There is a need to show church members, perhaps especially new church members, various deep cultural assumptions that they have bought into, and to deal with these assumptions via God’s Word. Such “hold-over” assumptions from the world often include idolatrous patterns of thought and behavior. These are certainly subjects for Christian doctrine or teaching. Yet they are not typically covered in conventional doctrinal instruction, at least not explicitly or extensively. For instance, people can go through catechetical instruction on Baptism, yet still not specifically see the conflict between Baptism’s “I belong to Christ” and the “I belong to me” of Western autonomy.
In 2019, CID Evangelism Executive Ken Schurb surveyed CID pastors and asked them about such “hold-over” attitudes evidenced by new adult members of the churches they serve. The pastors identified the following as the “top five”:
To assist preachers in addressing the first three of these, Dr. Schurb wrote a trilogy of articles containing “sermon starter” ideas. These articles have now all been published in Concordia Pulpit Resources:
In addition, he did Issues, etc. interviews on the first two of these topics. These may be found at https://issuesetc.org/?s=schurb+happiness and https://issuesetc.org/?s=schurb+time
As for the two topics that tied for fourth place in the survey, CID is happy to present 2 four-session Bible studies, one study on each topic. The one on rights-over-duties was written by Pastor Jeffrey Teeple of Peace Lutheran Church, Fremont, Indiana. It appears in a single PDF document in which all the participants’ materials precede the leader guides. The study on preference for therapeutic-type advice was written by Pastor Philip Rigdon of St. John Lutheran Church, Kendallville, Indiana. In this instance, there are four PDF documents, each of which containing both the participants’ and the leaders’ materials for a single lesson. These two Bible studies appear on the CID website with the permission of the authors, who wrote them initially for a Doctor of Ministry course at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. These authors are happy to make their work available to congregations of the Central Illinois District.
Rights and Entitlement Bible Study (pdf)
Therapeutic Advice Over Spiritual Bible Study - Session 1 (pdf)
Therapeutic Advice Over Spiritual Bible Study - Session 2 (pdf)
Therapeutic Advice Over Spiritual Bible Study - Session 3 (pdf)
Therapeutic Advice Over Spiritual Bible Study - Session 4 (pdf)
Dr. Ken Schurb, Evangelism Executive
LCMS Central Illinois District
1850 N. Grand Avenue West
Springfield, IL 62702-1626