FITT stands for Family Institute of Theological Training
The name comes from 2 Timothy 2:15
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)
We chose the title specifically because theological training takes work. It does not just happen and it does not just happen overnight. It comes through humble, attentive immersion in God's Word and by being armed with a proper understanding of Centrality of the Gospel.
When do we meet? We will be meeting the first Saturday of each month at the church at 9:00 AM unless there is a scheduling conflict. F.I.T.T. is currently not in seession, but is offered multiple time throughout the year.
What will we be studying? The idea for FITT came from our Pastors and Leadership Institute (PLI). We wanted to broaden the scope and take the material we are using to train the men in PLI and begin to train families who desire to go deeper in theology and biblical literacy. Our focus will be:
- Biblical literacy - we want you to know your Bibles, be able to navigate through Scriptures, and know where to find and how to articulate critical aspects of our faith.
- Biblical Interpretation - this is not a Bible study. We are teaching YOU how to study the Bible. The process of learning the art of biblical interpretation is known as Hermeneutics. We want to train you in hermeneutics so you are able to take what you learn and be able to study, apply and teach others from the Bible on your own.
- Biblical Theology - It is our desire to help you see that the Bible is not a bunch of fragmented rules, stories, or disconnected books or letters, and help you understand the Big Story and major stories lines in the Bible. We want you to be able to see the UNITY of the Scriptures- that from cover to cover, it is one beautiful story (a little hint before we get started- the story is all about Jesus).
- Systematic Theology - This is what most people think of when they think of "theology". We want to teach you the different theologies that are critical to our faith, teach YOU how to find them in the Bible and be able to articulate them.
- Application and the Character Building - What has made our PLI training so successful is that we continue to drive home the point that we are not learning theology for the sake of theology. As we seek to apply these beautiful truths to our lives, we are learning to grow as disciples and as we grow in confidence in our understanding of God's Word, take this knowledge to make disciples . That is why we take time each class to focus on the development of godly character and make sure that the truth we are learning is leading us to worship, because "knowledge puffs up, but love edifies" (1 Corinthians 8:1).
Who can come? Anybody. Well, there is one requirement though - you have to do the work. There is homework, and there is reading, and Scripture memorization and a willingness to develop deeper community with your classmates throughout the month. So, as long as you come and are committed, we would LOVE to have you.
This is made for men and women. Teens are welcome as well. Child care will be provided, but it might take a communal effort from the people involved. We are still thinking through how to best serve families with children and even include a time of children's discipleship. We are open to ideas, but we love the idea of husbands, wives, families studying the Bible together (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
Will there be a cost? - Yes, we will be using various text books throughout the course. In order to keep the expenses down, we have specifically chosen lower-cost books, and books that we will use for several classes. These are helpful books to own and we are confident that you will go back to them as a resource even after your time in F.I.T.T has come to an end. If you desire to be a part of this and you are financially strapped, do not let that stop you. Just contact Pastor Eric and we will help you out.
What does a class look like? We will open with prayer promptly at 9AM. In order for us to begin on time, the church will be open early for people who want to come and fellowship before class. Coffee will be served.
We will open each class with a discussion on Hermeneutics (how to study your Bible) to go along with some practical exercises on how to break into groups to study Scripture.
- Then we will go over the Big Picture Bible stuff to help understand the story of Scripture.
- Review memory verses and key passages
- Discuss the area of theology we are currently studying
- Break into groups according to gender to discuss application and discussion questions - as well as use that time as an opportunity to develop brotherhood and sisterhood with other Christians from our church that you may not have previously known.
What are the initial books that I need? (Click the book on any of these and it will take you directly to the Amazon link)
- 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
- Vertical Church by James MacDonald
We will hand out a syllabus at the first class that will have reading assignments, future text books, memory verses, and key verses for each book of the Bible.
Is there anything else I should know before starting?
Yeah, a few things are probably important to mention (and since this is my first time doing this, I'm sure I'll miss somebody's question, so feel free to contact me if your question is not covered). But here are a few more important items to mention:
- There will only be a few hours of reading between classes. Since we meet only once a month, it will not be a lot if you spread it out. If you save the reading for all at once, it will feel like a lot, and be harder to retain.
- We picked some books that will be very easy to read and very user friendly. And some books we picked will require a bit of a reach for some people. That was intentional. We do not want to just sit around and talk about what we all already know or agree with. We are looking to learn.
- There is no work required before the first class but having your books would be helpful.
- It will be CRITICAL that you use the website and Planning Center. That is where we will have all of our assignments. We will also attach links to the textbooks and links to downloads of some free text books or devotional reading. For this to work, we have to be committed to use the resources that we put on the web. I will update it regularly so it will be fresh and reflect wherever we are currently at in our studies
- It is going to be important to pick a "Study Buddy"/accountability partner. It will help keep you on task with the work, give you someone to discuss the assignments together and someone to discuss the spiritual implications of applying to your life the truths we are learning. Plus- discussing the Bible and theology with another Christian is discipleship, and THAT is the aim here- growing as disciples so we can grow as worshippers.
If you have any other questions, or to sign up, email Pastor Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org
We really look forward to serving you, growing alongside of you, and most of all, worshipping Jesus with you guys as we gather in this new way. May F.I.T.T be a blessing to you and your family, the church and to our great and awesome God.
1644 N Bay Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753
*Disclaimer- At Redeemer Fellowship, we believe that the primary biblical avenues for discipleship are the Sunday Gathering where we gather to worship, be taught and respond to God's Word, partake of the sacraments, and worship in various other ways corporately as a body such as: giving, praying, repenting of sin, sharing of testimonies and mutually encouraging one another. We also believe in the importance of gathering to live out the implications of the Gospel and Gospel Mission weekly in our community groups. And then, of course we believe that worship should take place in our homes on a daily basis as we deepen in our personal and family devotion. Before attending this we'd like to make sure that it is not taking away from any of those. If you had to choose between FITT or a community group, choose the community group 100% of the time. In fact, this is only available to those who are already involved in a community group because we want this to be supplemental not a replacement for biblical venues of discipleship.