Posted on behalf of Cally Tuckey
Date of sermon: 2 August 2015. This was the introductory framework to initiate discussion
Where: St Francis
I have been doing studies related to theological education. I looked at what it is that contributes most to making people, who are studying theology and training for the ministry true disciples of Christ. My conclusions were interesting but in many ways obvious. What makes the greatest difference are the things that involve relationships. In many ways this is obvious as we all, deep down know the importance of relationships and value them, yet in theological education institutions and in churches we put other things first above relationships.
Much of our education is about knowledge, learning facts. This is important. We need to know what is right and good. Paul urges us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). We need to know, but that knowing needs to be accompanied by relating and it is as we relate this knowing to ourselves, others and our daily lives that it transforms us and the way we live. Similarly in church, we persist with sermons, that do not require people to interact with what is being said, to discuss it, question it and really take it seriously.
Jesus said that his disciples will be recognized by their love, rather than their great knowledge or their beautiful worship services. Hence building relationships is what we need to affirm and try to do. There maybe times when we compromise on certain issues for the sake of relationship, because we love others. This could be embracing the noise of children during the service rather than complaining. Accepting and trying to accommodate the type of worship or kind of music that we have at church. If getting what we want, breaks down love, we are not acting as true disciples of Christ.