Why Study “How People Change” in Sunday School?

How People Change
Tim Lane and Paul Tripp
September 8 – December 8

I don’t normally favor having video series and workbook studies in Sunday school. But Tim Lane and Paul Tripp’s study, How People Change, is an important exception. The pastors body has asked us to have this fourteen week study in Sunday School for a number of reasons.

How People Change

1. Growth in Applied Theology (Discipleship). The Christian life is about much more than affirming sound doctrine with our heads and with our mouths. It’s about applying the whole Bible’s theology to every part of our lives so that we can grow more and more into the likeness of Christ to enjoy Him for His glory. That’s what this study encourages us to do. It teaches how to think in terms of the Bible’s practical theology for all of life. It teaches us how to think straight in this dark world and how to pastor our own hearts. Some might call this a study in “Christian counseling,” but the biblical term is “discipleship.” The Christian life is a continuing journey of learning how to disciple (discipline) ourselves for godliness. That’s what this study helps us to do.

2. Growth in Fellowship and Community. As we all learn more about how to deal with our own hearts, we will also be learning more about how to deal with one another. Christian fellowship and community isn’t just about spending time together and enjoying each other, though it is certainly that. True biblical fellowship must also involve sharing in Christ together, knowing one another at a sincere level, identifying with one another, bearing one another’s burdens, and encouraging one another to grow up into the likeness of Christ. Faithful fellowship means that we should be encouraging, exhorting, and preaching the gospel to one another. Preaching and discipling is not only the job of pastors. The whole church needs to be involved, if we are to have a healthy community.

3. Increased Group Interaction in Sunday School. Another benefit of having a video teaching series in Sunday School is that it will give our classes an opportunity to increase group interaction and participation. We often learn best when interacting with the material and with one another as a teacher carefully guides the discussion. This series is designed to encourage interaction within the classes.

4. Paul Tripp is Coming to Montgomery. Our church has partnered with Eastmont Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church to bring Paul Tripp to Montgomery for a large-scale community wide marriage conference February 7th and 8th. Many other area churches will be signing on as well! Mark your calendars and plan to come! Paul Tripp is arguably the leading biblical marriage counselor today and has written one of the best books available on the topic, entitled What Did You Expect? Studying our theology of discipleship from Tripp this Fall will prepare us for the marriage conference in February and for subsequent classes on marriage and family at Morningview following the conference.

There’s no “silver bullet” to any of these things, but Tim Lane and Paul Tripp are safe and sure guides to the Bible’s teaching about how our hearts work and how the Bible’s theology instructs our hearts. We never master the Christian life, but God patiently and graciously calls us all to grow continually in Christlikeness, no matter where we are in the process. My prayer is that this study will be an opportunity for us to be encouraged and helped along the way.