We reached the end of our journey through Christian Hope yesterday morning. And I think it's fair to say that I've never had such a response to a teaching series. Overwhelmingly, people have talked about how the series has 'put the lights on', connected things they didn't realise were connected and opened vistas of the future that have a profound influence on the present.
Apart from basking in the glow of a well-received series - always nice! - more importantly, it suggests to me that there is a appetite for serious, applied Bible teaching. There are lots of people who want to think about their faith, think about how Christian teaching as well as our experience of Christ impacts our daily living and conversation. This is hugely encouraging to a minister!
We also came to the end of our series on 1 Peter yesterday. As part of an evening service during which we commissioned Clare, our new youth worker, we reflected on what lessons we've learned from reading Peter's wonderful letter. Preparing this series has certainly opened my eyes afresh to how the followers of Jesus relate to one another and the society in which we live. It's left me with lots of things to reflect on regarding social ethics and community life.
I'll probably blog on it at some point. As someone who writes as well as preaches, I think there are books, study guides or something in both these series. I'm sure there are lots of others out there producing good teaching that leaves a mark on its audience that would benefit from wider distribution. Sadly, the publishers seem less interested in such material these days. Am I the only one who has noted that good Bible study material is getting harder to come by? (Or is this just me slipping effortlessly into grumpy old mandom?!)