A fairly quick and random thought that I had during a worship service a few weeks ago: Christian education is narcissistic. Well, I guess I should qualify that. The current status and priority that we give to Christian education is narcissistic. When a Christian desires to “go deeper” in their faith or to become “closer to God,” we often point them to a weekly Bible study of sorts that is supposed to be “in-depth.” This could be Sunday school, a Wednesday night study, or a home group. The context doesn’t matter. What bothers me is the assumption that Christian maturity is defined primarily by participating in an event that fits neatly onto your calendar once a week.
When we define Christian maturity simply as studying the scriptures “in-depth” for an hour once a week, we turn Christian maturity into an appallingly easy thing to do. It lasts maybe two hours, we can put it on our calendar, we know exactly when it will happen, and we can feel better about ourselves because we are mature.
Christian maturity is not something that you can schedule. It does not fit neatly onto a calendar; Christian maturity invades your calendar. It invades everything you do. To relegate it to something you can fit into a couple of hours every Tuesday night is short-sighted and deceptive.
Try putting justice, compassion, reconciliation, and forgiveness onto your calendar once a week and see how well that works out. Yeah, it’s not that easy.
No, Christian education is not a bad thing. But it is not equivalent with Christian maturity. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into feeling good about our Christian maturity because we can cram it into a few hours between work and going to bed at night. The call to discipleship is much more pervasive and penetrating than that.