Back to school, back to basics

By Matt Sapp

My calendar says that it’s August 5th—almost the exact middle of the summer—but we here in Cherokee County, GA are undergoing a seasonal change of sorts.

That’s right, it’s back to school time for parents and grandparents and students and teachers all over Georgia.  So no matter what the sun or the calendar says, summer is over. School is back in session.

Back to school season means getting back to basics.  Once upon a time, children learned the three “R”s of education: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, right?   Now, our children tell us that the three R’s include, “reduce, reuse and recycle,” a quick reminder about how much education has changed over time.

But what are the basics for church and for life?

One of the ways to make sure we’re still focused on the basics is to go back and ask, “Are we still aiming to do the things we initially set out to do?”

At my church, Heritage Baptist Fellowship, the basics of faith include worship, discipleship and service.

We are committed to developing holy habits in worship.  This means making connections with holy things and the Spirit in an increasingly secular world.

We were created to live in fellowship with our creator. Worship fosters a connection with the holy that is essential to a well-lived life.

We are committed to the process of discipleship. For one, discipleship is not possible in isolation.   Healthy Christian relationships are key components of biblical discipleship.

Christian relationships rooted in the foundation of the local church are one of the best ways to make sure that we maintain mental, spiritual and emotional health and balance. Christian relationships also support our physical health, particularly when we face health challenges.

We are committed to Christian service and evangelistic mission. We are surrounded in this world by broken people. Many in our churches walk into worship on Sunday with shattered lives barely held together in their hands.

We have a tremendous opportunity and God-given responsibility as servants of Christ to bring wholeness to broken lives.  We cannot live whole, Christian lives unless our focus turns increasingly outward toward service to others.

So, while our children return to school, God calls us to a new season of turning back to the basics that make our faith in Christ worth while.

Published by Joe LaGuardia

I am a pastor and author in Vero Beach, Florida, and write on issues related to spirituality, faith, politics, and culture.

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