CCC blog

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus class’

Online Campus: Highs, Lows and a New Streaming Video Provider

The first year of the Online Campus continues to bring highs, lows, and everything in-between.

Two Sundays ago, I walked out of church feeling defeated. Nothing went right with the service. That afternoon, I was determined to set things right. I needed to, because we were getting ready to add additional services, events and classes to the Online Campus.

The streaming video provider was working hard to resolve issues we had been having since mid-July, but it wasn’t working. In August, when it failed for the entire service, I posted an apology video online. My patience was wearing thing. In September, three of the five Sundays we saw failures, of varying degrees, from our streaming video provider. After the last one, two Sundays ago, I made the decision to not use them again. We gave them official notice a few days later. (more…)

On-line Jesus Class starts tonight!

A few important details if you’re thinking about checking out the Jesus Class tonight.  Many will be showing up live for the class at the Student Center here at Old Mill tonight at 7:00pm.  But what about those who are going to check it out online.  How will that work?

Just like any class there’ll be…

  1. A teacher (that’s me).
  2. A classroom – your browser located to our online campus:
  3. Students: those who are in the Student Center with me and others who are dialed in on the web with you.
  4. Interaction!  You’ll be able to watch what’s going on in the class.  You’ll be able to chat while the class is going on.  You’ll be able to ask me questions during our time together!

I have been getting some questions about the resources we’ll be using.   Here are some FAQs….

I am watching the class on-line.  Do I need to get a book that goes along with the class?

No.  Our text is going to be the Gospel of Mark in a manuscript format.  You can download the section of text we’ll  be looking at each week by hitting on a link at the on-line campus.

When will the materials be available at the on-line site?

We already have the link posted on the on-line campus.  That link will go live sometime this afternoon.  Each week you can find the on-line campus a few minutes early, hit the link and then go to the resources we’ll be using that week.  Each week we’ll post the section of the manuscript we’ll be using that week.  We’ll also post any handouts I’ll be referring to in class. We’ll also have a home-work resource that will help you keep moving through Jesus Class on your own till the following week.

Will all a hard-copy of all the resources be available somewhere for purchase?

Absolutely!  If you are local, swing by CCC Old Mill Campus.  We’ll be selling the binder with all the materials in it along with your very own set of colored pencils for $10 (please pay with cash or check).  You can find those binders at the Resource Booth in the Atrium – along the right hand side as you face the Worship Center.


Here’s what I’d suggest if you’re planning on doing the Jesus Class on-line.

  1. Go to the online campus site today sometime just so you can find it.  While you’re there hit on the schedule link and send an invite to someone else you think would enjoy checking it out.
  2. Clear away your schedule tonight starting at 7:00.  Show up at the online campus a few minutes early so you can at least download the Manuscript for Week 1.  Print it off and have it handy along with a pen and a highlighter.
  3. The rest you can worry about later.  Jump into the on-line experience .  When it comes time to discuss an idea or a process question, don’t be shy – give us your thoughts.

Hope to see you tonight.  I’ll be the guy on stage sweating profusely as I engage a slightly more complicated class than I’m used to.  Come check it out!

Tim Perry

Pastor of Spiritual Discovery – Christ Community Church


I don’t mean to play favorites, but…

We have offered the Jesus Class at Christ Community Church now for about a year and a half. In that time I have had the fun of teaching Jesus class with about eight other teachers with five different groups. Let me be perfectly clear. It’s a great class – due largely to incredible subject matter.

However, I would also have to say that it is the student in addition to a great subject and a fired-up teacher that makes for an outstanding learning experience. Below is a note from a Jesus Class student from last spring. Just about my all time favorite Jesus Class participant truth be told! Let Jenny’s experience excite you about how you might also benefit. If you’re really curious, here are a couple of link’s you’ll find helpful:

Register for the Jesus Class coming next Tues, Sept 13th running for 8 weeks.

Check out other blog posts from Jesus Class sessions at this link.

Jenny – My Jesus Class Experience

Feb 2011

A few months ago an announcement was made in church about a class being offered called the Jesus Class. It really intrigued me because I was in a place where I was super hungry to grow and develop my faith, and also to meet some new people who shared my passion for the word, so I signed up. My first impression was that it would be a lecture type of class where a teacher explained the life of Jesus. However, from the very first day it was made clear that our teacher would be the WORD. We dug right into the book of Mark and began to pick it apart, then put it back together, then pick it apart again, examining it from every angle. We did it together as a class, and then took it home and did it on our own, bringing it back each week to share what God had opened our eyes to. I found my time in the word to be SO rich and fulfilling and seemingly couldn’t get enough of it.

One of the biggest themes that stuck out to me from my studies, was how Jesus kept talking about people having eyes to see and ears to hear. He made it so clear to his disciples that in order to learn and understand, you have to ask; you have to have the eyes to see what he wants to teach you. The people who received answers from Jesus were always the people who asked. That teaching alone has dramatically altered the way that I approach God’s Word, and my relationship with him. I spend more time listening, asking, seeking, searching, and praying. More time centering my life around Jesus. As I began to do this, He began to speak to me in amazing ways. He not only taught me some powerful truths, but he also opened my eyes to some incredible opportunities to live out those truths. I was in awe of how many doors were opened to me to share my faith with non-believing friends, or to show kindness to a stranger. In addition, there have been countless times where I’ve had the opportunity to share what God has been teaching me to a fellow believer who really needed to hear those exact words. This experience has only made me all the more hungry to go deeper with God and learn and grow more, so that I may see his amazing power at work in peoples’ lives. Words don’t do justice in explaining how this class has been a catalyst through which God has grabbed hold of my attention and changed my life.

As the class was drawing to a close, I began to lament the thought of losing this great community of believers that I had been learning and growing with. While I knew that I could continue to study on my own, I would miss the deep conversations and rich array o f perspective that each individual brings. So in the last few weeks of the class I inquired of some of my fellow classmates if they would have interest in continuing to meet and study together. I am currently still meeting with one other woman and it has been a joy to get to know each other better, share what God is teaching us, and encourage each other to live out those lessons authentically and purposefully. I can’t begin to speak of how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to take this class, how drastically it has altered my perspective on life, and how greatly it has improved my relationship with God.

If you aren't Asking, You aren't Learning!

Jesus Class is an inexhaustible trove of wisdom for anyone who experiences it. The key is Questions. It’s all in the questions. If you’re expecting some slick communicator to put transformative truth in your mind without you raising a finger to either figure it out or make it work, you’re just as deluded as the people in Jesus’ audiences who blew him off!

Blowing off Jesus is the absolutely worst thing a human can do. When he talks, people listen. If they don’t they won’t get a thing out of it. The sure sign of listening in Jesus’ day and ours was provocation.

What do I mean by provocation? If your mind, will and emotions are completely in neutral, you will not have ANY questions. The art of a truly great teacher is to take us into the zone of something we don’t know. Stuff we don’t or won’t accept. Then leave us there till our hearts and minds start twitching with questions, objections or conflicts. Tension has to exist between what we’ve always thought and something new that legitimately challenges us. Otherwise we just recycle what we think we know.

Jesus taught like that. If you don’t think so, you have never read Mark’s Gospel. Or you’ve done a bad job reading it. OR pity the fool who thinks “I’ve heard all this before.”

How dare any of us today think we can breeze through the pages of the New Testament Documents and NOT trip over the claims of Jesus. If the people in his own hometown wanted to throw him off a cliff, how much more should we be filled with questions and tension over what he really said. Did you hear that? People most familiar with Jesus wanted to kill him!

Luke 4:16-30 Jesus Thrown Over a Cliff at Nazareth? (read if for yourself)

By contrast, the disciples in Mark chapter 4 approach Jesus after a sermon about seeds. “What was that all about?” was pretty much their question. They were rewarded for tracking down the teacher during office hours. Rather than ignore Jesus, or try to kill him (Pharisees and Nazarites) true students seek out the teacher and asks questions.

Ever read anything about Jesus that puzzles you? Follow through. Ask. Don’t stop asking till you understand! Don’t let it bug you if Jesus bugs you. That’s how its supposed to be!

Jesus Has a Demon? We've Got Problems!

We’ve been talking at CCC about Jesus and Power. The claim that Jesus was divine gains more and more credibility the longer one looks at how he actually handled power. He was incredibly unique and exasperatingly unpredictable. Then and now.

In the Jesus class we’ve been churning through the opening chapters of Mark’s biographical witness-narrative of Jesus. No where is it clearer that Jesus was alarmingly powerful and absolutely brilliant in his style of using that power. Take Mark’s first literary sandwich. If you don’t know what a Mark sandwich is, here’s a great previous post to check out:

What’s a Mark Sandwich?

Mark is using the editorial cut almost like a screenplay to show us a very gripping scene of Jesus and his power. A scene about his family coming to take control of him, rapidly cuts to an argument Jesus has with the Jerusalem Teachers of the Law over his ability to cast out demons. Then cuts back to his family. Mark is showing us perhaps one of the most tense moments in the whole Gospel! And its all about power and authority.

Jesus’ family and the Jerusalem Jews have made the same mistake about Jesus. Both groups for different reasons assume they are in a position of authority over Jesus. Both are dangerously wrong about what is motivating Jesus. The family attributes his behavior to megalomania, thinking that he’s out of his mind. The teachers of the law actually have the audacity to implicate his power with Satan. That’s the last straw. Jesus goes ballistic. And tells a ballistic parable to confront their supreme ignorance and presumption. You’ve got to read it:

Jesus Has a Demon? Mark 3:20-35

Both groups are badly wrong about Jesus’ power. Both groups get a face-full of correction! The teachers of the law are warned that if they don’t change their mind about attributing Jesus’ power to Satan they risk permanent damnation! Yes you herd it right – Jesus meek and mild, not only with the authority to forgive sin, but with the authority to NEVER forgive sin! That’s not my idea of a tame, loving Jesus!

The family also gets a rude awakening when Jesus publicly redefines family. Family = whoever does God’s will. Jesus’ biological family actually thought he was insane! A more forgivable misjudgment than “Jesus you are demon possessed”. But nonetheless – if I were one of Jesus blood brothers that day, I would have felt pretty stupid for ever spreading the impression that Jesus was mentally unstable! Even his mom missed the boat on this one!

Watch out, people. This is not the Jesus of your childhood Sunday school class. This is Jesus, God of the universe. When you say something about him, better get it right! Don’t ever pretend Jesus is beneath your dignity or intelligence. You may regret it very badly!

Making Use of What you Know

Last week in Jesus Class we were served yet another Mark Sandwich… Yum! (see the Jan 28th blog-post on Sandwiches) In chapter 6, Jesus is first rejected at Nazareth. He then sends out the 12 Disciples on a mission. Mark next inserts the flashback of John the Baptist being executed for confronting Herod’s illicit marriage to his brother’s wife. Finally, Mark records the return of the 12 after their mission. Message? The mission of the kingdom is costly – it might bring even painful rejection!

It’s a riveting chapter, but how do you apply its message to your own life? What difference would it make to the church today if we lived in fearless abandon to the mission of Jesus? What do things like “Shake off the dust” mean in a world where we have a hard time just being heard in the first place?

Here’s what the class came up with for personal application points. Actually this is only a fraction of what people submitted. Usually the class teacher is the one putting the bold personal application questions up on the board, but this week we flipped the script and had the students brainstorm.

Here are the best out of a list of over 40 reflection questions. I think they did pretty good!

#28) Who in my life do I need to hold accountable for their actions? Am I willing to take the risks that confronting them might involve? Why not?

#38) Jesus couldn’t perform the miracles he really wanted to in Nazareth because people lacked faith. How is your level of faith affecting Jesus’ ability to work in your life?

#33) Has the fear of acceptance ever held you back? How do you overcome it?

#45) Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. How can I bring others into my ministry so I’m not alone in my efforts? What are the advantages of always having someone else in partnership with me?

#14) What would you do if you had the power Herod did? a) Use it for selfish gain, caving-in to evil influences? b) Stand up for what is right even if you had to retract something you previously said? c) Avoid the situation and just let things play out? Why?

#12) Is there a Herodias in my life? How can I be prepared to stand up to someone of such power and negative influence?

#11) What would I do if Jesus asked me to go out in mission like the 12 – with little resources or specific directions? Would I obey? What would I stand to learn through such an experience?

#9) What capabilities of mine are actually hindered by lack of faith in those around me? How can I handle myself in a situation where the people surrounding me don’t operate from a base of trust?

Sometime this week, grab your bible, give Mark 6 a look and let the Jesus Class point you toward some penetrating reflection questions as you study.

Way to go Jesus Class!

What's a Mark Sandwich?

We’ve been having a blast studying Mark’s biography of Jesus each week in Jesus Class. Last week we encountered the first of several examples of the Mark Sandwich. Mark tends to take a piece of one story and weave it into another in order to create a more interesting story line. Much the same thing happens all the time when you watch a movie that skillfully cuts one scene to another then flashes back to the first.

Here are a few helpful comments from gospels scholar R.T. France on the Sandwich:

“Mark’s gospel was designed for oral transmission – and for transmission as a continuous whole rather than for private study or silent reading. Various features of Mark’s style seem to reflect such a purpose notably his more expansive story telling manner… Such features make for a more memorable text, and make it easier for the listener, who does not have the option of stopping and turning back to refresh his or her memory, to keep the flow of the narrative in mind. The ‘sandwich’ technique is a well-tried device of the popular raconteur in order to hold the audience’s attention.”

“Mark is a master at the narrative art of sandwiching one story or scene within another (also called interpolation, intercalation, dovetailing, framing, etc). Most of Mark’s sandwiches are created by the interweaving of contemporary events in such a way that one helps to interpret the other. Notable examples are the enclosure of the scribal accusation that Jesus is in league with the devil within the story of his own family’s attempt to restrain him because they thought he was mad (Mk 3:21-35), the more complex interweaving of the destruction of the fig tree with the demonstration against the ‘fruitless temple’ (Mk 11:11-27), and the parallel scenes of the trial of Jesus and the ‘trial’ of Peter which are interwoven (Mk 14:53-15:1).”

“Not only does he enclose one story within another, but he likes to set up parallel scenes and move the spotlight successively between them. This is a proven narrative and dramatic technique, to maintain interest and to allow the reader/hearer to gain a wider perspective on the constituent elements of the story, placing one alongside another so that they become mutually illuminating.”

The Gospel of Mark (NIGTC) – by R. T. France (pp 9-10, 18-19).

Kathy's Getting It!

A great note here from one of the participants in the Jesus Class. Keep the comments coming, class! Last week we launched with a total of 121 participants!

Hi Tim,

I have to say I have been enjoying this so much. I sit down and start getting involved and the time flies by and I am just absorbed with the material. Your suggestions and helpful hints with the study guide have been very helpful for me. I am truly enjoying the dissecting and what is being spoken to me. I am learning a whole new way of how to read scripture and it is exciting since it has been difficult to understand for me as I am fairly new reading and studying the bible so this great for me and I know I have a lot to learn but I also know that the Holy Spirit will guide me and show me what it is that I am to hear :o)

Thank you and see you Sunday.


Why Does John the Baptist Tell People to Repent?

In last night’s Jesus Class, more than one participant remarked at the way Jesus is introduced by John the Baptist. In the fist place John the Baptist is not marketed well for a successful ministry. He’s not in the temple being video cast to multi-sites all over Palestine. Let’s just say… he’s not in Jerusalem (the center of Jewish spiritual life) he’s not in the temple (the center of the center). He’s in the wilderness.

He’s preaching repentance! Not grace! And people are coming to him from everywhere. It would be like Mark Ashton deciding he’d like to go to a corn field outside Wahoo and deliver his Sunday messages… and people would actually flock to be there! And in response to such a message, people would actually be cut to the heart, repent and be living in expectation of Jesus’ arrival.

Could it be we actually need to clean up our life BEFORE meeting Jesus makes any sense? John can’t be telling us that we have to get rid of all our sins before we encounter Jesus! Got any thoughts?

The Jesus Class – Starting This Tuesday Night!

This week we launch The Jesus Class here at the Old Mill Campus in FLC 154. For eight weeks, participants will gather and meet around tables to peer into the life of the world’s greatest spiritual leader. Our text will not be a study guide, or a book about Jesus, or even a video series by a famous scholar or mega-church pastor. The text we’re following is Mark’s gospel in an unusual format.

You won’t need your bibles. Hope that’s OK. What you will get is a thing called a manuscript. The pic above gives you some idea of how we’ll do this. Everyone attending will receive a complete text manuscript of Mark’s gospel biography of Jesus. Each week, we’ll dive straight into the world, words and actions of Jesus himself. We’ll learn the story line of the Jesus scene by scene. Each week we’ll read several pages, have lots of room for questions and first-hand observations. Jesus will come alive, jumping off the page saying and doing the most surprising things.

People who know Jesus well and people who are dying to meet him for real for the first time, will find the Jesus Class an equally rewarding experience. If you want to check it out for a week and see if it fits your interests, you’re welcome to try it. If you have a seeking friend and would like to invite them along, you can have them join you at your table. If you’ve got questions just shoot me a comment and I’ll contact you.