OHC’s regular activities are generally well known, but there may be some elements that are overlooked that we believe are distinctive and fundamental to developing the knowledge, skills, and characteristics we want each person to possess. They guide how we plan what we will teach, study, and pursue.
- The Narrative
The Bible is not merely a collection of histories, prophecies, literature, letters, and teachings; there is a single narrative woven throughout of God’s redemption of His people. We want to show this story clearly, from Creation to Christ’s return, in all of our teaching and discipleship activities. We’ve put together a multi-year outline of which books of the Bible we will cover to help ensure that this narrative is apparent, and we strive to show how each subject we cover fits into this narrative.
- Foundations Material
Foundations provides a clear summary of the basic doctrines we hold to as a church. These core beliefs and practices are a great starting point for anyone new to OHC or to following Jesus (we’ll give you a free copy!), and we walk through them together as a church regularly in a variety of formats to remind and instruct ourselves of what binds us together.
- Sharing Our Faith
Evangelism is something we all recognize that we should be doing, but we often feel unprepared to do it clearly and confidently. We refer to evangelism frequently in all of our teaching, and we provide structured training at various times, but you don’t need special training to share the story of what God has done in your life. Don’t wait!
- How to Study the Bible
Studying the Bible can be daunting without a plan and a method. We use the S.O.A.P. method during our house fellowships, but it is also a great tool for your personal Bible study and discipleship. S.O.A.P. (Scripture, Application, Observation, Prayer) leads the reader from the what, who, and why of the passage to the deeper truths and how they impact us.
- How to Interpret the Bible
Hermeneutics, and specifically exegesis, is the theory and methodology of interpreting texts, in our case, the Bible. Most theological disagreements are rooted in conflicting views of Scripture. Incorrect, misguided, or intentionally deceptive methods can and have led to all kinds of misinterpretations, so we purposefully try to model and teach sound approaches to understanding the Bible.
- Teach through Entire Books
OHC typically works straight through books of the Bible in our Sunday meetings and house fellowships because it prevents us from avoiding difficult passages or taking verses out of context. This helps us to weigh topics in the same way Scripture does and supports our understanding of the biblical narrative.
- Fruit of the Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), as opposed to the desires of the flesh, is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. We desire that OHC be a group of people known for their “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” As we become more like Jesus, these things should be common characteristics among us, and all of our teaching and activities should work to foster this growth.
If a person is with OHC for a few years, as many students and others are, they should leave with these things firmly in their minds and hearts. Those with OHC longer can continue to grow and benefit as they help lead others in becoming mature disciples fully obedient to Jesus.