16 August, 2022

Back to School . . . for All of Us

by | 19 August, 2018 | 1 comment

Editor’s Note: Starting today, each Sunday we will publish a new blog post from the editors of and regular contributors to Christian Standard. Our purpose is to encourage and equip leaders with timely and relevant leadership lessons we are learning. We will relate to current events in the church and culture and also provide insider information about Christian Standard Media. And we’d love to hear from you! If you have a reaction to a post, please comment below!


By Michael C. Mack

As kids in our area went back to school this past week, I started reflecting on those first days of school for our four kids (who are all in their twenties now).

Several years ago, part of my Bible-reading practice was to study a chapter of Proverbs each day for a month. On the first day of school, August 15, I read Proverbs 15, and I immediately knew what our verse of the day would be:

“The wise person makes learning a joy; fools spout only foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2, New Living Translation).

I woke up the kids and as we sat together at the kitchen table and they ate chocolate chip muffins and drank their Starbucks Frappuccino’s (a special treat for the first day of school), I shared this verse with them and encouraged them to think about it through the day.

My hope was that learning would be a joy for each of our kids, not only during the school year, but throughout their lives. This verse is not based on my hopes, however; it’s based on their attitudes and choices. “The wise person makes learning a joy.” This will be a choice each of them will make each day. They can choose to say: “I don’t understand chemistry [Actually, that’s what I said in high school!]. I’m bad in math. I’m going to get lost in the hallways . . .” Or they can choose to say: “Chemistry isn’t easy, but I’ll find a way to get this! I’ll find my way through the halls and there are plenty of people to help me if I need them.” You get what I mean.

This is not just about our kids, of course. I know that my attitudes often determine my outcomes. I need to constantly be going “back to school,” back to God’s Word—spending time with him every day, listening to him, and following his teaching—to learn how to make better life choices. I need other people, wise counselors, in my life to show me the way and encourage me.

As the kids in my neighborhood loaded into buses each morning this week, I was reminded about my own need to consistently make learning a joy. “I delight in your decrees,” said the psalmist, “I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:16). That’s the right attitude!

Last week, I wrote in our Christian Standard newsletter,

I believe one of the best things church leaders can do for their people is to provide them with vision and the tools to make a long-term commitment to get into and stay in God’s Word.

A systematic approach to studying the Bible is vital for individual followers and for churches.

Perhaps you’ve seen that our sister publication, The Lookout, has designed a new scope and sequence for Bible study. Lookout editor Shawn McMullen said in his current month’s Letter from the Editor, “What greater discipline can the church instill in adult Bible students and what greater lifelong practice can the church encourage in young students of Scripture than to learn to study the Bible in its entirety, allowing the Word of God itself to determine the course and plan of learning?”

As a leader (all of us lead something or someone, even ourselves!), the most vital thing you can do is commit to a regular, systematic study of God’s Word as part of abiding in him. When you spend time with God in his Word each day, he will not only fill you up, he will overflow his truth, wisdom, and love through you. Start there. (The Lookout provides a daily reading plan as part of its weekly lessons.)

Next, I want to encourage you to provide the people you lead with tools for a systematic study of the Scriptures. Spur them on to make the same commitment you have. Provide your classes and groups with The Lookout and its new scope and sequence plan that will enable groups to study systematically through the Bible every six years. The magazine provides excellent commentary and application as well as a list of questions you can use. Well-written articles supplement this material each week.

Imagine if everyone you lead—in your family, small group, class, or church—engaged in regular, systematic study of God’s Word. What differences would it make in your church, your city, the kingdom?

Michael C. Mack is editor of Christian Standard.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/mmackchristianstandardmedia-com/" target="_self">Michael Mack</a>

Michael Mack

Michael C. Mack is editor of Christian Standard. He has served in churches in Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, and Kentucky. He has written more than 25 books and discussion guides as well as hundreds of magazine, newspaper, and web-based articles.

1 Comment

Latest Articles

Help Wanted

First Christian Church in Mount Vernon, Ky., is accepting resumes for a full-time preaching minister. Norwin Christian Church in North Huntingdon, PA, is seeking a director of small groups and outreach.


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.