Saturday, January 26, 2008

Survey of Denominations ~ Training in Discernment

Later today our oldest daughter and I will be attending a worship service at a local fellowship that is vastly different in their theology and practice from our own church. "Why?", you may ask. Because it is part of a class I have designed (under the guidance of and with the approval of my husband) called, "Survey of Denominations". Ahhh, one of the many benefits of home schooling our children!

During Seminary, my husband took a "Survey of Denominations" class--which of course was much more formal than the one I/we have designed for home school. I did not take the class with him, but I certainly did enjoy visiting the various denominations (and even some cults) and comparing/contrasting them with Biblical theology and a Xian worldview.

Our desire in doing this is to better equip our daughters (primarily our oldest at this time because she is a believer and is earning/enjoying more freedoms as she matures) so that they can and will be able to consider, weigh, and discern Biblically that which is labeled as or presented to be"Christian".

I've already made a list of denominations and churches I hope/plan to visit. Prior to each church visit, I am requiring Olga to look over the website of that particular church and answer a list of questions. We have already discussed what Scripture considers 'essential' to Xian worship, and that will be the basis for our various worship experiences.

I've really been looking forward to this, and am sure I'll be sharing more in the days to come!


Kim from Hiraeth said...

What a great idea! How old is your daughter? Care to share the questions?

Christina said...

First off, my name is Christina and I just found your blog this week. I'm so enjoying reading your thoughts.

This "class" is an excellent idea!!!!!! I hope you will share much of your experiences. I am also a homeschooling mom and I want to do this too! But my boys are only 3 and 2 so I will have to wait some. ;-)

ukrainiac said...

Awesome idea. I, too, would love to see the questions. And also what you list as 'essential' to Christian worship.

We spent time talking about the different religions as well as different denominations... We didn't visit other churches, though -- I actually hated to miss our own worship time! Probably would have been a good plan!

Looking forward to hearing how it's going!

Shawn Abigail said...

I remember a family coming into the "Brethren" church I attended. He was a ministerial student from the Anglican seminary in Toronto, and one of their assignments was to visit a church that was outside their comfort zone. For me this would mean wildly charismatic, but for him it meant an evangelical church that doesn't have ordained clergy or a liturgy. I was amused. He's a nice guy and I'm tried to keep in touch over the years.

Dana said...

Hi Connie, I think this is excellent. I haven't thought of this idea before, but I think it is a great idea to really drive home how important teaching the truth. What better way to understand it than to experience?

I love the freedom we have as homeschoolers.

I look forward to reading more...

Connie said...

all: thanks for your comments, I have just a minute to spare right now but plan to respond more later.

I want to point out that I/we too were concerned about missing our on worship services and fellowship. So, for the most part we will be visiting churches that offer Sat. services, early Sun. or late Sun. services. And, our church is in transition right now do to a remodeling project--we'll not be able to meet as frequently as we are accustomed.

Also, of utmost importance is that we strive to be respectful and reverent when attending these other denominations. It is not our purpose to go in and 'correct' or show displeasure. As a matter of fact, we discussed and decided what we would tell people if/when we were asked why we were visiting their church--that Olga is visiting different denominations as part of a class we have designed for her home school curriculum. As a mater of fact, we were warmly welcomed last night and were warmly invited back--as I would expect from any and every believer!

As with so much in life, there are bound to be some added benefits and extra lessons from this project.