Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutics for Lay Readers

Gary DeLashmutt and Dennis McCallum
When reading the Bible, it's important to use good hermeneutics to arrive at the intended interpretation. This should include a look at the grammatical and historical context and interpreting critically.

Helping People & Home Churches through Change

Doug Patch
Christian living is all about change. Have you seen a character fault in someone, a sin, that you wish you could help them with? For individual Christians, God is in the business of changing our actions, attitudes, emotional responses, and even our motives into conformity with Christ (Rom. 8:29). He also simultaneously changes our lifestyles to reflect his value and priority on the importance of leading non-Christians to a relationship with Christ and helping younger Christians to grow in the ways just described. Whether we look at our need for godly moral character or adopting a ministry lifestyle, we are talking about change from where we were before we knew Christ, to where he would like us to be.

Hermeneutical Systems

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
A look at six methods for interpreting the Bible: allegorical, literalistic, naturalistic, neo-orthodox, devotional and ideological. We believe the grammatical historical interpretation method is the most accurate.

Home Church Follow Up

Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt
"Follow-Up" refers to the process of ongoing personal investment and communication that should occur after a new person has begun to attend home church or Central Teaching. The goal of the Christian worker in this situation is to make available the truths of Christianity in a way that is understandable, and that is suited to the progress of the investigator. The Bible stresses the importance of "persuading men" of the truth (2 Corinthians 5:11); of "feeding the sheep" -- (i.e. those newly born into His kingdom, John 21:15-17); of fellowship (Acts 2:44-47); and of teaching (Acts 5:42). The final goal of follow-up can best be stated in the words of the Bible, that the new person would become "firmly rooted, built up in Him and established" (Colossians 2:6-7). At Dwell, we keep track of how many first-time visitors to home churches remain on as members. This ratio of first-timers to new members is our follow-up ratio.

How to Motivate People

Dennis McCallum
Before considering how to motivate people, we have to settle two important questions: 1. What is motivation in the Christian context?  2. What does a motivated person look like? The answer we give to these questions will absolutely limit and channel our efforts to motivate others. My suggested definition of motivation is: People are motivated when they are convinced of the correctness and the urgency of Christian goals to the extent that they are eager to act, and keep acting, to reach those goals regardless of what others do or think.

How to Run a Workers Prayer Meeting

Dennis McCallum
Workers' prayer meetings are for actual or would be Christian workers. Don’t invite people to the meeting who are so young in the Lord that you wouldn’t feel comfortable talking plainly about outreach and follow-up specifics in their presence. Remember, it’s easier to invite someone later than to un-invite someone. On the other hand, excited young Christians usually take to these meetings quite well.

How to View Change in the Church

Dennis McCallum
When local churches face large scale change, members often feel upset. Why do we have to change the way we do things? I thought the changes last year were supposed to have so many answers! How many times does this make? How many more of these upheavals will we have to endure? These are some of the feelings that unavoidably come up when major changes in direction are presented to the church.

How We Got the Canon of Scripture

Dennis McCallum
Modern theory states that the canon of the Old Testament was only finally closed by the council of Jamnia (90 AD). This position is seen as part of the evidence that Daniel is a late book (written later than 200BC because it was apparently included in the writings, not in the prophets, where it should have been). They argue that Daniel couldn't be included in the prophets because that part of the canon was already closed at the time of Jamnia. Our evidence will show, on the contrary, that the canon was known and immediately recognized as scripture as it developed in each generation.

Individual and Group Duplication Model

Dennis McCallum
Our leadership course stresses that "there's more than one way to skin a cat." We feel that leaders working within a too-definite paradigm become easily frustrated when things don't go as they should. However, for new leaders, a simple model can be useful in gaining a general idea of where to head with a home churches. The following model gives a general idea of how individuals and home churches at Dwell progress. Note that the years are general guidelines, and that these may change substantially depending on the age and marital status of the group. Also the "stages" of discipleship are imaginary and never actually exist exactly as described. The diagram reads from left to right, and then from top to bottom, before starting over.