Chapel Speaker’s Church Goes Back to Bible Basics
By Jennifer Willis
Central Christian Church takes a different approach from most churches, according to Jeremy Jernigan, its pastor of worship arts, who will speak at Monday’s Chapel in GCU Arena.
The 50-year-old church, which has four campuses in metropolitan Phoenix, resists the big, bold marketing pushes that are common with megachurches. Instead, it focuses on the Bible and tries to keep things simple.
In his visit to GCU, Jernigan will speak on Matthew 21 and the parable of the tenants. He plans to talk about faith as a verb and what it means to live out faith on a daily basis.
Driving Central Christian’s mission is Luke 9:23: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Jernigan says Central intentionally has gone away from the topical teaching so popular in churches today.
“In the past, we’ve done the typical series, where you do a series on marriage and one on prayer and so forth,” Jernigan says. “What we noticed was people jumping from church to church and series to series based on the series that they were interested in at that time. There’s no sense of community, no sense of accountability. We want people to come here and to be able to say, ‘This is our church.’”
Instead, Central teaches by books in the Bible. The church is finishing up Jonah and preparing to move on to Luke. Jernigan says the teaching takes a book section by section and is deliberate in pace.
“We want to truly teach the Bible,” he says. “When you’re going through a book piece by piece, you come across things that you may never think about. We’ve had great discussions about things that we’ve found by going through a book thoroughly, (things) that you don’t come across in popular readings. Some of those have become our best stuff.”
Jernigan says the approach seems to be working and feedback from parishioners has been positive.
Reach Jennifer Willis at 639.7383 or Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.