Educational Ministry of the Church - Lesson 3

Why are we here?

The three essential tasks of the Church are worship, outreach and teaching.

Gary Parrett
Educational Ministry of the Church
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Why are we here?

Concept: Why Engage in Christian Education?

Part 1

I.  Why are we here?

A.  Three Essential Tasks of the Church

1.  Worship

2.  Outreach - Evangelism

3.  Christian Formation - Teaching

B.  Reconciliation

C.  The Great Commission

1.  Baptism - Initiation - Evangelism

2.  Teaching - Obedience to commandments - CE

  • Seven questions that provide a framework for choosing and implementing curriculum.

  • Our misconceptions about Christian education can cause us to choose poor or inaccurate content and use ineffctive strategies.

  • The three essential tasks of the Church are worship, outreach and teaching.

  • Christian formation focuses on the process of becoming more like Christ.

  • Instructions for spiritual education from passages in the Old Testament and New Testament.

  • History of Christian education from the early church to modern Sunday school.

  • The Heidelberg Catechism provides essential elements for a Christian education curriculum.

  • The Torah contains the essence of what God wants us to know. Jesus clarifies and exemplifies the Torah.

  • A CORE curriculum should be Comprehensive, Orthodox, Reforming and focused on Essentials. Delivery systems may include bible studies, small groups, Sunday school and sermons.

  • The Ten Commandments are the basis for Old Testament Law and the core teaching of the New Testament.

  • Tailoring curriculum by taking into peoples' physical and spiritual developmental stages can make teaching more effective.

  • Tailoring curriculum by taking into peoples' physical and spiritual developmental stages can make teaching more effective.

  • A key element for effective education to take place is for teachers to know their students relationally.

  • Effective teachers know their audience and avoid attitudes and expressions that would create obstacles to communication.

  • Asking the right questions about the curriculum and the audience can help you identify what information to emphasize and how to present it effectively.

  • How you define teaching determines content and strategy.

  • Effective teaching engages the whole person.

  • When preparing curriculum, an effective teacher will take into account both the content and the audience.

  • Many people fill the role of teacher in your life at different times and in various ways.

  • Christian education involves recruiting, training, modeling, organizing and supporting people who volunteer to teach.

  • Being trained in skills for conflict resolution helps you to have realistic expectations and gives you the tools you need to effectively resolve situations as they arise.

Through this course, you will gain a deep understanding of the educational ministry of the church, its foundations, principles of teaching and learning, and the development of an effective educational ministry. You will also explore strategies for different age groups, including children, youth, and adults, and learn how to address contemporary issues such as cultural relevance, technology, media, and special needs inclusivity.

Educational Ministry of the Church 
Dr. Gary Parrett 
Why are we here? 
Lesson Transcript


All right. Well, let's get back to the why question and try to look at it from the other angle now and understanding what is the biblical task of Christian education. To get at that question together. I want to get to a prior question, and that is, why are we here? What's the point of the church? What's the point of our lives individually and together as the body of Christ? Let me ask this question this way. Why does the church exist? The church exists To do what? What's the answer? Yeah. Let's let's say ultimately that everything we do is to glorify God. I think that came from the person who knows the shorter Westminster catechism. What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Question number one from the assured to Westminster Catechism. So yeah, there's a sense in which we are called to glorify God and everything is subsumed under that. By the way, anybody have any Bible for us here? We know of that. But can you get me the Scripture to support the idea? Church exists to glorify God. I exist to glorify God. You exist to glorify God. Well, let me just offer one just to break the deafening silence in the room here. Well, we know from part of the Colossians that whatever we do in word or deed, we should do everything to the glory of God. We know that. That's from Paul The Clash. And I was also thinking of Romans 11, verse 36, Pour from him and through him and to him, are all things to him be the glory forever? Amen.


So that one came to mind. Also, Revelation 411 comes to mind. Thou art worthy. Oh, Lord, our God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things. And by your will, they existed and were created. There are a number of passages that basically point us in the right direction. How do we do this as a church? How does the church glorify God? Okay, let's put down some words we have. We have obedience to unity making visible the kingdom. I like that idea. Other things that the church does to bring glory to God service. Mm hmm. Couple more pressure. Okay. Anything else? A lot of these things, obviously, we could flesh out in different ways, But let's. Let's. Let's take some ideas here. Yeah, let's put down teaching. All right, here we go. Let's. Let's look at. Let's look at it from a couple of different senses here. There is one understanding about the church's basic obligation is to glorify God, and that the way the church does that in the concrete is by obedience in three essential tasks. And there is a kind of historic understanding of three essential tasks of the church. One of them is worship, and the couple of others would be sometimes labeled teaching or Christian education or Christian nurture or Christian formation. If worship and Christian education are two of the essential tasks, what do you think? The third would be evangelism or outreach, reaching out to unbelievers. Some people would say that the church glorifies God by being obedient to these three fundamental tasks. We worship God. We nurture one another in the faith, and we reach out to unbelievers. So here the focus is upward in a sense of focus on God. Here the focus is inward, and the focus is on believers.


And here the focus is on unbelievers. It's outward. Back in the seventies as a new Christian, I remember a song that we sang in church. Lord, make my life a miracle as I give it all to you. As I'm committed to you, committed to your family, committed to the world you love or make my life a miracle. Well, that represents these three great tasks of the church. Sometimes people will say when I ask the question, Why do we exist? We glorify God. How do we do that? We worship. We worship and worship indeed. Many people will say this is the ultimate. This is the ultimate. That's our ultimate means for glorifying God is through our worship. But if that's the case, then it begs another question. If the way that we ultimately glorify God is through worship, why are we here? Why are we here on Earth? If it's all about worship, we don't have to be here. Now, we could just go right home and spend eternity with him. We were talking about baptism just a moment ago. Maybe the you know, the wise thing to do is, especially if you're somebody who baptized is by immersion. If the whole point of that is we worship to we glorify God by worshiping him, maybe we should just baptize and hold him under the water a little bit longer and let their spirit just go up to heaven. If it's all about glorifying him by worship. We don't need to be here if that's what it's all about. I do think worship is critical here, but, you know, we have those biblical portraits of worship in the Book of Revelation, and it seems to be that it's our big part of our eternal destiny. Why here? Well, that brings us back to these words.


Why here we glorify God through worship here. Yes, but we could do worship there as well in his presence. But these are part of our existence here. But first, I want to just look at this idea a little bit more fully. I would like to take these two terms Christian education and evangelism, these two tasks of the church and subsume them under another larger term. This is my understanding, and obviously others will look at it differently. But part of the answer to the question, how do we glorify God here and why do we have to be here right now is because we are called to glorify God not only through worship, but through the Ministry of Reconciliation. It's helpful for me to ask the question, why did Jesus become flesh? Why did God become flesh in Jesus? Why did Jesus come here? What was the point of His earthly sojourn? And if I want to answer that question, it leads me to the Ministry of Reconciliation. The Ministry of Reconciliation unpacked. I'm going to unpack it as evangelism and Christian education in a little bit. But let's look at the Ministry of Reconciliation. Why did Jesus come? Well, from his own lips, Jesus, said Luke, 19, verse ten, The son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. But there are also a number of places where the Bible makes it clear that Jesus came for reconciliation. Look with me and a couple of scriptures together. Let's go, first of all, to Colossians chapter one, Colossians chapter one, starting in verse 15, he's just spoken in verse 13 about our being transferred into the kingdom of God's beloved Son. And then Paul goes on verse 15 He Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn overall creation for in Him, all things in heaven and on Earth were created things visible, invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers.


All things have been created through him. And for him, he himself is before all things. And in him, all things hold together. He's the head of the body, the church, the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything for in him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. And through him, God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on Earth or in Heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. So why did God become flesh in the person of Jesus through Him to reconcile all things back to himself? Go back to Genesis one. Genesis two. We get the picture of God and humanity in perfect harmony with each other. But in Genesis three, it's no longer harmony, it's discord, it's no longer harmony, it's enmity. So in Genesis three, now, people are at enmity with God. They're hiding behind fig leaf. They're in enmity with one another. So we see Adam pointed his finger at his wife. She made me do it. And their enmity with the creation itself. So harmony is not the order anymore. In Genesis three, everything is thrown out of whack. That's the nice theological term I like to use out of wackiness of the world. And from Genesis three on, God sets about this plan of. Insulation already in Genesis three is foretold with the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent. So God begins this Ministry of Reconciliation. Then comes the fullness of time when God sends forth His son into the world, born of a woman to redeem people under the woman born under the law, to redeem people under the law. And Jesus comes. According to Colossians Chapter one.


Sorry for reconciliation. Couple of other passages that unpack it further. First Corinthians Chapter 15. Paul here is laid out his gospel, and then he is gone into a defense of the resurrection of Christ and in the midst of this teaching about the resurrection. Look at verse 21st Corinthians 15, starting at verse 20. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. The first fruits of those who have died for his death came through a human being. The resurrection of the dead also comes through a human being as all die in Adam. So all will be made alive in Christ, but each in his own order and in his own ordered order, Christ the first fruits. Then it is coming. Those who belong to Christ. And then comes the end when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and authority and power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for God has put all things in subjection under Him. Plainly, this does not include the one who put things in subjection under him. And when all things are subject to him, then the son himself will be subject to the one who has put all things in submission under him so that God may be. All in all. It's an interesting passage and of course some nice Christological stuff to unpack there in verse 28. But here's this idea again that Christ comes forth into the world to win it all back and bring it all back. And then at the end of time, after conquering every enemy, he presents it back to the father and say, the job is accomplished. What's the job? Reconciliation.


Second Corinthians Chapter five. The last passage I want to look at in this regard. Verse 14 through 21 For the love of Christ compels us because we are persuaded that one died for all and therefore all died and he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them from now on. Therefore, we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer for if anyone is in Christ. He's a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and is given to us the Ministry of Reconciliation that is in Christ. God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting the trespasses. Men's trespass is against them, and he has entrusted to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us. We entreat you on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God for God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Amen. As a powerful passage where Paul on taxes on ministry explains it to us. But a couple of things about this passage. First of all, verse 14, Paul's Ministry, born from the love of Christ, are convinced of being convinced that Christ died and that He died for all verse 15, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised again. I see verse 15 as a nice statement of Paul's purpose in ministry. Paul is ministering to people that they be reconciled to God.


But what does that mean? It doesn't mean simply that they'll have a ticket to heaven. It means that they will stop living as people who are in enmity with God. They will stop living as people who think only about themselves, and they will begin living for the one who died for them and was raised again. Therefore, Paul says in verse 16, When I see people, I don't measure them the way the world measures them anymore. This is a fun verse to meditate on. But he says, I once thought I had Christ figured out. It turned out I was wrong about him. You know, Saul of Tarsus thought he knew who Jesus of Nazareth. Nazareth was a troublemaker, a false prophet. But it turned out he was wrong. And now I think Paul has learned that he ought not to look at anybody and just measure based on what he sees with his eyes, measure up according to the flesh, what their status is, what their race is, what their educational background is. But instead, he looks at everybody and he sees they're either in Christ already or they're in need of Christ still. And he recognizes that in Christ, anybody can become a thoroughly transformed person. And I see this as a marvelous guide for a teacher or a preacher. You start looking at people and you don't only see what you see with your eyes, but you begin to imagine what they can be in Christ. And maybe even Paul is dreaming back to verse 15. He looks at people and imagines what they will be when they no longer live for themselves, but live for the one who is dying, who died for them, was raised again. And it's interesting to me that Paul says this to the Corinthians.


Just a little bit of an aside, your keep your finger here and go to chapter 18 for a minute. Paul says, I no longer measure based on worldly measure. I know that if anyone is in Christ, all things are made new. Interesting to me that he says it to the Corinthians because look what happened to Paul when he was in Corinth, Acts 18. He goes to Corinth and there is some trouble in Corinth, and he has a break off from the synagogue after preaching there and having some rejection. There's some victories, but there's also some rejection. And then we get down to verse nine, Acts 18, verse nine. One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, for I am with you and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you. For there are many in this city who are my people. It's an interesting thing, and I wonder what Paul must have thought. You know, Paul was probably going through something already. Probably was a bit fearful or thinking about marching on crisis. No, don't go anywhere. I'll be with you. I'll take care of you. I'll protect you. I have many people in this city, but there weren't many people presently identified as Christians in Corinth. What does that mean? I think it to some extent Paul's saying Paul is hearing from the Lord, Paul. You just be faithful to your task. You keep preaching. You keep preaching. You preach the gospel and you'll see the Lord knows those stories. You'll see. And Paul knows from that experience and from his experience with God that he can't just measure people by what he sees. He preaches the gospel, and he knows that in Christ, lives are transformed.


And then down to Second Corinthians chapter five, verse 18 and 19, the transformation that is experienced in individual lives is experienced because God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself the way that He did it. Verse 21 By taking our sin, putting it on Christ, taking Christ righteousness, putting on us that great trance transfer in verse 21 of second Corinthians five. But notice what happens. Christ, we find from seven Corinthians five Christ ministry was reconciliation. But what happens to us the moment we are reconciled, we become ministers of reconciliation. So Christ who came to reconcile, gives to us the Ministry of Reconciliation. Back to Colossians one and you're thinking for just a minute, it's a few verses after where we stopped. We read that through putting all of his fullness in Christ. God would reconcile all things through Jesus Christ in chapter one. It's a few verses later where Paul says, I rejoice in what I suffered for you, and I fill up in my own flesh. What is lacking. Of the afflictions of Christ? What is Paul talking about? He's entered into the Ministry of Reconciliation. So Christ did all the work on the cross. Paul's suffering involve taking that message of reconciliation to others and suffering with Christ. But his second Corinthians five, he says it very explicitly The Ministry of Reconciliation that God, the Father gave to God, the Son of God, the Son is given to us, and we enter into it. So we are here for reconciliation and again, for emphasis. To see people reconciled doesn't mean simply that they have said a little prayer and they have a ticket to heaven, but it means they are no longer living for themselves. That takes us back then to our task for being here in the world.


And I'm going to use make reference again to those three circles, and we'll refer to these three circles a couple of different ways here. Let's call this again worship. Christian education and evangelism will not worry so much about the semantics right now, but those are the three general tasks. These two I'm linking specifically to the Ministry of Reconciliation that we're called to be in now, although I would say worship itself is in fact part of the Ministry of Reconciliation, because here we are face to face with God and we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. But think about these specifically now Christian education and evangelism. And let's go to the Great Commission in the Great Commission stated in various forms, but let's go to Matthew 28. Matthew 28, 18 through 24, Jesus came to his disciples and said, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on Earth. And then he says, Go. Therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I commanded. You know, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age. What is the what is the the command in this passage? There's really only one imperative in this passage. Actually, it's make disciples. The imperative form is sort of stated as going make disciples. So the imperative is make disciples of whom of all nations go and make disciples of all nations. That's the imperative. Disciple meaning make people who will be followers of Christ, learners of Christ, imitators of Christ, and then from that flow to specific kind of ministries. The one imperative is make disciples. But there's two participle phrases, I guess we could call them, that flow out of that.


What are they? Yeah, baptizing. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I've commanded you. Baptism. What role does baptism play in the Christian life? What is that about? What's the symbolic of new life? It symbolizes new life. It's the symbol of our initiation into the faith. It's the right of initiation. And. Sense. So I hear Jesus saying when he says baptize them. Implicit in this is the idea that you preach the gospel to people who don't know the gospel. You'll bring them to the point of faith, and as evidence of their initiation into the faith, you'll baptize them. And from this, many people understand them. This is reference to the evangelistic ministry of the church. So we bring people the gospel, and when they receive the gospel, we baptize them into the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit. They are they are believing into the train gone. But we don't just leave them there. Have they've been after they've been baptized and they've been initiated into the faith. Then we begin, not begin actually continue the process of teaching. There's already been some teaching that's gone on here. Just to get back to some of your points. There's already teaching to faith. But once somebody is in faith, the teaching just goes on. And now the teaching takes specific shape. Teach them what? Teach everything that Christ is commanded, but not just teach everything. The crisis commanded. Teach to obey. Remember our earlier discussion about his Christian education? Finish when we've got the content passed on? No, because it's not. Just teach them everything that Christ said or everything that Christ did or everything that Christ commanded. That would be an awesome task all by itself.


But as though that weren't enough, as teach them to obey everything Christ commanded. Now I realize that I'm into a full blown lifelong ministry here. The evangelistic ministry flows from the Great Commission because we send the Gospel out, we baptize people in the name. The educational ministry, though, also flows from the Great Commission, because once people have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, we engage in this lifelong process of teaching them to obey Jesus, teaching them to obey everything that he's commanded. And again, it's a lifelong process. Where do we get back to the question about discipleship and how discipleship relates to Christian education now? Where would we normally use the word discipleship? In the church? Here, Over here. Over here. Normally, what are you familiar with people using discipleship to describe our evangelism work or Christian education? Usually we use it over here, but I am actually going to argue that it needs to speak to both of this because, again, the imperative here is make disciples. And the way we make disciples includes evangelism and education. So in the process of making disciples, we start with evangelism. We start by getting to people who need to know the gospel, and we give them the gospel. And then discipleship continues. And it's a lifelong process of learning what it means to obey the teachings of Jesus. It's a long, long term process. I had a interesting eye opening experience when I was a youth pastor one time of going to a church and starting right away at some discipleship training. We called it for the young people in the church, and I invited young people to sign up for this. And after two weeks of our open sign up period had gone by, I was shocked that this one guy I knew for sure would sign up didn't sign up.


He was the president of the youth group. Very mature guy. I knew he'd be the first one to sign it, but he didn't sign up. So I went to him. Finally, I said, How come you didn't sign up for our discipleship classes? He said, Oh, well, I already did discipleship. I said, What? He said, Yeah, we had a pastor a couple of years ago. He had discipleship training. I already did discipleship and I'm all done with that. And that's that's what a lot of folks probably think, that if I've done a little program here or there, I sat through a class for six weeks. I'm a disciple, but if I take the Great Commission seriously, and particularly this idea of teach them to obey everything I've commanded, you know, discipleship is a process that we're always entering into. Yes, I am a disciple, but I need to continually grow as a disciple. So great commission gives me evangelism mandate, gives me educational mandate, and it takes us back again to these three things. Let's go back there one more time. These are historically understood as the three great tasks of the church worship, Christian education and evangelism. At least these two specifically relate to discipleship. Although I think learning to become a worshiper is maybe even a more fundamental aim. But here's a point about why these circles are overlapping. These are three great tasks of the church. They're all God. Glorifying relates to the Ministry of Reconciliation. We make relates to making disciples. But we make a mistake if we think of these as distinct spheres because they always overlap. There may be a sense in which a church will establish specific ministries to address one of these tasks. For example, what's a specific ministry that a church may establish to address the task of worship? Maybe the worship service house.


We can think about that. There's a specific ministry over there. How about a specific ministry over here to address the task of evangelism? Make sure we're doing it. Okay. Maybe Ministry of Visitation. Maybe we can think of a short term outreach, short term mission, something like that. And how about specific ministry over here? Sunday school, Bible study, small group, all kinds of things that we may think about. But in fact, although that may be our emphasis in that ministry, the other two spheres will somehow be affected. They'll be touched. Think, for example, about first Corinthians chapters 11 through 14, first Corinthians 11 through 14, beginning with the discussion about when you celebrate the Lord's Supper and then finishing with discussion about prophesying and using spiritual gifts. When you come together to focus on First Corinthians 11 through 14, in a sense, you could say it's a focus on worship, especially going into Chapter 14. When you come together, there's prophesying. Everybody brings something when you come together, a hymn of telling a prophecy and interpretation. The focus is on the gathered community for worship. But Paul demonstrates a concern that in worship he never loses sight of a concern for Christian education, a concern for teaching. How do I know that from First Corinthians 14? Anybody? Now, how do I know that Paul's concerned about teaching here? Now, Paul makes a statement in this passage. First Corinthians 14 says, I thank God that I speak in tongues more with more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words than what is a thousand words or 10,000 words in a tongue so that I might catacombs. That's the word that he uses in the Greek that I might instruct.


So, Paul, even though this is a worship gathering of the community, that's what we're here for primarily. But I never lose sight of this. That worship experience is also shaping believers. But Paul also demonstrates a concern for the unbeliever in First Corinthians 14. How does that come out? How does he show that he's concerned for the unbeliever? But it has to do with prophecy. He says, What if an unbeliever comes in? You're all speaking in tongues without interpretation. Won't he conclude that you're mad? But if that unbeliever hears a clear word of God, you'll fall on his face. Dear God, glory. So Paul is also I'm going to use the word here carefully. Paul is also seeker sensitive at this point. That is his concern about what an unbeliever will think when he walks in to the worship experience. So there's always an overlap here and we're going to play with this idea a lot with the attention to the context issues in class together. Here's I'll give you right up front here some of my personal application of this overlapping sphere principle here just at the level of the worship service. Personally, I believe that the worship experiences of the church are primarily for God. It's not about evangelism. That's not the main point. It's not about Christian education. That's not the main point. It's about giving God his due, and it's about the community of God gathering together for worship. So the worship service should be driven by obedience to be worshiping as a community. And when I shape the worship experience, what should drive the shaping is well, not what not what is most appealing to an unbeliever or not is what is going to teach us most, but what is most glorifying and honoring and blessing to the heart of God.


Are there any biblical examples about how we can do this and any biblical mandates about how we do this? So worship first and foremost for God. But as I'm preparing worship that way, I can never lose sight of these two realities. The worship experience always shapes and teaches believers, and the worship service in some ways is the window into the church. It's the first thing that unbelievers will see typically in the life of a church, sadly, because I think there's something they should see before that, which is an unbelieving friend who's built a relationship with them. But often it's the case that the worship service is the first thing they see. The worship service. Then first for God. But I'm always thinking about how is this service going to shape believers, How is it going to teach, and what would an unbeliever think if they came in here? And at least I needed mindful of this. I'm I'm a I don't know if you've ever seen this this kind of a continuum where over here you have seeker. Driven ministry. And over here you have seeker hostile ministry. And then maybe in between, we could have something called seeker insensitive and seeker sensitive. And actually, what I'm calling for in terms of the worship service here is not seeker driven, but seeker sensitive. That's my personal conviction. I don't want to turn the worship experience of the believing community into an evangelism outreach. Primarily it's for God first, but it is also necessary to be mindful and not oblivious to the needs of an unbeliever. My wife was great for me in this regard. I'm gifted as a teacher, not as an evangelist, so I always need a kick in the pants to be faithful to the whole of ministry.


And like Timothy, I need a reminder. Timothy, do the work of an evangelist because it doesn't come naturally. So I would preach, and when I preached, often my preaching would just become teaching. And the very often, in fact, I over the years, I preach with an overhead like this, but my wife would sometimes on the drive home, wives are great for this. On the drive home from church, you know, you're feeling really good about the message and your wife says, So Gary, what if there were an unbeliever in there today? What would they have done with your message? What would it have meant to them? And at least it made me mindful of the fact. That's right. Almost certainly there is an unbeliever somewhere in the midst. And can I at least address them in some way? In some way? Not that I'm going to recast the total worship experience to make it evangelism, but they overlap similarly. Maybe I'm a youth pastor and I send my kids out on a short term mission. Well, I could say that's a part of our evangelistic commitment, and it is. But probably as a youth pastor, I have an ulterior motive. And I know that by sending my youth out, this is going to shape them. It's going to teach them. In fact, that's probably the best thing that's going to result is my youth will be trained as disciples of Jesus. They'll be taught the faith by going out and sharing it, and it will be an act of worship as they do so. Overlapping spheres for the most part. However, as we think about our time together in this class, we're focusing on this sphere. And I'm considering one of the essential tasks of the church. Not peripheral, not auxiliary, not luxury. It's essential flows directly from the Great Commission, which flows from our commitment to the Ministry of Reconciliation, which flows to the commitment to glorify God in our lives.