Read my classmate post. Think and write your thoughts and feelings about his post. (1 page)
I remember the first lesson/talk I gave in church. I was eight years old, and I was giving a short address on the Holy Spirit. I remember standing in front of my peers and speaking into the microphone while I gripped the podium with all my energy. I made it around one minute into my talk, and then I remember everything going dark.
As the legend goes, I began to slur my words as I stepped back away from the podium. Teachers and my peers thought I was too shy and was stepping back to sit in my chair. Instead, I slumped over and landed flat on the ground. The room was filled with screams, the heavens fell, and my teacher panicked and ran out of the room to fetch my parents.
After thirty seconds or so, the room fell silent as they watched me start to move and then give a huge smile on my face. Inside my head, I did not know that I had passed out. I remember feeling warmth wrap my entire body. I remember feeling the most overwhelming love as the warmth enveloped my whole body. Then I opened my eyes and found myself lying on the ground in front of the entire class.
My story has been at the forefront of my mind each time I preach or teach the gospel to investigators. In a way, my experience is an example of the learning cycle many of us go through. As I read the assigned chapters of this story, again, the story kept entering my mind. This is especially true for chapter 4 when the author wrote, “Not once in Scripture do we find Jesus saying, “Our lesson for today is Leviticus, scroll 3.” His teaching flowed out of the needs of the people He taught. It flowed out of the problem situations they presented. It flowed out of the real crises of life.”
As investigators approach the church, I know they are nervous and doing the best they can. However, often their desire to learn is met with unforeseen difficulties. As a teacher, I do everything I can to bring the spirit into the lessons to feel the overwhelming love from our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that if I can facilitate and guide the investigator to allow the spirit to reside. Then the Holy Spirit will do the teaching.
That is why I enjoyed chapter four so much. It renewed my feelings of respect and love for the way Jesus Christ taught. I especially appreciated the idea that “Jesus taught people more than lessons.” In my faith tradition, our missionaries traditionally memorized several lesson plans before entering the mission field. When they found an investigator, they would go to lesson 1-10, making sure they did not skip any class. Each lesson had flip charts, assigned scriptures, and scripted parts.
Even though this approach found success, it became evident that it did not allow for personalized lessons. It also left the missionaries at a loss when they were approached with questions outside the lesson plans. In the words of chapter four, we discovered that “the prime emphasis of disciplers is the people in the chairs, not the lines in the lesson. God’s Word is Truth. But it becomes “truth that matters to me” for learners as it intersects learners where they live.”
Jesus Christ taught this way because He is more interested in our character’s content than the content of the mind. As the author puts it, “The Pharisees knew their content,” but “[t]heir religion was a superficial, technical, external show of rote actions and memorized rules, a tedious rule book that led them to become sanctimonious faultfinders.” However, “Jesus was more interested in internal character than external show. Character focuses on the head: knowing what God has said and understanding what He expects.”
The assigned reading has helped me reaffirm the need to focus on the learner as Jesus did. Likewise, I know the learner must be led to the Holy Spirit to be truly converted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will teach, enlighten, and confirm. Then the true change will occur.
Yount, William. The Teaching Ministry of the Church: Second Edition, B&H Publishing Group, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/amridge/detail.action?docID=665100.