Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Dan Kimball is not only a friend, but I believe the leading organic voice for making systematic theology relevant to average congregants. Read this excellent article by Dan in Outreach Magazine where he explains how he created a 14-week sermon series that covered classical systematic theology.”
PASSING ON SOUND DOCTRINE TO THE NEXT GEN
By Dan Kimball • June 3, 2015, Outreach Magazine.
When it comes to the emerging generations, we may need to teach doctrines no one is asking about.
More than 35 percent of our church is college students, so a recent message series felt a little risky.
At a time when you often hear that emerging generations don’t want to hear about doctrine and theology, we designed a 14-week classical systematic theology series to teach to the entire church. Our topics included Christology, the study of God the Son; bibliology, the study of the Bible; eschatology, the study of the end times; and angelology, the study of angels, demons and Satan.
Our Sunday attendance has grown, and lives are being affected. A college student emailed me that her four non-Christian friends have been coming and are fascinated. One Sunday, we taught the doctrine of salvation, defined words like “justification” and invited people to “pray a prayer” of salvation. Many responded and told me afterward that they put faith in Jesus.
Sometimes we can put so much emphasis on doctrine that emerging generations lose interest, but at the same time, I sense a desire among them to learn truth and doctrine. Here are some lessons we’ve learned about teaching it …