Helping Christians in Ireland to dig deep into the Bible
By Ciarán Loughran
(From the January - March 2017 issue of VOX.)
A new initiative has been in the planning and, Lord willing, will be launched in 2017. Called “Roots,” the vision is to see a mature body of Christ across Ireland.
Why Roots? Roots became the name because of Psalm 1, which pictures a person growing in God. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. - Psalm 1:3. The tree is placed beside the water source, which is God’s Word. As the water comes into contact with the roots, nourishment gets into the tree, keeping it healthy and bearing fruit.
The purpose of “Roots” is for Christians in Ireland to gain a greater overall understanding of the Bible, particularly how the whole story of the Bible fits together. “Roots” is a series of day conferences spread over two and a half years. These conferences are not on different unrelated topics but build on each other to show the big picture of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Having completed the course of study, you will be encouraged in seeing the completeness of Scripture. You will also gain confidence in the reliability, authority, and sufficiency of the Bible, and hopefully have your appetite whetted to continue in personal study.
The course will take place in three locations across the midlands and West of Ireland. The goal is not to compete with but to accompany other quality courses of study already available. Other advantages of this learning opportunity are:
Time commitment is minimal. You attend for one day, three times a year, as opposed to weekly for a whole semester. This can make it an attractive option for those unable or unsure about making a commitment to a longer course of study.
Meet people from across the denominational spectrum. This is not a programme tailored to fit any particular denomination. It is for Christians who want to know God and His Word better, who want to have strong and healthy spiritual roots. Our prayer is that it will strengthen relationships in the church across the country.
It is for every level of interest and ability. You can attend classes simply for the enjoyment of the day with no additional work. Or, you can choose to read additional material and complete one assignment per class, which will be marked and returned with feedback.
God has increased the number of His people around the country over the last 30 years. There are many churches in Ireland today that did not exist back then. We have seen numerical growth on the island, and VOX magazine’s Finding Faith tours over the last few years show us this encouraging growth. Praise God for this growth in His church in Ireland. This is His work! Now, as the church grows numerically, our challenge is to grow in understanding of His Word and on to maturity.
Our prayer for Roots is that the life-giving word of God will enrich you, nourish your soul, bear fruit in you, and whet your appetite for more of God’s activity in your life, your local church, and around the nation.
Stay tuned to VOX magazine for further updates on Roots. For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ciarán Loughran the pastor of Living Hope Church, Trim, Co. Meath. He is also an adjunct teacher at the Irish Bible Institute. He is married to June, and together they have 5 kids, a dog and a rabbit, which makes life fun.