One of my friends and student ministry team members were talking last night after our middle school youth group about the importance of getting back to the basics. He mentioned how it is important in almost all aspects of life. I recently noticed this when I was preparing a lesson for the middle schoolers.
When I used to play sports in school, we would often have fundamentals practices, where we would focus on the basics of the game. I believe this is important for those of us in ministry, too. Far too often, I find myself running to study some prophetic book from the Old Testament, diving deep into the hidden theological meanings. Meanwhile, there are simpler, basic concepts that I overlook, just because they now seem older and, dare I say, mundane to me.
When we separated our middle schoolers from the high schoolers last year, we were able to begin teaching them on their own level. That excited me, but I never thought about the spiritual implications it would have on me and my team. I am now going back to the basics more often than I was before in order to prepare for a middle school lesson. In doing so, I am regaining an appreciation for the building blocks of the Christian faith.
Not only are those building blocks important to us today, they were also important to people long ago. How cool is that!? The Bible is just as imporant today as it was back when it was written! In the middle of ministry and life, I think I often forget that. Or maybe better stated, I don’t think about it as much as I should. I just coast by and take the Bible for granted.
I partially blame Bible college for this, but I also know it is my own fault, too. I was taught to study the Bible, and while studying is good, it is not the only thing. I have to stop looking at the Bible like a text book, as it often was in college — a wonderful, amazing textbook but a textbook, nonetheless.
So, when was the last time you just sat down and just read the book of John or James, going back to the basics of your faith and life in Christ? It’s clearly not bad to dive deep into studying the Bible, but we must not forget the fundamentals in the middle of the deeper academic study. Ironically, it is there when God often reveals something that can take our faith to the next level.
How do you remember to go back to the basics? What has helped you not neglect the fundamentals? Please share your thoughts in the comments!