Doctrine – a : something that is taught b : a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.
I know what you're thinking….."Oh no. Here we go." In the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend!"
If you think that this is an area that doesn't need all that much attention, you're wrong. Sorry, no way around this….
I grew up in Southern Baptist churches. I pretty much swallowed whatever I heard in terms of beliefs. Not till I got to college was I forced to decide for myself what I believed about many of the negotiable and non-negotiable topics making up most people's doctrine.
I've had the privilege of serving in several Southern Baptist churches along with two non-denominational churches. My doctrine hasn't changed since those days in college. My understanding of the deeper truths of Scripture have; but I believe God revealed His truth to me in those early days of ministry.
The problem most of us face in determining sound doctrine is that we like to support our experiential beliefs/preferences with Scripture instead of conforming to the truth of the Bible whether it's easy or not.
In NSM (Northwood Student Ministry) we are asking God to make 2010 a "dig down" year. By that I mean that our direction is focused on seeing students grow in their depth of understanding and knowledge of God. If we continue to grow numerically, or "spread out", that's fine but it's not our emphasis.
We're walking through the ten commandments with our High School students for the first ten weeks of the year in a series called "X" or "Ten." Our Middle School students are in a series that we know will last at least nine weeks called "Starting Point." (Title credit to NPCC. We're not using the Starting Point curriculum but it's too good a name to pass up.) In this series we're walking through the non-negotiables of the Christian Faith.
So how about you? When did you discover your personal faith? Are you firmly grounded not in your own understanding but on God's Word?