Well, as many of you will know, The Nicavangelists are dividing into 2, and from next year we’ll have two teams, The Nicavangelists aaaaaaaand ? Jonny is going to lead this second team and he is yet to come up with a group name. Jonny’s group will have a more polished look and our youths will graduate out of The Nicavangelists and into Jonny’s group.
So, what is to be done? Well, this year we’ve a HEAP of preparations. We are having a squiz at Europe and our leaders are off to Youth With A Mission to complete their DTS and in Jonny’s case (He has already completed a DTS), a School of Biblical Studies. And so, Jonny is enrolling in the School of Biblical Studies with Youth With A Mission. Here is the deal…
Jonny will learn via a dynamic inductive approach to Bible study.
Jonny will study three of Paul’s letters, two to individuals and one considered Paul’s first letter, to a group of churches in the Roman Province of Galatia.
Jonny will explore two of the four Gospels. Each of these books were written to predominantly Gentile audiences. Jonny will build a foundation for the study of the rest of the New Testament.
Jonny will learn about the New Testament narrative book – Acts of the Apostles. This study will give him the background history of (much of) the New Testament period. The study of the two letters the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, where he addressed their confusion over the second coming of Christ, will conclude Jonny’s introduction to the School of Biblical Studies.
Jonny will study earlier letters of the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul has been called a ‘task theologian’, meaning that Paul’s interest in theology is not abstract but applied to the life and needs of his readers. Nowhere is this more evident than in these letters.
A lack of a Biblical world view and values, false teaching, disunity and confusion about eschatology (understanding of the end times) are some of the issues addressed by these letters, all of which sound very familiar to us today.
Jonny will then study the prison and later letters of the Apostle Paul. The centrality, supremacy and humility of Christ fill the pages of these letters, along with heartfelt words to one of Paul’s young co-workers.
The prison cell does not seem to dampen Paul’s wonder of both Jesus and the power of the Gospel, nor his commitment to protect the Gospel from those who would corrupt the message entrusted to him by Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Jonny will pull apart New Testament writings primarily to Jewish people (Matthew, Hebrews and James). James is the New Testament book of wisdom, while Hebrews shows how Jesus is ‘so much better than’ what the Jewish believers had left behind when placing their faith in their Messiah. It is this Messiah that the Gospel of Matthew proclaims as the fulfilment of the Old Testament.
Then Jonny will study the later letters and John’s Gospel. These books are considered to be some of the last of the New Testament books written. The apostle Peter affirms that both Jew and Gentile who have placed their faith in Christ are the ‘chosen nation’, and God’s ‘holy people’. While in his second letter when he is giving his farewell address, along with Jude, he urges the saints to contend for the Faith.
John called himself in the Gospel ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved,’ a major theme in these writings. As the heresy of Gnosticism was in its infancy at this time, so John addresses this, making both a strong defence of the truth, and brings correction.
The final book of Revelation is studied, and it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, and bringing hope to a suffering church.
Jonny will trace from Eden to Sinai, the origin of the world and Israel. By setting the scene for the whole Old Testament here, Jonny will explore the origins of the nations and the nation of Israel.Having shown the deep need of humanity, God breaks into human history and begins his plan of redemption by choosing a man, Abraham, and through him a nation, Israel.
In these books Jonny will explore these beginnings with God’s provision of the covenant, deliverance from oppression, and the commissioning of the nation of Israel to its destiny to be a missionary people on the earth.
Then from the wilderness to the promised land. Having commissioned Israel to its calling as God’s missionary people, and declared that He would dwell among them, Jonny will explore the journey from Sinai to the Promised Land.
The journey that should have taken less than 40 days took 40 years. After renewing the Covenant in the plains of Moab, the new generation under a new leader begins to possess the promised inheritance. The book of Deuteronomy becomes foundational to understand God’s dealings with this people in the subsequent history books.
From cycles of defeat to Israel’s golden age. Jonny will explore this significant period of Israel’s history from what has been called Israel’s ‘dark ages’ in the book of Judges, with the cycles of victory and defeat, to the establishment of the monarchy under the great King David.
With his mighty victories over Israel’s enemies King David finishes what Joshua began so all of the Promised Land was finally settled, and Israel had peace with its neighbours. This ushered in Israel’s golden age.
The jewel of the book of Ruth, demonstrates how Israel’s law worked out in practice and gives hope in the darkest of times.
From greatness to destruction. Beginning with Israel as the world super-power, to its eventual destruction, Jonny will follow the decline of Israel through the divided kingdom and beyond.
Idolatry, like a cancer, eats away at the very heart of the nation and despite the many prophets sent by the Lord, and the great grace shown, the people were resistant to the heart cry of God. The message of both Elijah and Elisha and later Amos and Hosea, with their special ministry to the northern tribes, falls on deaf ears. This led to the destruction and exile of these peoples. For the Southern Kingdom too, ignoring the words of their mighty prophets, destruction eventually came and the glorious temple that was built in the beginning lies in ruins at the end.
The long-suffering patience of the Lord is declared on every page.
The Psalms, loved by so many people are a rich variety of worship, praise, thanksgiving and teaching, with many heartfelt cries of those in pain and distress. At times the spirit soars high and at others the pain of the poet rings true. Jonny will dive into the beauty of the art form of Hebrew poetry and encounter a rich variety of Psalms.
From life not making sense or seeming meaningless, to knowing how to live life well and make wise, life giving decisions, wisdom is many sided as the study of Proverbs will show.
Jonny will study the Kings.
The 8th Century Prophets Declaring the Heart of God to the Nations. Both Isaiah and Micah call the Southern Kings to put their trust in God as the One that will bring salvation to the nation, and indeed, to the nations! Joel calls the nation to return to the Lord and our God who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love is evident through the prophet Jonah, but a God of justice revealed through the prophet Nahum.
Despite the Northern nation of Israel having been removed because of Idolatry, the southern nation of Judah continues to follow this path. Zephaniah warns of judgment while Habakkuk questions God’s means. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, expresses God’s broken heart over his people offering a chance of reprieve right up to the very end. Even amidst the despair of a ruined nation, Lamentations declares God’s steadfast love continues as do all the prophets with their integral message of hope.
Ezekiel was God’s messenger in exile to a rebellious Israel, calling for a change of heart. He declares that beyond the judgment there was hope, beyond the end there was a new beginning with hope of restoration and hope for the future.
You will discover in Obadiah, you don’t exploit God’s people and get away with it!
The exiled Daniel, not only remains faithful to God in a pagan world, but also is given the privilege of insight onto the future challenges and blessings of his people.
Beyond the end was a new beginning, the scattered people were bidden to return. But the time was tough, and the opposition was great. How could a dead nation be re-born?
1 and 2 Chronicles creates the foundation, restoring the identity of this broken people. Ezra and Nehemiah reflect the rebuilding of the temple, Jerusalem and the nation. Exceptional times call for exceptional leaders, not only Ezra and Nehemiah, but Esther too. For the difficult task of rebuilding, there is encouragement from the Lord, and for disillusionment there is challenge. And so these final Old Testament prophets speak before the 400 years of prophetic silence.
Jonny will develop his skills in the preparation and delivery of a small group Bible study. Jonny will learn and practice skills in message preparation and delivery.
Please help us to get Jonny across the line so that he can go on to lead his troupe!
Loads of love,