual Leadership

X

World Religions

X

So, are you up to the challenge? I sure hope so. I hope you accept the challenge of being a lifelong student of God’s Word. I don’t have to tell you that the teachings of culture are working overtime to shape our world view. But God has called us to learn and live out the teachings of Scripture. May Hebrews 5:11-12 not be said of us; that we are “dull of hearing, in need of the elementary teachings again, and that we need milk and not solid food because we are infants in the faith.” Instead may Hebrews 5:14 be said of us, that we are “mature because of practice and we have our senses trained to discern good and evil.” God calls leaders to be equippers and he calls the members to be equipped. Together we learn. Together we grow. Together we are transformed for His glory.

Jamie Parler

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