“But grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18
TFL was developed by Perimeter Church as a means to equip men and women for leadership in the church, the home, and the workplace. Except for a complete seminary education, I know of no better tool for training believers to know what they believe and why. While this course has been designed with leaders and potential leaders in mind (especially to develop leaders for life-on-life discipleship), it will be of unique benefit for any disciple of Jesus, regardless of age or stage of life.
TFL IS NOT A LECTURE
Since participants of TFL have outside of class reading assignments to complete each week, TFL is not a lecture, but an interactive discussion of the material that was read outside of class.
While there is a degree of explanation that takes place as it pertains to certain doctrines, for the most part, each class is guided by questions for discussion that are based on that week's reading assignment.
The PDF of Perimeter's schedule is attached as an example of what to expect. The main differences will be the explanation of Creekstone's Philosophy of Ministry, how we expose the grace of God in every nook and cranny of theology, and the fact that we do not have a church school (as Perimeter does). :)
TFL IS ABOUT THE HEART AS WELL AS THE HEAD
What we will learn in TFL not only will equip leaders with head knowledge, but a head knowledge that transforms the heart. In fact, the Creekstone version of TFL will incorporate "the elevator model of the heart" as a framework for understanding theology at the level of deep desire. It is this framework that many have found transformative in our life-on-life discipleship environments. Therefore, TFL approaches theology from both the head and the heart, ideally helping to shape believers with a holistic perspective on discipleship.
TFL IS A REQUIRED THEOLOGY COURSE FOR LEADERS
For those men and women who presently lead or facilitate K-Groups, D-Groups, or other officially sanctioned Creekstone teaching contexts, a TFL certificate will be required starting next fall, 2019. This requirement is because we love you and want you to be as equipped and theologically confident as possible as we learn to engage each others hearts at a deep level in the context of sound doctrine.
For example, what do you do when someone asks a question about the sovereignty of God or the reliability of the New Testament documents? What about the doctrine of predestination or covenant baptism? How should we view children in the church? What about the use of instruments in worship or why we have elders and not priests? Why do we speak of the Holy Spirit as a he and not an it? If God already knows, why pray? Why was the cross really necessary and what is so important about double imputation? What are the end times… are we in them… and what difference does it make? What does God say in the Bible say about marriage, divorce, and gender issues? What about money and possessions, tithing and generosity?
These issues strike at just the very tip of the iceberg. What if you could engage with confidence with these questions and many more, not just in a class, but with your family, children, and folks at work?
As the certificate track requires outside of class preparation as well as an exam, some may opt to audit the course before pursuing the certificate route. However, those who have completed the certificate testify that the effort was well worth it. For many, it has proven to be a pivotal spiritual growth experience.
But TFL is not just for us now, it is for Creekstone in twenty years and even fifty years down the road. It is our responsibility to put in place measures that will establish a solid theological foundation upon which the church will be able to grow for years to come with leaders in every ministry who are theologically well aligned.
TFL IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MUTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT
Psalm 133:1 says, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people dwell together in unity." Imagine the opportunity for mutual encouragement as leaders "dwell together" to discuss the wonder, beauty, and transforming power of rich, gospel-centered theology--a theology that not only speaks to the mind, but the heart. Imagine seeing each other coming alive to new strata of doctrinal depth. Imagine affirming together the majesty of God's glory revealed in creation and the Scriptures.
This is the epicenter of church unity and a very practical reason to bring folks together to study and celebrate. Regardless of what we think we already know, we have but scratched the surface. TFL is an opportunity to dig down deep with others on a theological excavation into God's truth and grace.